Intellectual property rights by their very nature confer exclusive monopoly rights on their owner. Particularly in Europe, businesses have used competition law as a means of challenging the ability of rights-holders to exploit IP. As a result, complex rules apply to determine the extent to which IP rights can be used to stop sales of products by unauthorised businesses. The increasing importance of standardisation for setting industry-wide rules on the composition of products, especially in technology markets, also raises competition concerns.
DWF's EU/Competition team comprises lawyers experienced in both competition and IP issues, so that we can provide advice informed by a full understanding of the unique issues raised by IP licensing.
We have an in-depth understanding of the EU Technology Transfer Block Exemption Regulation, the starting point for reviewing a wide range of IP licences. We also regularly advise client on competition and IP issues relating to parallel imports.
We are active in advising clients on the issues raised when industry standards include technology subject to patent or other IP protection, standard essential patents (SEPs) - including dealing with injunctions by rights-holders and investigations by the European Commission and other competition authorities.