The Evolving Interface between European Competition Law and Intellectual Property Rights: Is there a Balance to be Achieved?
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A comprehensive debate on the interface between IP (Intellectual Property) and European competition law has emerged over the past 50 years. The initial section of this article examines the gradual development of this conflicting relationship between the two laws. This is followed by an extensive analysis of the relevant precedent, focusing specifically on the significant rulings in Microsoft and IMS Health. The analysis explores the European competition authorities’ preference to protect competitors’ interests over achieving the general consensus for efficiency in the market and tackles the complex question of whether IP holders should be burdened with the responsibility of safeguarding the commercial wellbeing of their rivals. In light of the pre-existing case-law, various economic proposals are introduced which demonstrate a potential balance between the protection of IPR (Intellectual Property Rights) and the intervention of European competition law. It is then assessed which proposal will most effectively resolve the conflict between the two laws, and whether this proposal is a permanent solution.
O'Donoghue, C. (2016) ' The Evolving Interface between European Competition Law and Intellectual Property Rights: Is there a Balance to be Achieved?', Plymouth Law and Criminal Justice Review, 8, pp. 156-180. Available at: https://pearl.plymouth.ac.uk/handle/10026.1/9028
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