Compulsory Licensing of Intellectual Property Rights : With emphasis on the EC Commission's Decision COMP/C-3/37.792 Microsoft
Recently, the potential conflict between intellectual property law and competition law within the European Union has become political as many of the Member States see the economic Holy Grail through the so called knowledge economy, an economy to which intellectual property is inextricable linked.The general rule in EC-law is that a holder of an intellectual property right is not obliged to license the use of that right to others. However, the law can intervene in certain specific circumstances, forcing an owner to license his right. Remedies of this kind are called compulsory licenses and have as their purpose to work as a safety valve, hindering the possible abuse of the exclusiveness following an IPR.An analysis of the EC Commission’s Microsoft Decision reveals that the Decision is inconsistent with settled case law from the European Court of Justice in a number of respects. The Decision is unclear and it will be difficult, close to impossible to predict how this approach will be applied in future cases.The Decision taken by the Commission in Microsoft states a new legal and economic policy for Europe, a paradigm applying a new standard on when a compulsory license could be ordered. The analysis show that this paradigm represent a considerable loosening of the circumstances when a remedy of a compulsory license could be orderedand, as a consequence, introduces a considerable degree of legal uncertainty. This uncertainty can have a substantial effect on innovations by market leaders around the whole world who market their products in Europe.
School:Högskolan i Jönköping
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Keywords:ec law competition intellectual property
Date of Publication:06/15/2005