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Abstract

U.S. antitrust enforcers see little scope for antitrust policy to mitigate the consequences of imperfect IP policies. They are reluctant to intervene in what is perceived to be the sphere of IP policy and take the view that any competitive concerns are better remedied by changes in the IP policy. This trend corresponds with shielding antitrust policy away from fields occupied by other forms of regulation. Exactly the opposite tendencies are present in EU competition law. Both the European Commission and the ECJ seem to see a role for competition law to correct improvidently defined IPRs, even if it entails adjusting competition principles. It may seem reasonable, as unlike competition policy, most issues relating to IP policy within the European Union are still decided at the national level. Yet, there is an inherent danger in this approach. It may lead antitrust authorities to adopt analytically questionable approaches that undermine the coherence of antitrust law. Competition agencies must be particularly cautious in adopting the measures to curb IP laws, as they may discourage private R&D investment. The Commission's views on application of Article 82 to interoperability information, as expressed in the Microsoft Decision and the Article 82 Paper, confirm that these reservations are valid.

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