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Antitrust and Intellectual Property

The collective expertise and technical know-how of our antitrust and intellectual property lawyers uniquely positions us to advise with confidence in cases involving the most complex science and technology.

Over recent years this area has been subject to increasing scrutiny from regulators. There have been a number of major cases on licensing and IP in which antitrust issues have played a pivotal role. We have been at the heart of some of the most high-profile cases at the interface between competition law and IP rights.

A key area of interaction between antitrust and IP is abuse of dominance/monopolisation. Investigations into companies with strong market positions are increasingly focused on the possible anticompetitive use of IP rights. The rules are full of complexities, with few bright-line thresholds and many grey areas. Companies need to be able to navigate their way through, as abusive conduct can carry severe penalties which may reach hundreds of millions of euros or dollars. We have wide experience of assisting companies in assessing their position in the market and formulating commercial strategies to help them stay on the right side of the line. We also act for firms that have been the victim of abusive conduct, helping to bring successful complaints against dominant companies.

With an exceptional IP, technology and life sciences practice – one of only a few leading international law firms with a significant multinational market presence in the IP field – we have the ability to advise our clients on competition and IP work, including IP litigation, at the highest levels. Our technical specialists at the nexus of antitrust and IP law are able to represent clients in the most complex licensing, research and development and IP infringement matters.

As the interplay between IP rights and competition law increases, our clients benefit from this complementary specialist expertise and our ability to devise effective strategies to protect their commercial and IP rights.

Some of the current issues on which we advise include:

  • Standard Essential Patents (SEPs), FRAND licensing and injunctions
  • Comparative law issues arising from divergent approaches between the laws of the United States and the European Union (EU)
  • Competition law regarding technology innovation and licensing, including in relation to the R&D Block Exemption and the Technology Transfer Block Exemption
  • Patent settlements, 'pay for delay' and other practices aimed at deferring the entry of generics to the market, and issues related to the pricing and reimbursement of medicinal products
  • Unilateral refusals to license parallel imports, and grey market goods copyright licensing

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