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Beitrag in Sammelwerk

Mandatory Licensing Under Patent Law and Competition Law: Different Concerns, Complementary Roles


Ullrich,  Hanns
MPI for Innovation and Competition, Max Planck Society;

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Ullrich, H. (2014). Mandatory Licensing Under Patent Law and Competition Law: Different Concerns, Complementary Roles. In R. M. Hilty, & K.-C. Liu (Eds.), Compulsory Licensing - Practical Experiences and Ways Forward (pp. 333-375). Berlin u.a.: Springer.

The purpose of this chapter is limited to defining the differences of the functions and of the operation of compulsory licences, which typically are available under patent law, on one hand, or, on the other, are imposed as a matter of enforcing the antitrust laws. The thesis of this contribution is that each of patent law’s compulsory licensing rules does (and ought to) follow its own distinct rationale. Their common denominator is that they are specific to the systematic operation of patent protection as an incentive mechanism for innovation. By contrast, competition law constitutes part of the framework regulation of the market. Where its application results in imposing licensing obligations on patentees, it does so in order to correct an unjustified restriction of competition. This remedial function of antitrust-related licensing obligations is complementary to but different from patent law’s rules on compulsory licensing. The different functions of system-supportive or system-intrinsic mandatory licensing rules and competition-related obligations also mean that before introducing new or broadening existing provisions on compulsory licences a proper diagnosis has to be made of the ill that they are supposed to cure.