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European Competition Law and Intellectual Property Rights

, 28 May 2009 – 29 May 2009
(simultaneous interpretation)
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The objective of this conference is to provide practitioners with an analysis of the relationship between competition law (Article 81 and 82 EC Treaty, block exemptions, joint ventures, distribution and franchising agreements, licensing) and intellectual property law (patent, copyright, trademarks, technology transfer, know-how, trade secrets, litigation settlement agreement, etc.).

It is a long-standing principle that EC competition law can in no manner affect the existence of IP rights, but that the conditions for exercise of the latter must be in conformity with the requirements of competition law. Over the last ten years intellectual property protection has seen a growth in demand for registered rights, as well as an expansion of its scope and a mutation of its nature.

The development of medical, data-processing and media techniques reveals, besides the “traditional” intellectual property rights, the need for more sophisticated forms of protection. Competition law has also changed through its case law, its procedural modernisation by Regulation 1/2003 - leading to an emphasis on block exemptions which have substantially affected licensing - and a shift from legal analysis to an economic-based approach to defining and assessing restrictions on competition. As both areas of law developed and extended their scope of application, it is not astonishing that intellectual property law is regarded ever more through the prism of competition law.

The conference will also discuss proceedings involving intellectual property rights and competition law.

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