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Abuse of Intellectual Property Rights Under EC Law- with special emphasis on abuse of a dominant position.

Krützén, Agneta (2001)
Department of Law
Abstract
Intellectual property rights are, usually nationally granted, rights conferring a monopoly-like position on their holder. Because of their very nature being exclusive and national, intellectual property rights can come in conflict with the Treaty provisions on the single market and can also restrict competition within the Community. At the same time it is recognised that intellectual property rights are effective ways of stimulating innovation and, essentially, lead to economic growth. Article 295 of the Treaty states that ''the Treaty shall in no way prejudice the rules in the Member States governing the system of property ownership''. Therefore there is no arguing that according to the Treaty, the existence of intellectual property... (More)
Intellectual property rights are, usually nationally granted, rights conferring a monopoly-like position on their holder. Because of their very nature being exclusive and national, intellectual property rights can come in conflict with the Treaty provisions on the single market and can also restrict competition within the Community. At the same time it is recognised that intellectual property rights are effective ways of stimulating innovation and, essentially, lead to economic growth. Article 295 of the Treaty states that ''the Treaty shall in no way prejudice the rules in the Member States governing the system of property ownership''. Therefore there is no arguing that according to the Treaty, the existence of intellectual property rights is legitimate, and that it leaves the granting of protection of the rights to the individual Member States in the absence of a Community legislative framework. Because of the clash between the Treaty and nationally granted intellectual property rights, there has been a need to establish where the line is to be drawn between the lawful use and the abuse of the rights in the Community. This has been done on a case-by-case basis by the Community courts, and lead to the establishment of the existence/exercise doctrine and the doctrine of the specific subject-matter. The essential meaning of the existence/exercise and specific subject-matter doctrines is that although the Treaty protects the existence of intellectual property rights as such, the exercise of those rights may fall under the scrutiny of Community law if they are exercised in a manner contrary to the Treaty goals. The exercise of a right is only protected in so far as the specific subject-matter, or core, of the right is upheld. Through the case law of the courts, the outlines of what will be deemed allowed and abusive conduct on the part of intellectual property holders have evolved. This thesis deals with the identification of abuse of intellectual property rights, as can be ascertained by the case law of the courts, mainly in relation to cases where intellectual property rights have been used to the detriment of intra-Community competition. The greatest emphasis is put on intellectual property cases in relation to Article 82&semic when an undertaking has abused its dominant position in a certain market. Because of the lack of unified Community legislation on what exactly intellectual property protection should entail, a case-by-case approach has been necessary. Because of this and the use of the existence/exercise and specific subject-matter doctrines the Community courts have often been able to base their judgments on policy. There has been, especially from the Commission, a tendency of viewing intellectual property rights as essential facilities to which undertakings not in possession of such rights should be able to gain access. Although the essential facilities doctrine seemingly fits in on the monopolistic position intellectual property rights give their owner, applying the essential facility doctrine too readily would mean not recognising the very idea behind intellectual property protection&semic the guarantee for future revenue on the investments of time and effort that the exclusivity of right means. (Less)
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author
Krützén, Agneta
supervisor
organization
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
Konkurrensrätt, EG-rätt, Immaterialrätt
language
English
id
1559266
date added to LUP
2010-03-08 15:55:23
date last changed
2010-03-08 15:55:23
@misc{1559266,
  abstract     = {Intellectual property rights are, usually nationally granted, rights conferring a monopoly-like position on their holder. Because of their very nature being exclusive and national, intellectual property rights can come in conflict with the Treaty provisions on the single market and can also restrict competition within the Community. At the same time it is recognised that intellectual property rights are effective ways of stimulating innovation and, essentially, lead to economic growth. Article 295 of the Treaty states that ''the Treaty shall in no way prejudice the rules in the Member States governing the system of property ownership''. Therefore there is no arguing that according to the Treaty, the existence of intellectual property rights is legitimate, and that it leaves the granting of protection of the rights to the individual Member States in the absence of a Community legislative framework. Because of the clash between the Treaty and nationally granted intellectual property rights, there has been a need to establish where the line is to be drawn between the lawful use and the abuse of the rights in the Community. This has been done on a case-by-case basis by the Community courts, and lead to the establishment of the existence/exercise doctrine and the doctrine of the specific subject-matter. The essential meaning of the existence/exercise and specific subject-matter doctrines is that although the Treaty protects the existence of intellectual property rights as such, the exercise of those rights may fall under the scrutiny of Community law if they are exercised in a manner contrary to the Treaty goals. The exercise of a right is only protected in so far as the specific subject-matter, or core, of the right is upheld. Through the case law of the courts, the outlines of what will be deemed allowed and abusive conduct on the part of intellectual property holders have evolved. This thesis deals with the identification of abuse of intellectual property rights, as can be ascertained by the case law of the courts, mainly in relation to cases where intellectual property rights have been used to the detriment of intra-Community competition. The greatest emphasis is put on intellectual property cases in relation to Article 82&semic when an undertaking has abused its dominant position in a certain market. Because of the lack of unified Community legislation on what exactly intellectual property protection should entail, a case-by-case approach has been necessary. Because of this and the use of the existence/exercise and specific subject-matter doctrines the Community courts have often been able to base their judgments on policy. There has been, especially from the Commission, a tendency of viewing intellectual property rights as essential facilities to which undertakings not in possession of such rights should be able to gain access. Although the essential facilities doctrine seemingly fits in on the monopolistic position intellectual property rights give their owner, applying the essential facility doctrine too readily would mean not recognising the very idea behind intellectual property protection&semic the guarantee for future revenue on the investments of time and effort that the exclusivity of right means.},
  author       = {Krützén, Agneta},
  keyword      = {Konkurrensrätt,EG-rätt,Immaterialrätt},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Abuse of Intellectual Property Rights Under EC Law- with special emphasis on abuse of a dominant position.},
  year         = {2001},
}