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Tvångslicensiering av upphovsrätter

Hallmer, Malin LU (2011) JURM01 20111
Department of Law
Abstract (Swedish)
Tvångslicensieringar av upphovsrätter har kallats kontroversiella eftersom de går emot immaterialrättens grundläggande intressen avseende att innehavaren erhåller en ensamrätt vilken denne/denna själv bestämmer och förfogar över. Vid en tvångslicensiering måste en innehavare av en upphovsrätt, mot sin vilja ingå avtal med en konkurrent som vill få tillgång till upphovsrätten. Ett företags vägran att licensiera ut sin skyddade upphovsrätt kan i vissa fall utgöra ett missbruk av en dominerande ställning enligt art. 102 EUF-fördraget. I dessa situationer ställs immaterialrättens monopolbyggande mot konkurrensrättens intresse av att skydda den fria konkurrensen på marknaden och skydda konsumenterna. Detta examensarbete har utrett... (More)
Tvångslicensieringar av upphovsrätter har kallats kontroversiella eftersom de går emot immaterialrättens grundläggande intressen avseende att innehavaren erhåller en ensamrätt vilken denne/denna själv bestämmer och förfogar över. Vid en tvångslicensiering måste en innehavare av en upphovsrätt, mot sin vilja ingå avtal med en konkurrent som vill få tillgång till upphovsrätten. Ett företags vägran att licensiera ut sin skyddade upphovsrätt kan i vissa fall utgöra ett missbruk av en dominerande ställning enligt art. 102 EUF-fördraget. I dessa situationer ställs immaterialrättens monopolbyggande mot konkurrensrättens intresse av att skydda den fria konkurrensen på marknaden och skydda konsumenterna. Detta examensarbete har utrett bedömningsgrunderna i mål om tvångslicensiering samt vilka konsekvenser som kan uppkomma. Dessutom har särskilt fokus lagts på teorin om nödvändiga nyttigheters betydelse och inverkan i mål om licensvägran.

På EU-rättslig nivå har i rättspraxis utvecklats olika bedömningsgrunder för när en immaterialrätt kan licensieras ut. Förutsatt att särskilda omständigheter föreligger kan en tvångslicensiering medges. Vilka dessa särskilda omständigheter är, är dock inte helt entydigt enligt praxis. Efter IMS Health-målet existerade fyra kumulativa kriterier som skulle tas hänsyn till vid bedömningen av en licensvägran. I Microsoft-målet uttalade sig kommissionen om att andra omständigheter än de som var fastslagna i IMS Health-målet kunde tas i beaktning. I förstainstansrättens prövning av målet kom kriterierna i IMS Health-målet att vara de som bedömningen utgick från i första hand. Dessa ansågs uppfyllda varför de övriga omständigheterna inte prövades. Microsoft-målet gick inte till EU-domstolen, så innan ett uttalande från denna ges avseende vilka bedömningsgrunder som ska gälla torde det fortfarande vara något oklart.

I förhållande till bedömningsgrunden har en teori kallad teorin om nödvändiga nyttigheter varit mycket omdiskuterad och omskriven. Enligt vissa utgör teorin och tankarna i den, förklaringen till bedömningsgrunden i mål om tvångslicensiering och de särskilda omständigheterna medan andra anser att de särskilda omständigheterna kan förklaras utan att ta stöd i teorin. Inom den amerikanska rätten, från vilken teorin påstås har uppkommit har The Supreme Court ansett att den varken behöver erkänna eller förkasta teorin, dess betydelse inom den amerikanska rätten torde därmed inte vara allt för stor. Inom EU-rätten blir istället slutsatsen att teorin möjligen haft en viss betydelse avseende de särskilda omständigheternas framväxt i förhållande till det första målet på området, Magill-målet, men att den inte längre har stor betydelse. Dessutom konstateras att oavsett vilken utgångspunkt som väljes för att förklara de särskilda omständigheterna så torde konsekvenserna av en tvångslicensiering bli desamma.

De konsekvenser som torde kunna uppkomma vid en tvångslicensiering har påståtts vara att innovationsincitamenten för både företaget som tvingas licensiera ut sin upphovsrätt och det företag som får ta del av upphovsrätten kan minska. Detta eftersom företaget som innehar den dominerande ställningen inte kommer att välja att satsa på innovation om det vet att det måste dela med sig av det som utvecklats eller framtagits. För företaget som erhåller licensen blir det också lättare och mindre ekonomiskt betungande att istället för att satsa på utveckling av egna produkter få tillgång till information etc. genom en tvångslicensiering. Att domstolar och konkurrensmyndigheter genom tvångslicensieringar får en möjlighet att ompröva upphovsrätter har också påståtts utgöra en konsekvens av tvångslicensieringar. I de mål där en tvångslicensiering varit för handen, Magill-målet, IMS Health-målet samt Microsoft-målet har dock inte upphovsrättskyddet varit så starkt. Slutsatsen är därför att så länge tvångslicensieringar av upphovsrätter inte införs på bred front kan det möjligen vara ett bra sätt att komma åt ett missbruk av en dominerande ställning. Dock är det svårt att förutse vilka konsekvenser detta faktiskt skulle få för innovationsincitamenten för företag och om det skulle vara bättre för konsumenterna. (Less)
Abstract
Compulsory licensing of copyrights has been called controversial since it goes against the main interest and goals of intellectual property rights, which is that a right holder has the right to choose how to use his intellectual property right. When a compulsory license is granted the right holder has to share his protected copyright with competitors which has demanded access to the copyright. A company's refusal to license their protected copyright can in some cases constitute an abuse of dominant position under Art. 102 TFEU. In these situations the interest of intellectual property rights, being that they create monopolies, and the goals of competition law which are protecting the free market competition and protect consumers are not... (More)
Compulsory licensing of copyrights has been called controversial since it goes against the main interest and goals of intellectual property rights, which is that a right holder has the right to choose how to use his intellectual property right. When a compulsory license is granted the right holder has to share his protected copyright with competitors which has demanded access to the copyright. A company's refusal to license their protected copyright can in some cases constitute an abuse of dominant position under Art. 102 TFEU. In these situations the interest of intellectual property rights, being that they create monopolies, and the goals of competition law which are protecting the free market competition and protect consumers are not always in line. This thesis investigated the assessment criteria in cases concerning compulsory licensing of copyrights and the consequences that may arise. In addition, particular emphasis has been placed on the so called essential facilities doctrine, to investigate whether this doctrine has had any influence in relation to the assessment criteria in cases regarding compulsory licensing.

Within the EC law, different criteria have been developed to determine when an out-licensing of a copyright is possible. If exceptional circumstances are at hand a compulsory license can be granted. Which these circumstances are, are however not clear according to case-law. After the IMS Health- case four criteria existed which needed to be considered when deciding if a compulsory license could be granted or not, However after the Microsoft-case the Commission stated that other circumstances could be part of the assement. But when the Court of First instance tried the case, it stated that the criteria established in the IMS Health- case should be tried first before considering other circumstances. In the Microsoft-case the four criteria from The IMS Health- case were met, so the other circumstances proposed by the Commission were not taken into account. The ECJ never tried the case, and before this court has made a statement of which circumstances should be part of the assessment it cannot be certain which the exceptional circumstances are.

A theory called the essential facilities doctrine has been widely debated in relation to compulsory licenses. According to some the essential facilities doctrine is used in judgments regarding compulsory licensing and that the essential facilities doctrine is the base for the exceptional circumstances. The doctrine allegedly has its origin in the American anti trust law, but the Supreme Court has now stated that the doctrine neither needs to be accepted or rejected. Its significance in US law is there for probably not that great. Within the EC law the conclusion is that the essential facilities doctrine might have had some influence for the formation of the exceptional circumstances in the Magill-case, but now it has lost its significance. It is also noted that whatever the basis are for explaining the exceptional circumstances, the potential consequences of compulsory licensing remain the same.

The consequences of compulsory licensing has been stated to be that the incentives to innovate of both the company who are forced to license their copyrights and the company that get access to the copyright can be reduced. This since the company that holds the dominant position will not choose to invest in innovation if it knows that it might have to share the developed products. For the company receiving the license it is also less financially burdensome that instead of investing in the development of new products, it can get access to information through a compulsory license. Another consequence has been stated to be that the courts and competition authorities through compulsory licensing get an opportunity to reconsider and reevaluate the copyright protection. However in the three cases from the EC courts, the Magill -case, the IMS Health- case and the Microsoft- case the copyright has not been strong. It is therefore concluded that as long as compulsory licensing of copyrights are not imposed lightly but only in cases when exceptional circumstances exists it could possibly be a good way to control an abuse of a dominant position. However, it is difficult to predict what consequences this would actually have on the innovation incentives for companies and whether it would be better for consumers. (Less)
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author
Hallmer, Malin LU
supervisor
organization
alternative title
Compulsory licensing of copyright
course
JURM01 20111
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
Immaterialrätt, Konkurrensrätt, Upphovsrätt, Tvångslicensiering
language
Swedish
id
1975194
date added to LUP
2011-06-08 10:15:38
date last changed
2011-06-08 10:15:38
@misc{1975194,
  abstract     = {Compulsory licensing of copyrights has been called controversial since it goes against the main interest and goals of intellectual property rights, which is that a right holder has the right to choose how to use his intellectual property right. When a compulsory license is granted the right holder has to share his protected copyright with competitors which has demanded access to the copyright. A company's refusal to license their protected copyright can in some cases constitute an abuse of dominant position under Art. 102 TFEU. In these situations the interest of intellectual property rights, being that they create monopolies, and the goals of competition law which are protecting the free market competition and protect consumers are not always in line. This thesis investigated the assessment criteria in cases concerning compulsory licensing of copyrights and the consequences that may arise. In addition, particular emphasis has been placed on the so called essential facilities doctrine, to investigate whether this doctrine has had any influence in relation to the assessment criteria in cases regarding compulsory licensing.

Within the EC law, different criteria have been developed to determine when an out-licensing of a copyright is possible. If exceptional circumstances are at hand a compulsory license can be granted. Which these circumstances are, are however not clear according to case-law. After the IMS Health- case four criteria existed which needed to be considered when deciding if a compulsory license could be granted or not, However after the Microsoft-case the Commission stated that other circumstances could be part of the assement. But when the Court of First instance tried the case, it stated that the criteria established in the IMS Health- case should be tried first before considering other circumstances. In the Microsoft-case the four criteria from The IMS Health- case were met, so the other circumstances proposed by the Commission were not taken into account. The ECJ never tried the case, and before this court has made a statement of which circumstances should be part of the assessment it cannot be certain which the exceptional circumstances are.

A theory called the essential facilities doctrine has been widely debated in relation to compulsory licenses. According to some the essential facilities doctrine is used in judgments regarding compulsory licensing and that the essential facilities doctrine is the base for the exceptional circumstances. The doctrine allegedly has its origin in the American anti trust law, but the Supreme Court has now stated that the doctrine neither needs to be accepted or rejected. Its significance in US law is there for probably not that great. Within the EC law the conclusion is that the essential facilities doctrine might have had some influence for the formation of the exceptional circumstances in the Magill-case, but now it has lost its significance. It is also noted that whatever the basis are for explaining the exceptional circumstances, the potential consequences of compulsory licensing remain the same.

The consequences of compulsory licensing has been stated to be that the incentives to innovate of both the company who are forced to license their copyrights and the company that get access to the copyright can be reduced. This since the company that holds the dominant position will not choose to invest in innovation if it knows that it might have to share the developed products. For the company receiving the license it is also less financially burdensome that instead of investing in the development of new products, it can get access to information through a compulsory license. Another consequence has been stated to be that the courts and competition authorities through compulsory licensing get an opportunity to reconsider and reevaluate the copyright protection.  However in the three cases from the EC courts, the Magill -case, the IMS Health- case and the Microsoft- case the copyright has not been strong. It is therefore concluded that as long as compulsory licensing of copyrights are not imposed lightly but only in cases when exceptional circumstances exists it could possibly be a good way to control an abuse of a dominant position. However, it is difficult to predict what consequences this would actually have on the innovation incentives for companies and whether it would be better for consumers.},
  author       = {Hallmer, Malin},
  keyword      = {Immaterialrätt,Konkurrensrätt,Upphovsrätt,Tvångslicensiering},
  language     = {swe},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Tvångslicensiering av upphovsrätter},
  year         = {2011},
}