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Settlement Agreements in Patent Litigation, American lessons for a European context

Joze Zomorodian, Aria LU (2012) JURM01 20121
Department of Law
Abstract (Swedish)
Förlikningsavtal i patenttvister ligger i brytpunkten mellan patenträtten och konkurrensrätten. Patent är ett lagligt monopol som ges som belöning till innovativa företag för väl utfört värv, medan konkurrensrätten strävar efter att begränsa eller förhindra den skada ett monopol utgör för marknaden. Förlikningsavtal med omvänd betalning kan antingen ses som ett legitimt sätt för en patentinnehavare att bibehålla sitt lagliga monopol, eller som ett sätt för två kartellmedlemmar att dela på monopolförtjänsten. I USA har man ett 20 år långt försprång att försöka hitta en balans i mellan dessa ibland motsatta intressen, jämfört med Europa. Amerikanska domstolar har tillåtit dessa förlikningsavtal, under myndigheternas ljudliga protester. I... (More)
Förlikningsavtal i patenttvister ligger i brytpunkten mellan patenträtten och konkurrensrätten. Patent är ett lagligt monopol som ges som belöning till innovativa företag för väl utfört värv, medan konkurrensrätten strävar efter att begränsa eller förhindra den skada ett monopol utgör för marknaden. Förlikningsavtal med omvänd betalning kan antingen ses som ett legitimt sätt för en patentinnehavare att bibehålla sitt lagliga monopol, eller som ett sätt för två kartellmedlemmar att dela på monopolförtjänsten. I USA har man ett 20 år långt försprång att försöka hitta en balans i mellan dessa ibland motsatta intressen, jämfört med Europa. Amerikanska domstolar har tillåtit dessa förlikningsavtal, under myndigheternas ljudliga protester. I Europa har inget fall gått till domstol än, men EU Kommissionen betraktar dessa avtal med skepsis. Detta arbete undersöker förlikningsavtalens natur och regleringen som omger dem, på båda sidor Atlanten. Jag kommer visa på att det finns fler likheter än olikheter mellan amerikansk och europeisk konkurrensrätt, och komma till slutsatsen att förlikningsavtal som innehåller en värde överföring från patentinnehavaren och begränsar det generiska företagets marknadsintroduktion kan strida mot EU:s konkurrenspolicy, och därmed även art. 101 TFEU. (Less)
Abstract
Patent settlement agreements lie in the intersection of patent rights and competition law. Patents are legal monopolies that are given to innovators as a reward for their findings, and competition law strives to limit the harm monopolies do to the market. Patent settlements in which the patent holder pays the generic manufacturer a not to market a competitive and possible infringing product, can either be seen as a legitimate way for a patentee to retain their legal monopoly, or as a way for a monopolist to share his monopoly earnings with a cartel member. In the US, Courts and authorities have had a head start of 20 years to achieve a balance between these views compared to Europe. Courts have allowed these settlements under the... (More)
Patent settlement agreements lie in the intersection of patent rights and competition law. Patents are legal monopolies that are given to innovators as a reward for their findings, and competition law strives to limit the harm monopolies do to the market. Patent settlements in which the patent holder pays the generic manufacturer a not to market a competitive and possible infringing product, can either be seen as a legitimate way for a patentee to retain their legal monopoly, or as a way for a monopolist to share his monopoly earnings with a cartel member. In the US, Courts and authorities have had a head start of 20 years to achieve a balance between these views compared to Europe. Courts have allowed these settlements under the authorities protests. In Europe no case has gone before the court yet, but the European Commission regards these agreements with concern. This thesis engages in an inquiry into the nature of patent settlements and the legal framework that surrounds them, on both sides of the Atlantic. I will show that there are more similarities than differences between US antitrust and European competition law, reaching the conclusion that the use of settlements that include a value transfer from a patent holder and limits generic entry can be in conflict with competition policy, and therefore also art. 101 TFEU. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Joze Zomorodian, Aria LU
supervisor
organization
alternative title
Förlikningsavtal i patenttvister, Amerikanska lärdomar i en Europeisk kontext
course
JURM01 20121
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
Patent litigation settlements, competition law, antitrust law
language
English
id
2374456
date added to LUP
2012-05-29 15:15:35
date last changed
2012-05-29 15:15:35
@misc{2374456,
  abstract     = {Patent settlement agreements lie in the intersection of patent rights and competition law. Patents are legal monopolies that are given to innovators as a reward for their findings, and competition law strives to limit the harm monopolies do to the market. Patent settlements in which the patent holder pays the generic manufacturer a not to market a competitive and possible infringing product, can either be seen as a legitimate way for a patentee to retain their legal monopoly, or as a way for a monopolist to share his monopoly earnings with a cartel member. In the US, Courts and authorities have had a head start of 20 years to achieve a balance between these views compared to Europe. Courts have allowed these settlements under the authorities protests. In Europe no case has gone before the court yet, but the European Commission regards these agreements with concern. This thesis engages in an inquiry into the nature of patent settlements and the legal framework that surrounds them, on both sides of the Atlantic. I will show that there are more similarities than differences between US antitrust and European competition law, reaching the conclusion that the use of settlements that include a value transfer from a patent holder and limits generic entry can be in conflict with competition policy, and therefore also art. 101 TFEU.},
  author       = {Joze Zomorodian, Aria},
  keyword      = {Patent litigation settlements,competition law,antitrust law},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Settlement Agreements in Patent Litigation, American lessons for a European context},
  year         = {2012},
}