European Union Considering Changes to IP Licensing Rules

Biotech Boardwalk

The European Commission recently announced that it is considering new competition rules for the assessment of technology transfer agreements. The changes could impact how companies transfer and license patents, know-how and software copyrights.

Under the EU’s current technology licensing regime, a Technology Transfer Block Exemption (TTBER) creates a so-called “safe harbor” for certain agreements deemed to have no anticompetitive effects. For instance, TTBER exempts certain agreements concluded between companies that have limited market power (market share not exceeding 20% for agreements between competitors and 30% for agreements between non-competitors).

As outlined by the Commission, changes to the TTBER would include provisions that lower the market share threshold for certain licensing agreements between non-competitors. In addition, passive sales restrictions between licensees, exclusive grant-back provisions, and no-challenge clauses would no longer fall under the safe harbor of the TTBER

The Commission also plans to revise its guidelines, which are used to…

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