4iP News

Are restrictions on patent law necessary and meaningful? New report.

25 October 2016

4iP Council today announces the publication of new research on restrictions to patent enforcement.

The public policy discussions on the value and importance of intellectual property rights (IPR) are increasing and in parallel policymakers are considering limiting the owner’s rights to enforce their IPR. In Europe, the discussion started on copyrights, to allow users to have easier and free access to protected content on the Internet, to the disadvantage of the creator. Driven by patents, which are essential for a technical standard (SEP), IPRs have become more and more the focus of the discussion. And today’s discussion on potential abuse of IPR is going beyond those SEP. The enforcement of any IPR by its owner is considered by some as abuse of the patent system, which is not in line with European Competition Law.

This article critically analyses the arguments put forward that the patent and its enforcement limit competition, differentiating between SEP and non-SEP. It further analyses the potential need for regulatory intervention in the litigation system and the expected consequences of such potential intervention on competition, investments, research and development activities and innovation.

The existing patent and litigation system in both Germany and Europe protects fair competition, fosters investment in research and development, and encourages innovation. It allows the inventor to protect his invention against free-riding. Potential abuse of the patent system happens sporadically and is controlled by the existing instruments of the German and European legislation. Courts have at their disposal sufficient instruments to avoid potential abuse of the patent system on the national and European level.

This work is an english summary developed by 4iP Council of an article by Prof. Klaus Melullis which appears in the “Mitteilungen der Deutschen Patentanwälte” 107.

Read the article here