Tuesday, February 03, 2004

Robert Horvitz (Global Internet Policy Initiative) sent:
Technology licensing reforms draw scepticism
Ingrid Hering, London - 01 February 2004
Managing Intellectual Property (MIP Week)

The European Commission's proposed reforms to its technology licensing
rules have failed to win the backing of industry and the intellectual
property community.

Submissions to the Commission suggest that though the need for reform
has support, there is apprehension that the proposals will instead make
licensing more expensive and cumbersome, stifling innovation and
clouding legal certainty.

The Commission wants to overhaul the Technology Transfer Block Exemption
Regulation to streamline licensing and modernize competition aspects.

The American Bar Association's antitrust, business law, IP law, and
international law and practice sections queried several aspects of the
proposals, such as the use of market share thresholds.

"Market share thresholds may not lead to greater legal certainty, given
the difficulty of measuring market shares and limited utility of market
shares in dynamic, technology-driven markets where the future is
uncertain and market definitions often change quickly."

The International Chamber of Commerce UK suggests that more time is
needed to tackle the issues and any changes should be postponed until
the existing Regulation expires in 2007.

The Chamber is concerned that the revisions will mean "a large part of
the onus of working out the acceptability or otherwise of licensing
arrangements under the EC competitions rules will fall on the business
community and judges in national courts"...

The revised rules are due to come into effect next year, when they will
be relevant for any newly signed agreements. Existing agreements, drawn
up under the current regime, are valid until October 2005, by which time
they must comply with the new rules.

To view the submissions:

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