Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Does IP trump competition?

Which?Which? has sent an excellent letter to the European Commission's Directorate-General on Competition (via A2K). It asks for clarification of how intellectual property monopolies will be regulated under competition law, which I have always thought is a key way to keep IP under control:

We believe that the time is ripe for competition authorities to start shaping the intellectual property rights regime to ensure that it protects innovation without unnecessarily thwarting competition and overcharging consumers.

We would be grateful if the Commission could clarify the extent to which competition rules apply to products carrying intellectual property rights and which rules it considers being superior when there appears to be a conflict between the two regimes.

Competition lawyers and economists are some of the smartest people you ever meet!

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