This practice note explains the application of competition law to the parallel trade of medicinal products between EU member states. The note sets out the relevant regulatory framework of pharmaceuticals, and examines the limits of intellectual property rights as a means of preventing parallel importation and the application of Articles 101 and 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) to parallel trade in pharmaceuticals. A practical set of behaviours that any dominant pharmaceutical company should avoid, in respect of its supply chain management, is also identified.
A potential tension exists between the rules of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) that aim to promote competition and free movement of goods and services, and the national laws that protect intellectual property (IP) rights. This tension must be kept in mind when drafting or reviewing an agreement or consider a practice related to IP rights.This Practice note examines the principles of EU law that apply to IP rights generally; the application of Article 101 of the TFEU to licences of technology (patents and know-how), trade marks, copyright and computer software; and the application of Article 102 of the TFEU to the exercise of IP rights from a practical perspective.
This Practice note considers the application of UK competition law to transactions involving intellectual property (IP) rights, and to the exercise of IP rights. It examines the principles of EU law that apply to intellectual property rights generally and their relevance in the UK domestic context, going on to consider the application of the Competition Act 1998 and the Enterprise Act 2002 to licences of patents, trade marks, rights in designs, copyright and computer software.