Achievements and New Perspectives
European Intellectual Property Institutes Network series
Edited by Christophe Geiger
Chapter 5: Intellectual property and competition law in the information society
The European Commission keeps on insisting in its intellectual property strategies that ‘rigorous application of competition rules’ could counterbalance its intellectual property policy based on strong protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights. The statement presumes that competition is needed in addition to strong exclusive rights, that strong intellectual property laws enable and facilitate market power they are ill equipped to handle with, and that existing competition law could fulfil that function adequately. What kind of values competition law could bring in to intellectual property contexts depends on our construction of competition law and its basic societal functions and objectives. What it should bring in also depends on what in our view is lacking in intellectual property law. The present chapter argues that the reference to competition law as a counterweight to strong intellectual property rights functions as a mere legitimation for the Commission’s proprietarian-minded intellectual property strategy. However, this chapter also elaborates whether EU competition law could be re-imagined to integrate freedom of expression-related values in contexts involving intellectual property rights.
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