Implications for Developing Countries
Competition law and IP law are two major areas of law governing the market and promoting economic efficiency, consumer welfare, competition, innovation and technology transfer. Although they share the same objectives, the anti-competitive exercise of IPRs through unilateral or collusive conduct may adversely affect competition and innovation, and in fact hinder technology transfer. The negative effects of such exercise are not limited to the territory of one country. They expand to other countries, especially now IP protection is globalized while competition law is still a domestic issue. Applying competition law to control IPR abuses in general, and international technology transfer-related anti-competitive practices in particular, needs to be considered at both domestic and international levels. Issues concerning IPR-related competition law in general, and competition rules regarding technology transfer under the TRIPS Agreement in particular, have been studied from a variety of perspectives for a long time. However, they have been, and will continue to be, controversial issues because of their complexity and the way the issues change over time. They are also one of the most difficult issues in legal studies. Although the competition issue, one of the four so-called Singapore issues, was no longer on the negotiating agenda of the WTO in the Doha Round, it is still a timely and ‘hot’ issue at both domestic and international levels. As IPRs are protected globally by the minimum standards of the TRIPS Agreement, or even the higher standards of TRIPS-plus bilateral or regional agreements, competition law plays a very important role...