Intellectual Property Rights in a Fair World Trade System
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Intellectual Property Rights in a Fair World Trade System

Proposals for Reform of TRIPS

Edited by Annette Kur

This important new book constitutes a serious examination of both the positive potential, as well as the deficiencies, of the TRIPS agreement. In the light of their analysis, the editors and their colleagues make a powerful case for wide ranging reforms.
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Chapter 7: Fire and Water Make Steam – Redefining the Role of Competition Law in TRIPS

Jens Schovsbo


Jens Schovsbo1 1. INTRODUCTION This chapter points out the relevance of competition law2 to international issues of Intellectual Property Law (IPR). More concretely, it reflects and supports the IPT proposal for a new Article 8b on the Interface between Intellectual Property Rights and Competition Law. The perspective is international and focused on TRIPS. It is also inherently focused on competition law as seen from an IPR perspective. The examples given will mostly relate to copyright and patents but the perspective is generally “IPR” in its broad TRIPS sense, i.e., including trade marks, designs, plant variety protection, utility models, topographies, trade secrets and geographical indications. EU and US law will be used to provide a baseline for identifying substantive issues of competition law relating to the IPR interface. This approach raises some problems as the political, historical, and practical differences between the “interventionist” EU and the “minimalistic” US competition law approaches are major3 even though they are often also said to be converging (towards the US model).4 The two systems are, nonetheless, The research underlying this chapter was supported by a grant from the Danish Agency for Science, Technology and Innovation. Thanks to my colleagues in the IPT project (especially M. Levin and A. Kur) for many stimulating discussions over the years and to Professor Lisa Ramsey, University of San Diego School of Law, and Professor Thomas Riis, University of Copenhagen, Centre for Information and Innovation Law, for comments on a draft of this chapter. 2 A note on terminology:...

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