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Competition and IP


The use of IP rights has become a real area of focus for the competition authorities and Bristows is recognised as a leading firm in this area.  Over the past 20 years, we have worked on many high profile cases including:

  • Unwired Planet v Huawei, Samsung et al
  • Samsung v Apple and EU Commission v Samsung
  • The Secretary of State for Health v Servier and EU Commission v Servier
  • Nokia v IPCom and EU Commission v IPCom
  • Ericsson v Samsung
  • Intel v VIA Technologies
  • Philips v Ingman.

Several of these matters have been dealt with by the UK’s Court of Appeal and/or have become leading cases.

Drawing on the unparalleled technical knowledge of our firm, we can help IP rich clients navigate the most complex competition issues.  Some of the current issues on which we advise include:

  • Standard Essential Patents (SEPs) and FRAND licensing, including the establishment and licensing rules of patent pools;
  • Competition law in the context of technology innovation and licensing, including the application of the R&D and TTBE Block Exemptions;
  • Complex licensing, R&D and other commercial collaborations involving intellectual property;
  • Patent settlement agreements (including advising on the Commission’s pharma settlement monitoring exercise), and pharma life cycle management / distribution strategies.

Our lawyers have written and spoken on these and related topics widely.  For example, Partner Pat Treacy contributed the competition law chapter in the OUP title "Navigating European pharmaceutical law" (2015), Pat Treacy and Sophie Lawrance contributed the chapter on patent settlement agreements in the OUP title “Intellectual Property and Competition Law: New Frontiers” (2011) and our expertise has recently led to us becoming responsible for the Licensing section of the widely-used practitioner text ‘Butterworths Encyclopaedia of Competition Law’.

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