Almunia’s speech


Competition policy and its relationship with IP is the regulators’ topic of the moment. EU Commissioner Almunia chimed in today (9 December – see here) following the comments of FTC Commissioner Ohlhausen on 4 December (see here). Regulatory humility was the theme of one of the speeches, the other was quicker to advocate competition law intervention to remedy perceived defects in other mechanisms (in the case in point, where SSOs are said not to be acting quickly to limit recourse to injunctive relief for SEPs). Both mentioned the need for restraint and care in enforcement given possible ramifications for investment and innovation. However, the views of the two as to when intervention is appropriate/necessary appear to diverge. The tone and content of the speeches were markedly different and they are worth reading side by side to appreciate the distinctions. In sum, it seems likely that significant enforcement on IP issues in the EU will continue.