Competition briefing note
On 20 February 2013, the European Commission (Commission) launched a consultation in respect of its proposal to revise the Technology Transfer Block Exemption (TTBE) and associated Technology Transfer Guidelines (Guidelines), which are due to expire 30 April 2014. The Commission's proposal aims to update the current TTBE and Guidelines in order to promote competition, whilst encouraging research and innovation, and facilitating the diffusion of intellectual property.
The proposal as it currently stands preserves a number of key features of the TTBE, such as the principle of automatic exemption against the prohibition on anti-competitive agreements. However, there are a number of changes to the TTBE and Guidelines, including:
- a revision in the scope of the application of the TTBE;
- an extension of the market share thresholds in certain circumstances;
- amendments to the restrictions on passive sales;
- new rules in relation to excluded restrictions, such as "grant backs", and "no challenge" clauses; and
- new guidance on reverse payment settlements and technology patent pools.
The Commission's consultation will end on 17 May 2013. Interested parties are therefore invited to submit their views as soon as possible. The new TTBE and Guidelines are due to enter into force on 1 May 2014, with a one year transitional period.
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