National competition and IP authorities in and have recently signed Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) concerning technical cooperation and information sharing.
The discussions leading up to the signing of such MOUs are important to ensure that both authorities understand the interaction between IP and competition law and the risks associated with too much or too little IP. For example, in many countries, IP standards are established by parliaments, but IP authorities invariably keep a broad authority of discretion in assessing registrability. Also, in enforcing antitrust law, national competition agencies are frequently confronted with IP-related issues.
The scope of the technical cooperation outlined in MOUs between these authorities may cover:
- Exchange of technical information and knowledge between the respective technical bodies;
- Consultancy services - for the definition of procedural routines, guidelines and standards in the joint treatment of mergers or anti-competitive practices which involve intellectual property;
- Studies - on the relationship and interface between intellectual property and antitrust;
- Training - of human resources from both entities on IP and competition policy issues deemed relevant;
- Promotion and information dissemination¨C of the standards and principles of IP and free competition, or publicizing the respective functions of both authorities among consumers and users of their services
- Draft proposed regulations - on the basis of analyses and studies, which lead, within the scope of the Agreement, to integrated measures for case resolution.
WIPO can assist IP offices from member states in developing such agreements.
For more information, contact us.