Cross-border: EuropeThe interface between intellectual property and competition law

There appears to be an inherent conflict between intellectual property and competition law. While IP rights convey exclusive rights to their owners, competition law tries to avoid monopolies and any behaviour by market participants which might be seen as an abuse of power. In practice, this alleged conflict is accepted in virtually all jurisdictions and national laws. In fact, IP law and competition law complement each other and can regulate different aspects of a specific case or situation. The key is to put in place a balanced system which considers the interests not only of applicants and IP owners, but also of third parties and the public.

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