Cooperation on Intellectual Property and Competition Policy
National competition and intellectual property (IP) authorities can benefit from technical cooperation and information sharing, for example through the signature of Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs).
The discussions leading up to such MOUs have an important role in ensuring 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 the registrability of IP assets. Also, in enforcing anti-trust law, national competition agencies are frequently confronted with IP-related issues.
The scope of the technical cooperation between these authorities may cover:
- Exchange of technical information and knowledge;
- Consultancy services - for the definition of procedural routines, guidelines and standards in the joint treatment of mergers or anti-competitive practices which involve IP;
- Studies - on the relationship and interface between IP and antitrust;
- Training - of human resources on relevant IP and competition policy issues;
- Promotion and information dissemination - covering standards and principles of IP and free competition, and functions of both authorities among consumers and users of their services;
- Drafting of 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 cooperation agreements. For more information, contact us.