The following Competition practice note Produced in partnership with Bristows LLP provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:
Intellectual property (IP) agreements relating to, for example, licensing of technology and for the joint development of new technology, may have a restrictive effect on competition. However the pro-competitive benefits are recognised in block exemptions that provide a ‘safe harbour’ from the application of Article 101 TFEU. For agreements falling neatly within a block exemption, only a very cursory examination of Article 101 TFEU issues is needed. Unfortunately, several block exemptions may be potentially applicable and also identifying whether an agreement is definitely within a safe harbour can be difficult—a more practical approach to most commercial arrangements may be necessary.
All block exemptions have a broadly similar structure. Familiarity with the overall structure will help in applying the rules. First the block exemption has a set of recitals, which explain broadly what its purpose is. These are supplemented by a definitions section. In practical terms, it is sensible to pay considerable attention to both the recitals and the definitions—they can be crucial in understanding the correct approach to applying the block exemption. The precise scope of the ‘safe harbour’ is then described—what sort of agreements are covered and between what sort of undertakings? To fall clearly within the safe harbour the parties will need to meet certain market share thresholds and must also refrain from including any 'hardcore clause' in the agreement. If they include
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An ad hoc arbitration is any arbitration in which the parties have not selected an institution to administer the arbitration. This offers parties flexibility as to the conduct of the arbitration, but less external support for the process. It can be quicker than institutional arbitration but not if
For guidance on the basic features of the doctrine of estoppel and the different classifications it has been subject to, see Practice Note: Estoppel—what, when and how to plead and related content.Promissory estoppel—what is it?Where A has, by words or conduct, made to B a clear and unequivocal
Definition of automatismAn act is done in a state of automatism if it is done by the body without control by the mind, (eg it is a spasm or a reflex), or if it is done by a person who is not conscious of what they are doing. The act may be described as involuntary, but will not be regarded as such
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