Assessing IP-related agreements outside the Technology Transfer Block Exemption Regulation
Assessing IP-related agreements outside the Technology Transfer Block Exemption Regulation

The following Competition practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Assessing IP-related agreements outside the Technology Transfer Block Exemption Regulation
  • Other block exemption regulations that may apply to IP-related agreements
  • The Research and Development Block Exemption Regulation
  • The Specialisation Block Exemption Regulation
  • The Vertical Restraints Bock Exemption Regulation
  • Assessment under Article 101 TFEU—general principles and additional safe harbour
  • Introduction
  • Additional safe harbour
  • General considerations under Article 101(1) TFEU
  • General considerations under Article 101(3) TFEU
  • More...

The Technology Transfer Block Exemption (TTBE, Regulation 316/2014) provides a safe harbour for certain intellectual property rights (IPRs) licences—technology transfer agreements—which are potentially restrictive of competition (see further: The technology transfer block exemption).

Where IP-related agreements do not fall under TTBE, this does neither mean that provisions on those agreements infringe Article 101 TFEU. Instead, other block exemption regulations may very well apply. As such, it is worth considering the application of the following block exemptions regulations:

  1. the Research and Development Block Exemption Regulation (the R&D Block Exemption Regulation, Regulation 1217/2010)

  2. the Specialisation Block Exemption Regulation (Regulation 1218/2010), and

  3. the Vertical Restraints Block Exemption Regulation (VRBE, Regulation 330/2010).

Failing that, the IP-related agreement in question will have to be assessed individually under Articles 101(1) and (3) TFEU.

Other block exemption regulations that may apply to IP-related agreements

If IP-related agreements do not fall under the TTBE—be it because they do not qualify as ‘technology transfer agreements’ or because other conditions of the TTBE are not met—they might very well be able to benefit from other block exemption regulations. The TTBE itself stipulates explicitly that the TTBE 'shall not apply to licensing arrangements in research and development agreements which fall within the scope of Regulation (EU) No 1217/2010 or in specialisation agreements which fall within the scope of Regulation (EU) No 1218/2010'. In addition, certain agreements might fall under

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