The following Competition practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:
STOP PRESS—On 10 May 2022, the Commission adopted a new Vertical Block Exemption Regulation (Commission Regulation 2022/720) (EU VBER). The new EU VBER replaces the previous Regulation on 1 June 2022. This Practice Note will be updated shortly to reflect the new laws.
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:
the Research and Development Block Exemption Regulation (the R&D Block Exemption Regulation, Regulation 1217/2010)
the Specialisation Block Exemption Regulation (Regulation 1218/2010), and
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.
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
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