IP and Antitrust

Squaring the Circle: The EU’s Quest for Balance between Antitrust and Intellectual Property Antitrust limits on intellectual property rights Intellectual property rights (IPRs) generally give the creator an exclusive right over the use of his or her creation during a certain period of time, allowing the owner to prevent the unauthorised use of its IP and to exploit it by, inter alia, licensing it to third parties. The importance of the protection and enforcement of these rights has long been recognised by EU law and policy. The Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) and the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union specifically acknowledge the importance of IP protection.1 Numerous policy statements from the European Commission (the Commission) and other European institutions recognise the crucial importance of protecting and enforcing IP to ‘the EU’s ability to stimulate innovation and to compete in the global economy’.2