Draft proposal for a revised block exemption for technology transfer agreements and guidelines
Document No: PUB 20L/13
The European Commission launched on 20 February 2013 a public consultation on anti-trust rules on technology licensing. The objective of the consultation was stated as follows:
In the meaning of the EU competition rules, a technology transfer agreement is a licensing agreement where one party (the licensor) authorises another party or parties, the licensee(s), to use its technology (patent, know-how, software license) for the production of goods and services.
The rules on how to assess technology transfer agreements are set out in two instruments, the technology transfer block exemption regulation (“TTBER”) and accompanying Guidelines. The TTBER exempts certain categories of licensing agreements concluded between companies that have limited market power and that respect certain conditions set out in the TTBER. Such agreements are deemed to have no anticompetitive effects or, if they do, the positive effects outweigh the negative ones. The Guidelines provide guidance on the application of the TTBER as well as on the application of EU competition law to technology transfer agreements that fall outside the safe harbour of the TTBER.
These instruments will expire on 30 April 2014. The Commission has now drafted a proposal for a revised TTBER and Guidelines. The current consultation is seeking stakeholders’ views on this proposal.