Enforcement on intellectual property issues in the EU will continue, says Bristows’ Treacy
Pat Treacy of Bristows has commented on competition policy and its relationship with intellectual property following EU commissioner Almunia’s speech regarding the comments of FTC commissioner Ohlhausen.
Treacy said that competition policy and its relationship with intellectual property (IP) is the ‘regulators’ topic of the moment’, with ‘regulatory humility’ being the theme of one of the speeches, while the other was quicker to advocate competition law intervention to remedy perceived defects in other mechanisms.
She said: ‘Both mentioned the need for restraint and care in enforcement given possible ramifications for investment and innovation. However, the views of the two as to when intervention is appropriate/necessary appear to diverge.
‘The tone and content of the speeches were markedly different and they are worth reading side by side to appreciate the distinctions. In sum, it seems likely that significant enforcement on IP issues in the EU will continue.’
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In November, a US court gave a significant judgment on the scope of the US ‘fair use’ provision, holding that Google’s acts in relation to the Google Books project constitute fair use.