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This article discusses the legal and economic foundations, as well as the practical implications of the Commission's proposal for a new technology transfer block exemption regulation ("TTBER'') and associated Guidelines.

The article concludes that the new TTBER brings desirable flexibility to the assessment of the competitive effects of technology licensing agreements by abolishing the current division of the clauses into four categories of exempted, white, black and grey clauses. The Commission's proposal is also praised for extending the scope of the Regulation to software copyright licences and for exempting some efficiency-enhancing restrictions that currently fall outside of the TTBER. The article, however, adopts a critical stand towards market share ceilings that the new TTBER introduces and criticises the overly stringent approach that the Commission adopts towards licensing between competitors. Finally, the article discusses some implications of the tightening of the rules on territorial restrictions. The article suggests alternatives, which, according to the authors, would lead to a more effective regulatory framework and to more efficient dissemination of new technologies.


Intellectual Property Law | Law | Science and Technology Law


Reprinted from World Competition, Volume 26, Issue 4, December 2003, pp. 541-565, with permission of Kluwer Law International