Abuse of Intellectual Property Rights to be Prohibited
05 May 2015
The State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) recently issued its Provisions on the Prohibition of Abuse of Intellectual Property Rights to Eliminate or Restrict Competition, which will take effect on 1 August.
In recent years, the abuse of intellectual property rights to eliminate or restrict competition has attracted the attention of anti-monopoly enforcement bodies. SAIC conducted in-depth investigation to systematically study domestic and international practice and legal provisions, formulated and issued the Provisions to further implement the relevant requirements of the Anti-monopoly Law on the basis of widely solicited views of the community, regulate enforcement by industry and commerce administrative authorities, and guide businesses to exercise intellectual property rights by law.
With 19 articles, the Provisions cover mainly six aspects:
First, the purpose and basis of formulating the Provisions. As per the power vested in it, the SAIC is obliged to provide explanations for concepts relating to the abuse of intellectual property rights, not involving price, to eliminate or restrict competition, and related markets.
Second, the Provisions prohibit business operators from reaching monopolistic agreements by means of exercising their intellectual property rights. At the same time, the Provisions also provide for “safe harbour” thresholds.
Third, the Provisions prohibit business operators that have a dominant market position from abusing such position in the course of exercising their intellectual property rights. The Provisions also clarify the relevant factors in determining and presuming whether an undertaking is dominant, and prohibit specific acts of abusing intellectual property rights.
Fourth, the Provisions clearly define specific situations that may constitute monopolistic behaviour in exercising intellectual property rights governed in patent pools and standards.
Fifth, the Provisions make clear principles and framework of analysis of anti-trust enforcement by industry and commerce administrative authorities in the field of intellectual property rights.
Sixth, the Provisions set forth penalties for the abuse of intellectual property rights to eliminate or restrict competition based on the Anti-monopoly Law.
SAIC official said that industry and commerce administrative authorities will, on the basis of their duties, be increasing efforts to implement the Anti-monopoly Law and its supporting regulations, effectively maintaining the market competition order, bring into play the fundamental role in encouraging innovation and competition in the market, and create a favorable market environment for mass entrepreneurship and mass innovation.
- Mainland China
- Mainland China