Article originally published in Concurrences, N° 3-2009 (September 2009)
PROCEED WITH CAUTION ACROSS THE IP/COMPETITION INTERSECTION
DG Competition’s release of its long-awaited Final Report on its Pharmaceutical Sector Inquiry on 8 July 2009 was somewhat of a damp squib compared to the fireworks surrounding the publication of its Interim Report some eight months earlier. The release of the Interim Report in November 2008 was a Brussels media event, with press briefings, press releases, and an all-day public hearing that was covered by the Commission’s live television channel. The Interim Report elicited vociferous criticism from the pharmaceutical industry. Innovative pharmaceutical companies – or “originator ” companies to use the Report’s terminology – were concerned that practices that they deemed to be critical to the protection of their patents were being called into question. These concerns were set out in detail in the numerous submissions that were made to DG Competition after the publication of the Interim Report.
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