Originally published as Covington E-Alert on February 26, 2013

On  20  February  2013,  the  European  Commission  published  for  consultation  its  proposal  for revisions to the EU technology transfer competition regime.  The consultation period runs until 17 May 2013.  The new regime will be adopted before April 2014.  The EU’s approach to the application of competition law to technology transfer agreements is set out in two instruments, the technology transfer block exemption regulation (“TTBER”) and the accompanying guidelines (“Guidelines”).  The TTBER  exempts  certain  types  of  technology  agreements  between  entities,  while  the  Guidelines address both the application of the TTBER and the approach of EU competition law to tech transfer agreements that do not benefit from the TTBER’s “safe harbour”.

The Commission is proposing to make a number of changes to the TTBER. First, it proposes to revise the test that  determines whether certain provisions of tech transfer agreements, including those relating to the purchase of products by, and the licensing of trademarks to, the licensee, fall within the TTBER.

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