14 April 2015
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EPO's Economic and Scientific Advisory Board (ESAB) has issued a statement on
patent aggregation and its impact on competition and innovation policy. The
ESAB members agreed on the following:
- Patent aggregators might help to establish a functioning market
for patents, which is liquid, transparent and efficient. However, aggregation
might result in anticompetitive behaviour which could impede innovation and
- Nevertheless, to avoid undermining the beneficial effects of
patent aggregation on innovation, no particular form of patent aggregation
should be considered as per se anti-competitive. Potential misconduct of
individual aggregators should rather be evaluated on a case-by-case basis,
based on the facts and circumstances of each single case.
- Competition policy and competition authorities already have
legislation in force and instruments at hand to deal with anticompetitive
behaviour. Nevertheless, it is advisable that competition agencies improve
patent-system related knowledge and the assessment of the technological issues
preparing its statement, ESAB took into account the report of a workshop held
in Munich on 25 November 2014.