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US: DOJ pushing new antitrust rules for licensing intellectual property

 |  August 15, 2016

The Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division are asking for public comments on a proposed update to the Antitrust Guidelines for the Licensing of Intellectual Property.

The guidelines, also known as the IP Licensing Guidelines, were issued in 1995. They lay out the FTC’s and DoJ’s competition policy on the licensing of IP protected by patent, copyright, and trade secret law, and know-how.

They have provided guidance to businesses and the public on the potential competition issues that may arise from IP licencing. The guidelines are also considered an analytical tool, and the FTC and DoJ have gathered further competition enforcement experience and policy expertise in this area.

The proposed update, which was announced on Friday, August 12, is intended to “reflect this knowledge” and is aiming to modernise the guidelines without changing the enforcement approach to IP licensing.

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