"Compulsory licensing of intellectual property rights" - new publication from European Commission


European Commission published "Compulsory licensing of intellectual property rights: Final study report".

The study’s main objective is to assist the European Commission in defining potential problems as regards compulsory licensing (CL) in the European Union (EU) as well as to identify and assess a number of policy options to improve coherence and effectiveness of the compulsory licensing system as applied in the EU. The main focus of the study is on public emergencies, with particular attention to health-related crises. There may be other urgent needs for licensing technologies in order to produce products for other types of emergencies such as natural disasters (e.g., floods and means for purifying water) or nuclear disasters (protective equipment), or essential food shortages (protected plant varieties), among other types of crises. The study’s problem definition, and the development of possible policy options, has been completed with this expansive scope of potential crises in mind, yet in agreement and consultation with the European Commission. Thus, the scope of crises examined in the context of the CL system is considered to a broad extent where possible, with the underlying qualification that a CL should not be issued more frequently than currently possible under a 'last-resort' approach. In other words, CL as a legal tool should be sparingly applied as a solution in the case of failure in reaching voluntary agreements concerning one or more critical technologies.

The report is available for download here.