The EU Commission monitors whether patent settlements concluded between pharmaceutical companies infringe EU antitrust rules

On 12 January 2010, the European Commission sent an information request to a number of pharmaceutical companies, seeking copies of their patent settlement agreements, to check their compliance with EU antitrust rules (Official Press Release IP/10/12), as a follow up to its pharmaceutical sector inquiry (Case COMP/39.514) [1]. The Commission is in particular looking at patent settlements where an originator company pays off a generic competitor in return for delayed market entry of a generic drug (so-called “reverse payments patent settlements”). This suggests that the Commission may be initiating a program to periodically monitor settlement agreements and could launch infringement proceedings against settlements it finds anticompetitive. In making this request, the Commission may have

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Frances M. Murphy, Francesco Liberatore, The EU Commission monitors whether patent settlements concluded between pharmaceutical companies infringe EU antitrust rules, 12 January 2010, e-Competitions Bulletin January 2010, Art. N° 33751

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