The Italian Competition Authority finds pharmaceutical companies guilty of abuse of dominant position and imposes a drug production license (Merck / Glaxo)

The Italian national competition authority (“INCA”) recently opened an in-depth investigation in the pharmaceutical sector, for breach of art. 82 of the EC Treaty. This is the first time that the INCA imposes interim measures according to art. 5 of Council Regulation n° 1/2003, of 16 December 2002, on the implementation of the rules on competition laid down in Articles 81 and 82 of the Treaty (OJEU L 1, 4 january 2003, p. 1-25). In 1978, the Italian Constitutional Court affirmed that Royal Decree n° 1127/39 (the “Italian patent law”) should also apply to pharmaceutical products and that patent registrations should be obtained for such products (judgment n° 20/78, IOJ of March 29, 1978, n° 87) ; following this judgment, Article 14 of the Italian patent law was revised by Article 9, D.P.R.

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Luciano Vasques, Valentina Gavioli, The Italian Competition Authority finds pharmaceutical companies guilty of abuse of dominant position and imposes a drug production license (Merck / Glaxo), 14 March 2005, e-Competitions Interim measures, Art. N° 196

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