EU Intellectual Property/Antitrust


"Represents clients in EC abuse of dominance investigations and private enforcement actions crossing over between competition law and the protection of IP rights."

Chambers Global 2020

In recent years, there has been a remarkable expansion of antitrust enforcement in the area of intellectual property. This trend is illustrated by an increasing willingness of the European Commission and other antitrust enforcement agencies to challenge IP-related transactions, often on the basis of novel theories of competitive harm. This is particularly true where intellectual property rights are of strategic importance, as is the case with respect to so-called Standard Essential Patents. Examples are the EU Commission’s investigations into the use of injunctive relief procedures and the determination of FRAND-licensing terms in the mobile telecommunications area, as well as pay-for-delay patent settlements in the pharmaceutical sector.

As a result, the inter-relationship between antitrust and intellectual property has become of prime importance to a broad range of industries, including high-tech, telecoms and pharmaceuticals. Both intellectual property owners and users must take antitrust considerations into account when acquiring, protecting, managing, licensing and monetizing valuable proprietary technology and related intellectual property assets.

The lawyers in Baker Botts’ Antitrust Practice have substantial experience in representing clients in investigations and litigation related to the intersection between intellectual property and antitrust laws, including Standard Essential Patents. Our antitrust work, combined with a longstanding position at the forefront of antitrust / intellectual property policy developments in Europe and the U.S., provide us with deep insight into agencies’ enforcement priorities. We understand the strategic importance of intellectual property in a broad range of industries, new intellectual property business models and how valuable proprietary technology and related intellectual property assets are developed, protected, managed, licensed and monetized.

We represent clients across the full spectrum of antitrust matters involving intellectual property, covering antitrust clearances for mergers and acquisitions, agency investigations and counseling on a variety of issues including complex and strategic technology licensing, joint research and development coupled with joint licensing agreements, FRAND-licensing terms and injunctions, compulsory licensing, refusals to license and cross-licensing arrangements. Among our clients are intellectual property generators, owners, licensees, standard setting organizations and other companies and business organizations affected by or involved in intellectual property transactions. Our antitrust lawyers provide seamless cooperation with the firm’s full-service Intellectual Property Practice, which is one of the largest and most prominent in the U.S.