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Friday, 13 January 2017 20:36

2017 Justice Department Update to IP Antitrust Guidelines

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The U.S. Department of  Justice and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) jointly issued an updated Antitrust Guidelines for the Licensing of Intellectual Property. This update modernizes the guidelines originally issued in 1995, and describes how the agencies will evaluate the competitive effects in licensing agreements which involve patents, copyrights, trade secrets, and general know-how.

The departments assured that the update continues to rely on the basic principles set forth in the original 1995 guideline, which set forth that:

  1. the Agencies apply the same antitrust analysis to conduct involving intellectual property as to conduct involving other forms of property, taking into account the specific characteristics of a particular property right;

  2. the Agencies do not presume that intellectual property creates market power; and

  3. the Agencies recognize that intellectual property licensing allows firms to combine complementary factors of production and is generally procompetitive.”

The full text of the updates can be found at https://www.justice.gov/atr/guidelines-and-policy-statements-0/2017-update-antitrust-guidelines-licensing-intellectual-property.

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Tony Guo

As a specialized technology counsel, Tony supports his clients in the high tech, creative, and online industries. His primary areas of practice include intellectual property protection, Internet law, and startups. Tony is a USPTO registered patent attorney, as well as a licensed lawyer in California and Florida. He comes from a background involving considerable hardware and software development experience, having worked in both development and IT roles in the tech and finance industries.