ESAB statement on Patent aggregation and its impact on competition and innovation policy
The EPO's Economic and Scientific Advisory Board (ESAB) has issued a statement on patent aggregation and its impact on competition and innovation policy. The ESAB members agreed on the following:
- Patent aggregators might help to establish a functioning market for patents, which is liquid, transparent and efficient. However, aggregation might result in anticompetitive behaviour which could impede innovation and reduce welfare.
- Nevertheless, to avoid undermining the beneficial effects of patent aggregation on innovation, no particular form of patent aggregation should be considered as per se anti-competitive. Potential misconduct of individual aggregators should rather be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, based on the facts and circumstances of each single case.
- Competition policy and competition authorities already have legislation in force and instruments at hand to deal with anticompetitive behaviour. Nevertheless, it is advisable that competition agencies improve patent-system related knowledge and the assessment of the technological issues involved.
In preparing its statement, ESAB took into account the report of a workshop held in Munich on 25 November 2014.Further information