Prepared for: CRESSE, 17th International Conference on Advances in the Analysis of Competition Policy and Regulation
The interplay between competition law and intellectual property is not a novel topic. On the one hand, intellectual property seeks to protect and reward intellectual property rights holders for their innovation, whilst competition law strives to achieve and maintain an open and competitive market. Both competition and intellectual property law share similar objectives, namely improving consumer welfare and encouraging innovation across markets.
Competition law and intellectual property rights regimes, however, are typically governed by separate legislative instruments; separate adjudicative bodies and have differing applicable policy considerations. A recent case in South Africa squarely raised the jurisdictional overlap and provided key guidance in relation to the application of competition law to intellectual property right disputes in the jurisdiction.
In addition to a discussion on this recent case, our paper provides a broad overview of the interplay between competition law and intellectual property before various developed competition authorities across the globe, before concluding on whether the position adopted by South Africa’s competition authorities accords with international best practice.
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