Patent Royalties And Competition Law: The Genentech Judgment Of The Court Of Justice Of The European Union

By Patricia Cappuyns and Jozefien Vanherpe

On 7 July 2016, the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”), the highest court in Europe, held that a requirement to pay royalties for the licensed use of patented technology for the entire duration of the license is not contrary to competition rules in the event of the revocation or non-infringement of the patent at issue (Case C-567/14, Genentech v. Hoechst and Sanofi-Aventis).1 This ruling shifts the balance back in favour of the licensors, while recent case law as well as the Commission had emphasised that licensees must always remain free to challenge licensed IP rights. But what is the point of successfully challenging the licensed IP right if the royalties simply keep running?

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