The role of intellectual property and competition policy in promoting innovation #FTC-2018-0055-D-0007

Submission Number:
Francisco Mingorance
IP Europe
Outside the United States
Initiative Name:
The role of intellectual property and competition policy in promoting innovation
IP Europe Comments to the FTC Topic #8: The role of intellectual property and competition policy in promoting innovation; There is ample empirical data on both sides of the Atlantic that enforceable intellectual property rights promote innovation and economic performance (4) The past decade has witnessed an ongoing erosion of patent rights in the U.S., of two types. First, from the intellectual property angle, we have witnessed an ongoing weakening of the ability to enforce patent rights both in the U.S. and globally. In the U.S., this has transpired through multiple court cases as well as the 2011 enactment of the America Invents Act and the patent opposition system that followed it in 2012. Furthermore, as world markets are becoming global, in some jurisdictions it appears exceedingly difficult to enforce patent rights. Second, from the antitrust enforcement and advocacy angle, at least between 2009 2017 increasingly hostile and aggressive approaches towards IP rights appeared, for example in enforcement actions and sustained advocacy in the area of standard essential patents. Given that the intellectual property landscape has changed dramatically over the past 12 years, IP Europe recommends that the Commission revisit some of its thinking in this area in order to restore the antitrust-IP interface balance, given that intellectual property protection has significantly weakened. Thank you very much for the opportunity to comment. We look forward to continuing our dialogue with the Federal Trade Commission through future comment opportunities. References: (4) See e.g. European Union Intellectual Property Office, Impact of intellectual property rights intensive industries in the European Union available at; Paul Maier, Intellectual Property Rights Intensive Industries and Economic Performance in the European Union (Presentation to TRIPs Council, 27-28 February 2018) available at eu_presentation_euipo_eu_observatory_paul_maier_trips_council_2702.pdf; Economics Statistics Administration and U.S. Patents and Trademarks Office, Intellectual Property and the U.S. Economy: 2016 Update, available at Sept2016.pdf. See e.g. Alden Abbott, Erosion of Patent Rights Is a Threat to Innovation and American Prosperity, The Daily Signal, (October 6 2017); U.S. Chamber of Commerce Global Innovation Policy Center (CIPC), International IP Index (6th Edition, February 2018) at 157, available at Gene Quinn, The Top 3 Reasons the U.S. Patent System in Decline (April 26, 2017) available at