les Nouvelles - March 2006

Technology Transfer In Europe: The Business Impact Of The EU Regulation

Dr. Winfried Büttner

I. Introduction

On April 7, 2004, the European Commission adopted a new block exemption regulation with respect to Technology Transfer Agreements (TTBER). The TTBER replaces the existing Regulation 240/96 and sets out a new regulatory framework for applying competition policy to the licensing of patents, know-how and software copyrights. It contains extensive changes and is part of the fundamental revision of the Commission’s rules for safeguarding competition, which has a particular focus on a more economic-based approach in the assessment of agreements. It entered into force on May 1, 2004, at the same date when the new regulation on the implementation of the rules on competition 1/2003 became effective. The TTBER is accompanied by detailed guidelines that shall assist market participants in the assessment of restrictive agreements, in particular when they fall outside the scope of the TTBER.

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