Almost sixty years ago, the renowned economist Edith Tilton Penrose described compulsory licensing as the most effective and flexible method to reduce the cost of the patent monopoly.1 Over half a century later, the examples of compulsory licences in practice are, globally speaking, still quite scarce, and in the European Union practically non-existent. However, the times might be changing. Last July, the German Federal Court of Justice confirmed a compulsory licence granted for the AIDS drug Isentress in preliminary injunction proceedings. In the fall of 2017, the Minister for Health of the Netherlands announced his intention to extensively explore the use of compulsory licencing of patents of highly expensive medicines. These evolutions seem to point towards a renewed interest in implementing the international, European and national legislative provisions on compulsory licencing, with real, practical consequences. Food for thought and, therefore, a Scoop of the theory and recent practice of compulsory licencing in the European Union, with a focus on pharmaceutical products.