Paul Nihoul


Intellectual property (“IP”) is often credited with providing an incentive for inventors to develop their creativity. Through IP protection, inventors can recoup their investment and make a profit. That idea, which has inspired legislators worldwide, is currently challenged in the European case law on competition. In the last twenty years, five cases have limited, in the name of competition, the possibility for firms to use IP rights acquired in conformity with applicable laws. These cases are examined in this article. I analyze the scope of the emerging jurisprudence and investigate the arguments articulated, in support of their position, by the European instances involved.