Last of Its Kind: The Review of the Technology Transfer Block Exemption Regulation, The Symposium on European Competition Law

Carlin, Fiona, Pautke, Stephanie | January 1, 2004

On October 1, 2003, the Commission published a formal proposal for a new technology transfer block exemption (“Draft TTBE”) together with detailed draft guidelines (“Draft Guidelines”)5 which explain how the new regulation will be interpreted and how Article 81 will be applied to agreements that fall outside the revised regulation’s safe harbor. These proposals unleashed a barrage of criticism from industry and seem likely to result in some amendments to the proposed texts before their adoption in March or April 2004. The new package is due to enter into force on May 1, 2004. This article discusses the Commission’s proposals for reform as published in October 2003. We indicate the major changes that are likely to be introduced to this package as envisaged in a revised text circulated by the Commission to the Member States in January 2004 but which, regrettably, will not be made publicly available for further consultation. Although the final package may be subject to further amendment before it is finally adopted, it is encouraging that the Commission seems to have taken on board many of the industry’s concerns and is currently envisaging a more flexible regulatory environment than was originally foreseen.