A Rare Example Perhaps of “More Than Mere Exercise of Patent Rights” – a Recent Competition Bureau Inquiry Into Pharmaceutical “Product Hopping”
There is an obvious inherent tension between competition principles and intellectual property (“IP”), including patents. A recent Competition Bureau inquiry into alleged market manipulation by Alcon provides a good illustration of how these principles can intersect.
By their very nature patents may be considered exclusionary and anti-competitive. The Competition Act (s. 32) specifically empowers the court to prevent use of a patent only if it “unduly” lessens competition. Otherwise there must be “something more” than the mere exercise of patent rights to be anti-competitive. The Competition Bureau has provided enforcement guidelines to evaluate when IP rights may be used in . . . [more]