Remedies for violations of competition law involving IP

What sanctions or remedies can the competition authorities or courts impose for violations of competition law involving IP?

The remedies for violations of competition law involving IPRs are the same as those for breaches of competition law generally.

The CMA can accept binding commitments offered by the parties to address infringements of the Chapter I and II provisions (or articles 101 and 102 of the TFEU). It also has the power to impose financial penalties of up to 10 per cent of the worldwide turnover of an undertaking for such infringements. Additionally, it can give such directions as it considers appropriate to bring the infringement to an end. The CMA has a wide discretion in this respect, but can include directions to cease certain behaviour or to set up systems to prevent continuance of the infringements.

The CMA can also impose interim measures where it has a reasonable suspicion that there has been an infringement and the measures are necessary to protect the public interest or to prevent significant damage to particular persons or businesses. In such cases, it can give any directions that it considers appropriate to prevent the harm feared. There is no requirement that the directions be ones it could give in a final order, nor that the measures be temporary and conservatory.

The courts (including the CAT) can grant injunctions and award damages. The infringing party can also face criminal liability as described in question 23.

Competition law remedies specific to IP

Do special remedies exist under your competition laws that are specific to IP matters?


Scrutiny of settlement agreements

How would a settlement agreement terminating an IP infringement dispute be scrutinised from a competition perspective? What are the key factors informing such an analysis?

Any settlement agreement terminating an IP infringement dispute must comply with UK competition law, like any other agreement. It will be assessed on whether its object or effect is the distortion of competition in the relevant markets in the UK or whether it constitutes an abuse of dominance.