The Commission has initiated proceedings against Boehringer in relation to its alleged misuse of the patent system with the objective of excluding potential competition in relation to drugs for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

On 22 February 2007, the Commission decided to initiate proceedings under Article 11(6) of Regulation 1/2003 and Article 2(1) of Regulation 773/2004 in relation to an alleged abuse of a dominant position, contrary to Article 82 of the EC Treaty, by CH Boehringer Sohn and Boehringer AG, its subsidiaries and all companies under their control.

The notice of initiation of proceedings does not provide any further information on the alleged abuse, simply stating that the Commission is dealing with the case as a matter of priority, there being no implication of the existence of conclusive proof of an infringement. Its publication is therefore for information purposes only and the Commission states that it should not be considered as an official publication