European Commission launches a second round of patent settlements monitoring

On 17 January 2011, the European Commission announced a new round of selected patent settlements review. The monitoring exercise concerns patent settlement agreements concluded by a limited number of originator and generic companies between 1 January 2010 and 31 December 2010.

The Commission carried out a first monitoring exercise in early 2010, following a broader competition inquiry in the pharmaceutical sector which showed that certain patent settlements between originator and generic companies may cause consumer harm because they delay the market entry of cheaper generic medicines (see Newsletter 1/2010 p. 6, and Newsletter 4/2010 p. 7, for more background).

The Commission will publish a report providing a statistical overview in the first half of 2011. [Gabriele Accardo]