Motor vehicle sales and repair agreements in the EU

The replies to the 22.07.2009 to 25.09.2009 consultation on the future competition law framework applicable to the motor vehicle sector are now available.

Originality in Copyright Law

Elizabeth F. Judge and Daniel Gervais, Of Silos and Constellations: Comparing Notions of Originality in Copyright Law, 27 Cardozo Arts and Entertainment Law Journal 375 (2009), p. 322.

US Statement at the WIPO Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR) Nineteenth Session

See the text of the Statement delivered, as well as the somewhat different approach taken by the European Commission (from KEI). An unofficial version of the Conclusions from WIPO SCCR 19 is also provided for by KEI.

Google Books Revised Settlement and Open Access

From Peter Suber’s December 2009 issue of the SPARC Open Access Newsletter. See also some comments from Germany's Coalition for Action: Copyright for Education and Research (Aktionsbündnis: Urheberrecht für Bildung und Wissenschaft)

ARL, ALA, ACRL on Facilitating Access to Copyrighted Works for the Blind or Persons with Other Disabilities

Reply Comments before the Copyright Office, Library of Congress. See also the Comment offered by Jane C. Ginsburg and June M. Besek.

Eben Moglen on the Oracle/Sun Acquisition

See the letter sent to the EU Commission, the Software Freedom Law Center press release and Groklaw's post.

Elektronische Leseplätze in Bibliotheken

S. früheren Post.
OBERLANDESGERICHT FRANKFURT, Aktenzeichen: 11 U 40/09 (verkündet 24.11.2009).
Aus der Begründung (meine Hervorhebungen):
"Mit Recht wird jedoch darauf hingewiesen, dass es umgekehrt zu erheblichen praktischen Schwierigkeiten führen dürfte, wollte man ein angemessenes Lizenzangebot ausreichen lassen (Dreyer in HK-UrhR, 2. Auflage, 2009, § 52b Rn. 12). Die Anwendung der Schrankenregelung des § 52b UrhG hinge dann nämlich jeweils davon ab, ob die (gerichtliche) Prüfung des Angebotes ergibt, dass es als angemessen einzustufen ist. Die damit verbundene Rechtsunsicherheit könnte dazu führen, dass die Bibliotheken von der im öffentlichen lnteresse liegenden Schrankenregelung des § 52b UrhG keinen Gebrauch machen (...)
Dass der Absatzmarkt für Fachbücher durch die Schrankenregelung über Gebühr beeinträchtigt wird, erscheint nicht ausreichend belegt. Gerade im Universitätsbereich dürften die finanziellen Möglichkeiten der Studierenden in der Mehrzahl der Fälle ohnedies nicht ausreichen, um Fachliteratur käuflich zu erwerben (...)
Nach ganz überwiegender Auffassung in der Literatur, die der Senat teilt, begründet § 52b UrhG eine Annex-Berechtigung zur Digitalisierung des Werkes, weil die Bestimmung anderenfalls weitgehend leer liefe, denn um die Zugänglichmachung zu ermöglichen, müssen die privilegierten Einrichtungen in aller Regel ein dazu erforderliches digitales Vervielfältigungsstück herstellen (...)
Dass dem Nutzer über den Lesezugriff hinaus auch Vervielfältigungen in gleicher Weise wie bei einer analogen Nutzung ermöglicht werden sollen, ergibt sich aus der Gesetzesbegründung jedoch nicht. Das im Urteil des Landgerichts beschriebene berechtigte Bedürfnis des Nutzers, Ausdrucke für eine sinnvolle Arbeit mit längeren Texten zu nutzen, wird in ausreichenden Maß durch die weiterhin bestehende Möglichkeit gewahrt, Kopien aus den in der Bibliothek vorhandenen Printexemplare zu fertigen. Schrankenbestimmungen sind grundsätzlich eng auszulegen (...)
Der Senat sieht indes keine überzeugende Möglichkeit, zwischen digitalen und analogen Vervielfältigungen zu unterscheiden (vgl. auch Schöwerling, ZUM 2009, 665; Heinz in juris-PR-lTR 14/2009).
Es ist danach auch nicht maßgeblich, ob die Möglichkeit, die an den Leseplätzen zugänglichen Dateien auszudrucken, die lnteressen der Rechtsinhaber nicht stärker beeinträchtigen würde, als dies bei der Nutzung von Kopiergeräten der Fall ist."

Google News: First (Five) Click (s) Free

Does it placate publishers' concerns?

How effective is "your" competition authority?

Question debated at the UK Competition Commission Autumn Lecture 2009.

European Treaty's Renumbering

From December 1, 2009: Article 81 and Article 82 EC have respectively become Article 101 and 102 TFEU (Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union).

Deutscher Bundesrat zur Mitteilung der EU-Kommission zur Verbesserung der Durchsetzung geistiger Eigentumsrechte

"Eine zusätzliche zentrale Koordinierung durch nationale Koordinatoren, wie sie die Kommission fordert, ist abzulehnen".

Another IP/Antitrust Dispute

Emulex Corp. files an antitrust lawsuit against Broadcom Corp.

ARL and Others on the Google Books Settlement (Part III)

A Guide for the Perplexed Part III: The Amended Settlement Agreement, by Jonathan Band.

Zur Geltendmachung von Rechten aus einem Patent-Pool

"Patentverletzung durch Einsatz von geschützten Bauteilen in komplexen Vorrichtungen und die Rolle der Patent-Trolle", von Willi Schickedanz, in GRUR Int 2009, S. 901.

Zur Haftung des Internetanschlussinhabers bei Filesharing-Konstellationen nach den Grundsätzen der Störerhaftung

"Die Haftung des Internetanschlussinhabers bei Filesharing-Konstellationen nach den Grundsätzen der Störerhaftung", von Sven J. Mühlberger, in GRUR 2009, S. 1022.

Un titulo de Copyright europeo

Viviane Reding "ha recordado que con la entrada en vigor del Tratado de Lisboa será posible crear un título de "copyright europeo", que sería complementario al actual".

UK Digital Economy Bill

In particular on "technical" 3-strikes measures and the licensing of orphan works (see also clause 17).

RPM and the "hardcore restriction debate" in EU competition policy

See Resale Price Maintenance in EC Competition Law: The Need for a Standardised Approach , by Frederik van Doorn

IT-Branchenverband BIKT zum "dritten Korb" der Urheberrechtsreform

Aus der Pressemitteilung: "Der BIKT ...fordert das BMJ dazu auf, durch eine geeignete Regelung im Urheberrecht dafür zu sorgen, dass patentrechtliche Verbotsansprüche gegenüber Computerprogrammen keine Wirkung entfalten können. Der Verband plädiert daher für die Einführung einer „Schutzschirmklausel“, die die gesetzliche Absicherung des Urheberrechtsschutzes für Computerprogramme gegenüber dem Patentrecht gewährleistet".

Competition between TV Platforms

A Working Paper by Laia Domènech Campmajó (PPRE-IREA, University of Barcelona)

The European Ombudsman on Intel's complaint

A non-confidential version of the Decision closing the inquiry has now been published.

More on competition policy in difficult economic times

'We are here in a very melancholy Situation' : Financial crisis and competition policy - Speech by CC Chairman Peter Freeman to the David Hume Institute. See also Competition Policy and Financial Crises, A joint report by the Nordic competition authorities

ICN Cairo Cartel Workshop

The final presentations can be downloaded

Google Books Settlement Amended

Here. A first overview of the amendments from a German perspective here. Matters concerning Open Access are discussed here, concerning CC licences in particular here, further links to ongoing discussions here.

US-Russia Antitrust Cooperation

The Federal Trade Commission and U.S. Department of Justice have signed a Memorandum of Understanding on antitrust cooperation with the Russian antitrust agency, Федеральная антимонопольная служба (ФАС) (see the US and the Russian press releases).

On Optimal Decisions Rules for Competition Policy

See "On Optimal Legal Standards for Competition Policy: A General Welfare-Based Analysis" by Yannis Katsoulacos & David Ulph.

Open Access: Petitionen an die Legislative

Petition an den Deutschen Bundestag: "Der Deutsche Bundestag möge beschließen, dass wissenschaftliche Publikationen, die aus öffentlich geförderter Forschung hervorgehen, allen Bürgern kostenfrei zugänglich sein müssen. Institutionen, die staatliche Forschungsgelder autonom verwalten, soll der Bundestag auffordern, entsprechende Vorschriften zu erlassen und die technischen Voraussetzungen zu schaffen". S. auch "An Open Letter to the U.S. Congress Signed by 41 Nobel Prize Winners".

Oracle/Sun Acquisition: Statement of Objections Issued

See this manager-magazin.de analysis, this from online.wsj.com, Oracle's first reaction and the US Department of Justice's Statement. See also Sun's filing to the SEC.

Oral argument in In Re Bilski before the US Supreme Court

See the transcript. Justice Breyer posed a slightly provoking question: "You know, I have a great, wonderful, really original method of teaching antitrust law, and it kept 80 percent of the students awake. They learned things --
(Laughter.)
JUSTICE BREYER: It was fabulous. And I could probably have reduced it to a set of steps and other teachers could have followed it. That you are going to say is patentable, too?
MR. JAKES: Potentially".

European Interoperability Framework

An unofficial draft copy is circulating.

Carlo Piana in Trento

Carlo Piana, Free Software Foundation Europe and Oracle Legal Counsel, Free Software Advocate, will talk at the Trento Competition Seminars about "Competition Policy, Innovation and Free/Open Source Software".

On Neelie Kroes' "steely political intent" in troubled economic times

See FT.com.

Competition Policy and Economic Crisis

Dr. Alessandra Tonazzi, Italian Competition Authority (AGCM), will talk about "Competition Policy in Difficult Economic Times" at the Trento Competition Seminars (Presentation).

US Intel Case

See the Office of Attorney General Press Release. The AAI is quite supportive of the complaint. The Federal Trade Commission will possibly "join the fray against the chip maker".

On Creative Impulses and Copyright Law

Economies of Desire: Fair Use and Marketplace Assumptions, by Rebecca Tushnet.

Football rights in Italy

The Milan Appeals Court has suspended the award of broadcasting rights to satellite operator Sky Italia for the 2010/11 and 2011/12 seasons because of competition concern.

Remedies in the EU and US Microsoft Cases

The Quest for Appropriate Remedies in the Microsoft Antitrust EU Cases: A Comparative Appraisal, by Nicholas Economides and Ioannis Lianos

Electronic dissertations at Stanford

From Digitalkoans: "Under the program, digital dissertations will be stored in the Stanford Digital Repository, which provides preservation services for scholarly resources, helping to ensure their integrity, authenticity and usability over time (...) documents will be available to the Stanford community through Socrates, the university's online library catalog, and "available to the world" through Google, which will serve as a third-party distributor".

Gestion et commercialisation des droits sportifs de la Fédération française de football: Entente verticale sanctionnée

Décision n° 09-D-31 du 30 septembre 2009 relative à des pratiques mises en oeuvre dans le secteur de la gestion et de la commercialisation des droits sportifs de la Fédération française de football.

US Developments after Leegin

Notable developments concerning State Resale Price Maintenance Laws After Leegin, by Michael Lindsey.

Price competition in the distribution of books

The American Booksellers’ Association believes that the fierce price competition between Walmart, Target, and Amazon is damaging consumers.

Die Privatkopie und die deutsche Verfassung

Das Bundesverfassungsgericht hat eine Verfassungsbeschwerde von Unternehmen der Musikindustrie gegen die digitale Privatkopie nicht zur Entscheidung angenommen.

A New Structured Rule of Reason Approach for RPM?

Antitrust Federalism : Enhancing Federal/State Cooperation, CHRISTINE A. VARNEY Assistant Attorney General Antitrust Division U.S. Department of Justice

On copyright infringement and choice-of-law rules

Economic evidence in competition cases

A speech by P.Freeman, Chairman of the UK Competition Commission

India: Competition Appellate Tribunal Formed

The body will hear appeals against decisions by the Competition Commission of India.

US Health Insurance Industry Antitrust Enforcement Act of 2009

The House Judiciary Committee has voted to repeal the insurance industry’s exemption from antitrust legislation

Ausschaltung eines preisaktiven Internetanbieters

Das Bundeskartellamt verhängt Bußgeld gegen Hörgerätehersteller Phonak GmbH. Aus der Pressemeldung: "Die einseitige Vorgabe von unverbindlichen Preisempfehlungen ist nach geltendem Recht grundsätzlich zulässig. Ordnungswidrig handelt jedoch, wer zu ihrer Durchsetzung dem Abnehmer Nachteile androht oder zufügt oder ihm Vorteile verspricht oder gewährt. Eine Liefersperre ist ein solcher Nachteil.
Das Bundeskartellamt misst dem beschriebenen Vorgehen hier eine über den Einzelfall hinausgehende wettbewerbliche Bedeutung zu. Die Ausschaltung des einen preisaktiven Internetanbieters war dazu geeignet und bestimmt, die auf dem deutschen Markt für den Handel mit Hörgeräten insgesamt herrschende Preisstabilität aufrechtzuerhalten bzw. wiederherzustellen. Ist aber der Preiswettbewerb auf Einzelhandelsebene ohnehin eingeschränkt, so wiegt jede weitere Verhinderung vorstoßenden Wettbewerbs umso schwerer"

Online distribution of music: joint statement

The statement sets out general principles designed to underpin the online distribution of music in the future. See also the EC press release.

Transgenic seed industry: the effects of Monsanto's market power

AAI's White Paper "Transgenic Seed Platforms: Competition Between a Rock and a Hard Place"

Analyzing five antimonopoly suits against Microsoft

Google Book Settlement and Antitrust Issues

Two recent articles:

Randal C. Picker, The Google Book Search Settlement: A New Orphan-Works Monopoly?
5 Journal of Competition Law and Economics 383 (2009)

Jerry A. Hausman and J. Gregory Sidak, Google and the Proper Antitrust Scrutiny of Orphan Books, 5 Journal of Competition Law and Economics 411 (2009)


New, "consumer friendly" EU competition website

Delivering for consumers, introduced by Neelie Kroes' own words that the new website "is very easy to use. You might have seen that the main DG Competition site is very detailed. This new site is interactive and highly visual, including a short video aimed at consumers. Users can also learn about our work by product or country in friendly, plain language. This is about showing consumers that competition is worth the effort involved."

Antitrust and Innovative Markets

The Limits of Antitrust in the New Economy, G.Manne, J.Wright. See also J. Gregory Sidak & David J. Teece, Dynamic Competition in Antitrust Law and Promoting Innovation: Just How “Dynamic” Should Antitrust Law Be?, J. Thomas Rosch.

On the need to reconceptualize antitrust private enforcement models

Working paper, Optimizing Private Antitrust Enforcement, by D. Crane.

New Zealand: Abuse of Dominant Position in Markets for High-speed Data Transmission

High Court, ruling COMMERCE COMMISSION V TELECOM CORPORATION OF NEW ZEALAND LIMITED And Anor HC, AK CIV 2004-404-1333 - 9 October 2009-

Neelie Kroes on Standards

Address at Harvard Club of Belgium, "De Warande" Brussels, 15th October 2009. See also the IACS decision on de facto industry standards for classification.

Competition in the Publishing Industry in Italy?

The Italian Competition Authority has published the second part of its sector inquiry, specifically dealing with newspaper distribution issues.

Trade Mark Exhaustion and Implicit Consent

European Court of Justice, Case C-324/08 Makro Zelfbedieningsgroothandel CV, Metro Cash & Carry BV and Remo Zaandam BV v Diesel.

Google Chef-Justitiar auf der Frankfurter Buchmesse

S. Bericht des Instituts für Urheber- und Medienrecht

Leniency Convergence in the EU

A Report issued by the European Competition Network. See also the list of applicable leniency programmes.

The FTC's Chairman on the Enforcement of the U.S. Antitrust Laws

Remarks of Chairman Jon Leibowitz, 36th Annual Conference on International Antitrust Law & Policy, Fordham Competition Law Institute at Fordham Law School
September 24, 2009

Branding Individual Corn Flakes

Giving Kellogg's golden flakes of corn "an official stamp of approval", see the story coverage by BrandRepublic and The Guardian.

Buyer Power in International Markets

A Discussion Paper by Horst Raff and Nicolas Schmitt.

Microsoft-EU Commission Interoperability Settlement: Some Critical Comments

Interview with ECIS's Thomas Vinje and Ashwin van Rooijen on the Microsoft-EU Commission Deal, from Groklaw.

Antitrust, Multi-Dimensional Competition, and Innovation

Do We Have an Antitrust-Relevant Theory of Competition Now?, by J. Wright.

Commitments in EU Competition Law

Opinion of Advocate General Kokott, Case C‑441/07 P, Commission of the European Communities v Alrosa Company Ltd.

Google-Books: Tagung in Berlin

Tagung “Enteignung oder Infotopia? Google Books und die Zukunft des Wissens”, Berichterstattung und demnächst Video-Zusammenfassung hier.

Hadopi 2: question de constitutionnalité?

Le texte du recours du Parti socialiste.

How will journalism "survive" the Internet age?

The FTC intends to host public workshops and roundtables on this complex topic.

Community patent underway?

A revised proposal for a Council Regulation on the Community patent is circulating.

AAI: RPM should remain a "hardcore restriction"

Comments of the American Antitrust Institute on the European Commission's proposed BER and Guidelines on vertical restraints.

The US Goverment's position on Bilski

A suggestion that software should be left substantially patentable? S. also Groklaw's post.

The Court of First Instance on the distinctive character of a mark

Smiley: decorative function, not a distinctive sign, Case T‑139/08, The Smiley Company SPRL v Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market.

Neelie Kroes on issues round EU state aid control system

Speech held at the 36th Annual Conference on International Antitrust Law and Policy , Fordham University

Google Book Settlement:Amendment Ahead

See MOTION for Hearing / Notice of Unopposed Motion of the Author Sub-Class and the Publisher Sub-Class to Adjourn October 7, 2009 Final Fairness Hearing and Schedule Status Conference (new deadline: November, 9).

Illegal Bid-Rigging in the UK

Press release, Office of Fair Trading.

Advocate General on AdWords and Trademarks

Cases C-236 to 238/08 Google France, Google Inc. v Louis Vuitton Malletier.

Refusals to Deal, Internationally

The OECD Competition Committee on Refusals to Deal.

Salame Felino and the European Court of Justice

Case C‑446/07 Alberto Severi, in his own name and representing Cavazzuti e figli SpA, now known as Grandi Salumifici Italiani SpA v Regione Emilia-Romagna. From the decision: " Articles 3(1) and 13(3) ... must be interpreted as meaning that the designation of a foodstuff containing geographical references, which is not registered as a protected designation of origin or a protected geographical indication, may legitimately be used, on condition that the labelling of the product so named does not mislead the average reasonably well informed, observant and circumspect consumer. For the purpose of assessing whether that is the case, national courts may have regard to the length of time during which the name has been used. By contrast, any good faith on the part of the manufacturer or retailer is irrelevant in that regard"

EU Intel Decision now Published

Prohibition decision (517 pp.) and decision summary.

Google Book Settlement: Department of Justice's Statement of Interest

The Department of Justice has expressed serious legal concerns. A comment by Randy Picker.

Defining "noncommercial" uses in copyright

From the point of view of the "Online Population". A study prepared by Creative Commons.

University copyright ownership policies

Database compiled by Creative Commons.

China and Competition Policy

AAI Working Paper by Wu Hanhong

Die volkswirtschaftliche Bedeutung geistigen Eigentums und dessen Schutzes mit Fokus auf den Mittelstand

Studie im Auftrag des Bundesministeriums für Wirtschaft und Technologie.

SMEs and IP in Switzerland

Economic Focus Study and Case Studies by the Swiss Federal Institute of IP.

UK horseracing: collective negotiation and licensing of media rights not anticompetitive

Court of Appeal's judgment.

Spanish Copyright Collecting Society Fined for Abuse of Dominant Position

The remuneration scheme was deemed abusive because, inter alia, general fees were simply calculated as a percentage of the Telecinco's revenues. See also the ECJ Kanal 5 case.

Pressefusionskontrolle: Anwendung der Abwägungsklausel

Aus der Pressemeldung des Bundeskartellamtes: "Nach Auffassung des Bundeskartellamtes überwiegen die durch den Zusammenschluss entstehenden Verbesserungen der Marktstruktur auf dem Lesermarkt im Verbreitungsgebiet der Elmshorner Nachrichten die mögliche Verschlechterung auf den Anzeigen- und Lesermärkten im Kreis Steinburg".

International Cartels Illustrated

Very interesting and useful charts by John M. Connor

Europeana and Copyright: A Common Solution for Europe's Digital Library?

From the Press release:

"However, the substantial progress made with Europeana also brings to the surface the challenges and problems linked to the digitisation process. At the moment, Europeana includes mainly digitised books which are in the public domain and are thus no longer protected by copyright law (which extends to 70 years after the death of the author).

For the moment, Europeana includes, for legal reasons, neither out-of print works (some 90% of the books in Europe's national libraries), nor orphan works (estimated at 10 – 20% of in-copyright collections) which are still in copyright but where the author cannot be identified.

Europeana also shows that licensing of copyright-protected material in Europe still takes place under a very fragmented legal framework. Earlier this year a French aggregator had to withdraw photographs from Europeana, since it only had the right to disseminate the material on French territory".

A public consultation on these very controversial topics has been launched.

Mario Monti on International Competition/Antitrust Convergence and Enforcement in Troubled Times

Keynote address to the American Antitrust Institute Conference “Antitrust In A World Without A Center” June 18, 2009

F. M. Scherer on Patent Policy: Some Recommendations for Competition Authorities

From THE POLITICAL ECONOMY OF PATENT POLICY REFORM IN THE UNITED STATES: "For the federal antitrust agencies, the extension of patent monopolies in time through profuse improvement patenting and their extension in scope through restrictive cross-licensing agreements pose important enforcement problems. Here too, the problem is in part one of education. Those who manage the antitrust agencies need to learn that there are important barriers to rapid imitation, enhancing incentives for innovation, other than the patent system, so maximization of monopoly rewards associated with patent holdings is unlikely to maximize economic welfare. These agencies need to learn that extension of patent monopolies over time and in scope is more likely to suppress than stimulate innovation. and insisting that drug production be opened up for generic competition once basic patents have expired, leaving however the right to produce validly patented improvement molecules exclusively in the hands of the original drug developer (or any other firm that patents and tests improved variants)"

EU-USA: IP Related Trade Barriers

Report issued by the European Commission, pp. 20-21.

European Commission's Fine of Intel: Much Too Low

This is the view expressed by Robert H. Lande.

Patent Law and Standards Setting

Memorandum of Understanding concluded between the European Patent Office (EPO) and the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers.

EU competition policy for the motor vehicle sector

The EU Commission has outlined its future policy actions in this sector.

EU questionnaire on Open Access

The results have been published.

Best Practices on Orphan Works

Released by the Society of American Archivists.

Algorithms and competition

M. Vestager, here . Large friendly letters? "It's true that the idea of automated systems getting together and reaching a...