Competition Law And Intellectual Property Rights


      EarlierCompetitive law and Intellectual property rights (IPRs) as usually perceived as for  sharing an uneasy relationship given their seemingly contrasting goals. However, to put one against  the other without qualifications and riders may not do justice to the nuisances of their respective nature, rules  and goals. The system of IPRs is premised on the assumption that grant of exclusive rights for a limited term is desirable to promote dynamic competition, which pushes the basket of choices available to consumers. In other words, in theory, incentivising innovation through IPRs elevates the level of competition from static to dynamic, which is in contrast to the adversarial perception of IPRs and competition law. That being said, in practice, even the most stringently regulated rights is susceptible to abuse at the hands of a determined and motivated rights owners to the detriment of healthy competition.

      The necessitate the existence of a safety value in the form of competition law, simply put, the goal of the competition law and IPRs is to ensure that said species of lights are exercised within the Limits prescribed by law and in a manner which is beneficial to consumers and which promotes competition law.


      In this modern era of 21st century the knowledge society, intellectual property is all-permeating and has immense economic value. Moreover, in many cases the intellectual property value of the company is far greater than the value of its physical assets. The knowledge of intellectual property law is quintessential in the modern day world. The intellectual property has national as well as international significance, and IPRs professionals are in good demand. The Competition Act, 2002 regulates the competition in India and prohibits undesirable agreements and combinations, which undermine the competition and adversely affect the price of the commodity and the consumer it was also  enacted on the pedestal of economic efficiency and liberalization  in this century .

      There are plethora of cases observing the interface between IPRs and Competition laws. In the Aamir Khan Productions Pvt. Ltd. v. Union of India,the Bombay HC held that Competition Commission of India (CCI) is a statutory body of Government of India has jurisdiction to hear all the matters vis-à-vis competition law and IPRs. Competition Commission of India (CCI) also held that IPRs related right is not sovereign in nature but merely a statutory right granted under a law.

However, with the advancement of jurisprudence pertaining to harmoniously construct of both the laws it is necessary to critically analyses the issue in great detail. Every subject matter of IPRs need not be in derogation with competition law. The IPRs creates dominant but there is no reasonable inference that it leads to abuse of dominant position to analyse such issue, we have to go in depth to the statutory framework and judicial precedents.


The question before law is whether Competition law and intellectual property law has differently occupied field and enacted to cater distinct objectives. There is a dire need to understand the smooth functioning of the both the laws. Competition law regulate those practices which has anti-competitive effect on market and thus hampering the smooth functioning of the market. On the other hand, IPRs talks about the exclusive monopoly right to the holder. The non-excludable character that has been created by IPRs that causes deadlock between the two essentially which creates interface between two respective laws. Thus, it creates a tussle between the IPRs and Competition laws which needs to be resolved cordially.

However, IPRs is usually used as a tool to create exclusive monopoly rights to the holder and thus deterring other players from offering the products in the same market which reduces competitiveness in the market and led to creation of conflict between objectives of both the law. IPRs is based on the concept of reward theory.


      It can be indubitably be deduce that there is no conflict between the aims and objectives both the laws. Both the laws are promoting innovation and consumer welfare. Domains of two laws have been harmoniously construct to accomplish middle path. A detail discussion leads to a conclusion that the conflict between two laws can’t be accomplished in isolation. Even though they are parallel to each other but their objectives are converging with each other. Despite of such debatable issue they reconciled in such a way that both laws will prevail which in results promotes innovation and consumer welfare.

Aishwarya Says:

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