Other available languages: FR
The Commisison has formally rejected a complaint concerning the alleged incompatibility of a post-term use ban with the competition rules of the EEC Treaty. This ban was part of a know- how licence agreement between two companies which are both involved in the manufacture, sale and maintenance of heavy duty compressors. After the termination of the agreement the licensor claimed back its know-how, in exercise of its contractual rights. The Commission has made it clear that, as a rule, a post-term use ban is not restrictive of competition in the meaning of Article 85(1) of the Treaty, since otherwise any transfer of technology would necessarily be a permanent one, a condition under which few companies would be prepared to disseminate their know-how. In the case under consideration no particular reasons existed which could lead to a different evaluation: in particular, no grant-back of possible improvements by the licensee had been agreed by the parties. Likewise, the Commission has found that Article 86 is not applicable. The refusal of a licensor to agree to the continuing use by the former licensee of the technology after the termination of the agreement does normally not constitute an abuse under this article. This is in particular so where the refusal is based on a contractual provision not falling under Article 85(1) and where the former licensee claims the right to use the know-how to more or less the same extent as under the terminated agreement.