The Author is Ms. Krati Gupta of 4th Year BBA.LL.B (Hons.) from School of Law, Jagran Lakecity University, Bhopal.

Competition law and Intellectual Property have divergent intellectual cultures–the former more realistic and experimentalist; the latter influenced by natural law and vested rights. The connection between Competition Law and Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) is one of the most talked about subjects as of late. Competition Law has been viewed as the most effective system in countering anti competitive understandings, denying abuse of dominant position, directing mergers and combination and inciting proficient allotment of assets to eventually profit the purchasers, furnishing them with more extensive decisions, better quality items at a sensible cost. Intellectual Property Rights vouches for finding some kind of harmony between the exclusive right of the proprietor and the social intrigue. It guarantees that the proprietor of the elusive property gets a exclusive right, in order to misuse industrially his scholarly creation, picking up the restraining infrastructure rights thereof. IPR comprises of a heap of rights which gives the proprietor the option to bar others from getting to the item, subject to a constrained timeframe.
It very well may be gathered from over that a scrimmage will undoubtedly emerge among IPR and Competition Law. IPR looks to allow monopoly power to which Competition approach contradictions to give, on one hand, it is important to energize development and on the other legitimate Competition in the market ought to likewise be watched. Subsequently it's anything but a contention which exists between the two laws however they are additionally reciprocal in nature in specific zones. IPR gives motivators to financial agents to technology development, which will make more products and result in the dynamic development of the products, which is one of the destinations of the competition arrangement.



Intellectual Property law deals with standard and  rules for securing and enforcing legal rights to a person’s intellectual property. The word “Intellectual Property” means “an intangible right protecting a commercially valuable product.”[1] It alludes to thoughts of innovative nature including works, for example,  designs, music, written works, inventions, formulations, symbols and phrases. Typically the person is given a exclusive right  directly over the utilization of his/her creation for a specific time frame. The reason behind for this is to give a motivating force for development, research and venture. Without IPR protection, different firms would have the option to take a free ride on the R&D venture made by the investor firm.
Intellectual Property is divided into two categories: Industrial property, which includes  patents, trademarks, geographical indication and industrial desgins; and Copyright, which includes  artistic and literary and artistic. Rights related to copyright include those of performing artists in their performances, producers of phonograms in their recordings, and those of broadcasters in their radio and television programs.[2]
The law on intellectual property seeks to strike a balance between the exclusive right of the owner and the social interest. Bainbridge sums up “in the area of intellectual property the law strives to reach a balance between conflicting interests to reach a justifiable compromise. Justifiable on the ground of protecting the private interest and promoting investment and providing benefits and providing benefits for society at large in terms of increased wealth, knowledge and employment”[3]
The need for comprehensive international agreements governing intellectual property was fervently realised. The Paris Convention for Protection of Industrial Property in 1883 was first multilateral effort made for Intellectual Property. It was followed by Berne Convention for Protection of Literary and Artist Works in 1886. Together, these two initial international efforts can be termed as the Magna Carta of IPRs. From that point forward IPR system has made a long excursion and with the foundation of WIPO and TRIPs the IPR law has been firmly settled at International  just as national level
Intellectual Property Right (IPR) in India was imported from the west. The Indian Trade and Merchandise Marks Act 1884, was the first Indian Law regarding IPR. The first Indian Patent Law was enacted in 1856 followed by a series of Acts being passed. They are Indian Patents and Designs Act in 1911 and Indian Copyright Act in 1914. Indian Trade and Merchandise Marks Act  was replaced by Trade and Merchandise Marks Act 1958 and Indian Copyright Act 1914 was replaced by The Copyright Act 1957.

 Competition law is law that promotes or seeks to maintain market competition by regulating anti-competitive conduct by companies.The purpose of competition laws is to guarantee that consumer follow through on the least conceivable cost combined with the highest caliber of the goods and service which they consume. It includes defining a sets of policy to encourage competition in the market. A powerful competitive condition bolstered by viable competitive policy and law is viewed as one of the fundamental components of an effective market economy. The advantage of having competition in the market are lower value, better items, more extensive decision and more noteworthy proficiency than those under monoploy. Competition law is the instrument through which the Government controls and directs the makers/players in the market. In this way, the competition law identifies with matter of competition and seriousness so good and service are sold at competitive costs and the buyers have a decision concerning the items they wish. Moreover, competition law forestalls artificial entry hindrances, encourages marjet access and praises other competition promoting activities.
The history of competition law is usually traced back to the enactment of Sherman Act in 1890 in the US. This Act was coordinated against the power and predations of the enormous trusts framed in the wake of the Industrial Revolution where a little control group procured and held the load of competitiors, ordinarily in resource, and controlled their business. Continuously, Competition law came to be perceived as one of the key mainstays of a market economy. This acknowledgment prompted enactment of competition law in various nations, including developing nations.
The underlying foundations of Indian law on competition can be followed back to Articles 38 and 39 of the Indian Constitution which set out the obligation of the State to promote the welfare of the people by securing and protecting a social order in which social, political and economic justice is prevalent and its further duty to distribute the ownership and control of material resources of the community in a way so as to best sub-serve the common good, in addition to ensuring that the economic system does not result in the concentration of wealth. It is from these obligations that the MRTP Act, 1969, likewise impacted by US, UK and Canadian legislation, came to fruition.
In 1991, the MRTP Act, 1969 was amended to cope up with the new reforms of liberalisation, privatisation and globalisation. However, the act despite of several amendments unable to adequately deal with anti-competitive practices like cartels, boycotts and refusal to deal, predatory pricing, bid rigging and abuse of dominance. Thus, the MRTP Act became obsolete in the light of international economic developments relating more particularly to competition laws. Under these circumstances the Competition Act, 2002 came into light.
The obejective of Competition Law is to forestall abusive practices in the market, promote and support competition in business sectors and guarantee that the customers get the best possible goods at a sensible cost and better quality. Presence of horizontal agreements which is agreements between enterprises who are engaged in trading with similar or identical goods is said to have an appreciable adverse effect on competition.
An agreement is said to have a appreciable adverse effect on competition if the agreement has a power of constraining or controlling goods or administrations at any stage and which straightforwardly or in a roundabout way brings  bid rigging or collusive bidding. Anti trust law additionally denies vertical agreement which may bring about having a appreciable adverse effect on competition. Vertical agreement are the agreement between enterprises at diferent stages of production, distribution, and so on. Competition Law likewise precludes abuse of dominant situation of an undertaking.
Dominance over a particular zone of a market can be earned by any undertaking through monopoly force, this is not per se violation of anti-trust law however abuse of this position is unlawful and detrimentally affects the market. An undertaking will in general become dominant if the pertinent market is barely characterized and it stops to be so in the event that it is characterized widely. The law additionally directs mergers and acquisitions. Competition Law likewise controls monopoly and their situation of dominance. The focal point of Competition Law is basically on three zones, agreement among enterprises, abuse of dominance and mergers or mix among undertakings. Basically, counteraction of unfair competition.



TRIPS (Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights) is an international agreement formed by the WTO (World Trade Organization) that sets down minimum standards for many forms of IP regulation as applied to nationals of other WTO members.[4] During the negotiation of the agreement, many countries expressed their concern on the regulation of unfair competition and abusive power of the IP rights holder.
Article 40 states that licensing practices or conditions pertaining to the IPR’s may have an adverse effect on trade and may impede the transfer of technology.[5]
Article 40.2 permits the members to specify any abuse of IP rights having an adverse effect and adopt measures to counter them.[6] Some of the anti-competitive practices are mentioned in Article 40.2 of the agreement but it should be noted that this list is not exhaustive. The provisions regarding anti-competitive agreement practices (especially Article 40) generally are permissible rather than prescriptive in nature.[7]
Intellectual Property Rights involve grant of exclusive license to the right holders to exploit the result of their inventions for a limited period of time. Section 3(5) of the Indian Competition Act exempts reasonable use of such inventions from the purview of competition law. But Section 4(2) says that actions by enterprises that shall treated as abuse be equally applicable to IPR holders as well. Section 3 prohibits anticompetitive practices, but this prohibition does not restrict “the right of any person to restrain any infringement of, or to impose reasonable conditions, as may be necessary for protecting any of his rights” which have been conferred under IPR laws like Copyright Act, 1957, Patents Act, 1970, the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999 (48 of 1999), The Designs Act, 2000 and the Semi-conductor Integrated Circuits Layout-Design Act, 2000. It implies that an IPR holder can't put any preposterous conditions while authorizing his licensed intellectual property which will be considered as abusing the competition law. It incorporates any limitations between the licensor and the licensee to confine creation, distribution, restrictiveness conditions, limiting amounts and costs, patent pooling and tiein agreement. In such cases the competition commission can pass an assortment of orders like cut it out, changes to the licensing agreement as it considers fit.
Section 3(5) is included in the Competition (Amendment) Act, 2007 to deal with intellectual property and anticompetitive practices. This provision generally excludes IPR protection, but this is subject to “reasonable” condition and the unreasonable conditions or abuse of dominant position will attract Section 3.
Abuses are elucidate in section 4 as follows:
• Imposition of unfair or discriminatory conditions on price
• Limiting or restricting the production of goods or services or market
• Limiting or restricting technical or scientific development to the prejudice of consumers
 • Concluding of contracts subject to acceptance by other parties of supplementary obligations which have no use or no connection with such contracts.
• Denying market access in any manner
• Using dominant position to protect or enter into another market.
The merger  for R&D may likewise influence viable competition. The exclusive licensing and cross licensing may offer ascent to competition issues on account of award back clauses and market strength. Patent pooling can be another prohibitive practice which might be utilized to encourage price collaboration.
The conflict between Competition law and IPRs came before Monopolistic and Restrictive Trade Practices Commission in the case of Vallal Peruman and Others v. Godfrey Phillips India Limited[8]. The commission observed: “Trademark owner has the right to use the trademark reasonably. This right is subject to terms and conditions imposed at the time of grant of trademark. But it does not allow using the mark in any unreasonable way. In case, trademark owner abuses the trademark by manipulation, distortion, contrivances etc., it will attract the action of unfair trade practices.” While introducing the products available to be purchased in the market or for promoting thereof, the holder of the trademark certificate abuses the same by control, distortion, contraptions and embellishments and so forth in order to misdirect or befuddle the customers, he would open himself to an activity of indulging in unfair trade practices.
Licensing arrangements likely to affect adversely the prices, quantities, quality or varieties of goods and services will fall within the contours of competition law as long as they are not in reasonable concurrence with the bundle of rights that go with IPRs. Unreasonable conditions under Section 3(5) of the Competition Act is thus prohibits the unreasonable use or exploitation of intellectual property rights. Competition policy of India,[9] states that “all forms of intellectual property have the potential to violate the competition”.
Intellectual property is not differentiated from other tangible properties for the purpose of competition law. So CCI can adjudicate matters relating to IPRs. The competition commission can decide constitutional, legal and even jurisdictional issues except the validity of statute under which tribunal is established[10].
In the case of Amir Khan Productions Private Limited v. Union of India[11], the court ruled that competition commission has the power to deal with intellectual property cases. What can be challenged before copyright board can also be challenged before Competition Commission Competition Act, 2002 has overriding effect over other legislations for the time being in force. In Amir Khan Private Limited versus Union of India,[12] FICCI filed information against united producers/distributors forum (UPDF) and others for market cartel in films against the Multiplexes. In order to raise their profit, UPDF refused to deal with multiplex owners. Multiplex business is totally dependent upon films. So this is refusal is considered to be as anti-competitive. UPDF was indulged in limiting/controlling supply of films in the market by refusal to deal with Multiplexes. It is violation of Section 3(3) of Competition Act 2002. CCI prima facie found there is anticompetitive agreement and there is abuse of dominant position also. So CCI directed Director General to inquire about the matter. DG in his inquire found that there was cartel. UPDF contended that films are subject to copyright protection[13]. Therefore Copyright board has the jurisdiction to deal with matter. Furthermore, contended that for exclusive license, only remedy is compulsory license available under Copyright Act. So petitioner challenges the action taken by the CCI on the ground of lack of jurisdiction. However, considering the importance the matter, Bombay High Court discussed the matter in great detail. The court ruled that Section 3(5) provides that Section 3(1) shall not take away the right to sue for infringement of patent, copyright, trademark etc. All the defences which can be raised before copyright board can also be raised before CCI. Competition law does not bar application of other laws.



The association between IPR and Competition Policy is neither clashing nor they mean to supplant one another; in actuality the both complement one another. The basic target of the two laws is to promote development. The appearance of crisp innovation offers ascend to solid competition at full scale just as micro economic levels which further prompts more competition for promotion, which in the long run outcomes in monetary improvement of the nation. Anyway this ought not be to the drawback of the regular open. For this the competition specialists need to guarantee the concurrence of competition law and IP laws since a harmony between the two laws would bring about a consumer welfare and economic.
Further Competition law and IP law seek after a similar point of consumer welfare. The law of property concedes a exclusive right in the want to instigate individuals to make interests in things which are required in the public eye. Competition law intends to give the purchasers highest caliber of products and services that too at the least conceivable cost. The two of them receive distinctive way to accomplish a similar objective of customer welfare.
In this manner, when appropriately applied, the two collections of law supplement and fortify each other's motivations. On the other hand, wrong use of either can undermine the reason for both. On the off chance that antitrust requirement superfluously keeps protected innovation proprietors from benefitting from creation, this impedance additionally may bargain the objectives of antitrust laws. Furthermore, unseemly or overbroad awards of licensed intellectual property rights may meddle with the competition that regularly drives development.
In view of this, IP and Competition laws have to be applied in tandem so that interest of both innovators and consumers are protected.



[1] Black’s Law Dictionary (5th edn, 2010).
[2]  V S Warrier, ‘Competition Law and its conflict with IPR’ (2010) The Lex Warrier,
<> accessed 1st April, 2020.

[3] Aamir Khan Production vs The Director General, 2010 (112) Bom L R 3778.
[4] Kingfisher v. Competition Commission of India Writ petition no 1785 of 2009.
[5]Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights, art. 40, Jan. 01,1995.
[6] Ibid.
[7] Lectures on Intellectual Property Rights by Dr.Jayanta Lahiri.
[8] (1995) 16 CLA 201.
[9] Based on Raghvan Committee Report, the high level committee report on Competition Law 2002
[10] (112) Bom LR3778.
[11] 2010(112) Bom LR3778.
[12] 2010(112) Bom LR3778 .
[13] Section 13(1) (b) and 14(1)(d)(ii)