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Why protect competition?

- Economic system is based on competition, if something harms the competition it shouldn't be allowed.
- It is very important that the competition is fair.


Goals of competition Law

- Fairness among competitors.
- Protection of consumer's welfare.
- Access to the market.


Competition Law

It is concerned with the problems that occur when 1 or more firms possess market power.


Areas of Competition Law

- Free competition Law.
- Unfair competition Law.
- European competition Law.


Free Competition Law:

- Control of conducts contrary to free competition.
- Controls the market: prevents the formation of dangerous competition.
- 4 Types: Collusive practices, Abuse of dominant parties, Economic Concentrations, Control of State Aid.


Collusive Practice (FC)

- All agreements, decisions or collective recommendations that may produce the effect of preventing or restricting competition shall be PROHIBITED.
- e.g: Horizontal and vertical agreements.


Abuse of Dominant parties (FC)

- Companies with a dominant position has a special responsibility in relation to the market.
- Importance of elimination of market power.
- Abusive conduct.


Economic Concentrations (FC)

- Operation that supposes a change in the structure of control of one or more companies:
* Merger.
* Acquisition of control.
* Joint venture.


Control of Aid State (FC)

- Objective is to ensure that government interventions do not disturb competition and trade among EU.


Unfair competition Law:

- Protection of competition among enterprises, competition has to be fair.
- Relationship with consumers and users: acts that can distort economic behavior of normal consumers.


Acts that injure the interest of COMPETITOR (UCL)

- By confusion.
- By denigration.
- By comparison.
- By imitation.
- Exploitation of the reputation of others.
- Violation of trade secrets.


Acts that injure the interest of CONSUMERS (UCL)

- For misleading omission: false info.
- Aggressive practice: harassment, coercion.


Acts that injure the PUBLIC INTEREST (UCL)

- Violation of rules.
- Discrimination or economic dependency.
- Selling at loss.
- Unlawful advertising.


Importance of Intellectual Property (IP)

- Essential business asset.
- IP protects small innovative firms.
- Needed to enable the release of IP into the public under controlled conditions.
- IP guarantees standard for public benefit by means of licensed trademarks.
- Protection of IP rights is a way to protect consumers too.


IP System:

- Rights over the use of inventions, designs, brands, literary and artistic work.
- Innovators: make significant investments in development.


What is a patent?:

- A legal title that grants the holder the exclusive right to prevent others from making, producing or offering for sale a product that uses his patent without authorization.


What can be patented?:

- Patents protect inventions which solve technical problems: chemical substances, pharmaceuticals.
* Processes, methods, uses, products, devices and systems.
- They must be:


What is a design?:

- It is the outward appearance of a product resulting from its features.
- Requirement for protection:
* Novelty.
* Individual character.


Design Protection:

- Exclusive right.
- Principle of territory.
- Duration:
* registered design rights: max. 25 years.
* unregistered design rights: 3 years.


What is a Trademark?:

- It is any sign, capable of being represented graphically, which distinguished the goods and services of one undertaking from those of another.


Refusal for Trademarks

- Absolute grounds: lack of distinctiveness.
- Relative ground: when peaceful co- existence of mark is impossible.


Trademark protection:

- Exclusive right.
- Potentially perpetual (renewal every 10 years).
- Risk of loss of protection if: not used after 5 years, found to be invalid.


What is a copyright?:

- Protects and production of the human mind, such as literary and artistic work.
- Production must be an expression and not an idea.


Protection of copyright:

- Economic right: exploitation of work, freely transferable/ licensable.
- Moral right: relate to a moral interest of author, always retained by author.


What is a Trade Secret?:

Information that:
- Is not generally known easily discovered.
- Has business, commercial or economic value.
- Is subject to reasonable effort to maintain secrecy.


Protection of Trade Secret:

- Limited access to information.
- Encrypted.
- Monitored entry to installations.
- Non- disclosure agreements.


Concept of negotiable instrument

It is a document that:
- Incorporates a legal right.
- The right becomes independent from the underlying transaction.
- Contains all the legal details of the right that it incorporates.
- Normally freely transferable.


Main economic functions of NI:

- Means of payment (substituting cash).
- Credit instrument evidencing a deferred payment.
- Means to obtain credit through bank discounting.


Types of payment NI

- Bill of exchange.
- Check.
- Promissory Note. (Pagaré)


Bill of exchange:

- NI which is issued by a person and includes a payment obligation to be accepted by another person of an specific quantity on the due date.
- Drawee may not accept the payment obligation.
- Drawer remains liable if drawee does not accept and fails to pay.