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Archived updates for Monday, July 02, 2007

Forum Choice Clause Requirements in European Licensing Disputes


According to the IPR Helpdesk, although Council Regulation (EC) No 44/2001 establishes an exclusive competence in matters related to validity and registration of IP rights, a dispute related to an IPR contract will seldom concern this issue as the main object of proceedings. Therefore, in order for European forum-choice clauses to be valid in an intellectual property license, certain requirements need to be complied with:
  1. they must fulfil certain formal requirements2;

  2. they must grant jurisdiction to the court(s) of a Member State;

  3. at least one of the parties to the contract has to be domiciled in a Member State;

  4. the object of the contract cannot be one for which exclusive competences are established3.

The forum-choice clause must have been agreed: a) in writing (or by electronic means which provides a durable record); (b) in accordance with the regular practices established between the parties; or (c) in a form with is widely use in that field of international trade and the parties are ought to have been aware of.

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