Competition law
and intellectual

The interface between competition law and intellectual property rights is constantly evolving as changes in technology push at the limits of competition and regulation. This is especially true for digital economy issues, for example ensuring access to content and protecting you during the move to digital distribution. We have also worked on the competition issues around the standardisation process, for example the strategic issues for intellectual property right owners and licensees if your rights become ‘standards’.

We have acted for companies in defending their IP strategies and as well as those seeking to gain access to products and services covered by IP rights using competition law arguments.

Our main focus has been on competition over the internet, in e-commerce and digital products and services and access to financial and market data. We also have substantial experience in supporting businesses in the pharmaceuticals, healthcare and sports and entertainment rights sectors.



  • on the European Telecommunications Standards Body IPR policy and undertaking which governs the licensing of IP in standards on FRAND terms;
  • on an OFT complaint for a leading on-line media business in relation to the access of content held in the film sector including the appropriate use of IP rights for the limitation of content distribution;
  • a major pharmaceutical manufacturer on limitations in the downstream sale and distribution of pharmaceutical products produced under patent license;
  • a pharmaceutical manufacturer on how far it might require its licensees to allow it access to process improvements made by them relating to its patented products.

Latest news

  • Sheppard│Co wins Antitrust and Competition Law Firm of the Year 2015 UK by Finance Monthly (January 2015)
  • Sheppard│Co wins Regulatory Law Firm of the Year 2015 by Corporate LiveWire (May 2015)
  • Sheppard│Co sets up the Competition Damages Unit (CDU) and Competition Damages Fund (CDF) with finance from DCLG and in collaboration with CIPFA to bring competition damages claims on behalf of the public sector (February 2015)