A 100 Million Euro question referred to the CJEU: can a licensee be forced to pay royalties when the patent is held invalid?, by Pierre Véron and Amandine Métier, Véron & Associés
Genentech v. Hoechst and Sanofi‑Aventis Deutschland, cour d’appel de Paris, 23 September 2014, Docket № 12/21810
On 23 September 2014, the cour d’appel de Paris decided to refer to the Court of Justice of the European Union the following question:
“Should the provisions of Article 81 of the Treaty, now Article 101 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, be interpreted as an obstacle to giving effect, in case of invalidation of the patents, to a licence agreement which imposes on the licensee royalties for the sole use of the rights attached to the patents under licence?”
Through this referral the court questions the compatibility with European Union competition law of an arbitral award which ordered Genentech, the licensee, to pay €100,000,000 royalties to Hoechst, the licensor, for a patent held invalid in Europe.