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The Complexity Behind the Implementation of a Single Market Policy in the EU

A patent provides temporary protection that lasts for 20 years (from the filing date) over something created by an inventor against businesses or individuals who would copy, imitate, or reproduce the invention of other people and trademarks grant businesses with an exclusive right to over a company’s product name, words, signs and symbols, logos, the labelling and packaging as well as the exact product configuration or the appearance of the product itself3. IPRs are said to promote a monopolistic competition within the domestic and international markets.4On the other hand, competition law promotes free trade and healthy competition among local and international businesses.5 Considering that competition law is very much focused on eliminating and reducing the cases of monopolistic competition, it has been strongly argued that the concept behind the IPR contradicts with the fundamental principles that are being promoted under competition law.To enable the readers to have a better understanding of the subject matter, brief information with regards to patents and trademarks vs. competition law will be provided. Eventually, the rules of the competition that were applied in the context of the pharmaceutical industry will be thoroughly examined, including analysis of reasons why competition rules may be inapplicable to the pharmaceutical industry.Upon analysing of the conflicting purpose between the use of IPRs and the competition law, the factors that strongly support the idea that IP law significantly impedes the promotion of a free market movement of pharmaceutical products within and outside the domestic market will be discussed prior to the conclusion. At the end of the study, whether or not it is possible to implement EU’s goal of being able to integrate the entire market of the pharmaceutical sector into a ‘one size fits all’ attitude with the use of a single market policy will be answered.Patents and trademarks are used to protect the interests of inventors as well as the business.