Answer ... The rights to an issued patent are characterised as property rights. Thus, a patent owner enjoys all ownership rights over the patent, including rights of possession, use and disposition. Where the right to use, exploit or apply a patented substance, structure or process is subject to transfer, this right shall be subject to a licence agreement.
The licensor and licensor are free to agree on:
- the type of licence (exclusive or non-exclusive);
- the duration of the licence; and
the scope of the licence – including limitations on the right to use the patented subject matter, the geographical scope of the licence and the price of the licence – provided that no terms and conditions of the licence unreasonably restrict the rights of the licensee.
Answer ... Under Section 144.2 of the Law on Intellectual Property, a licensor may impose the following restrictions on a licensee:
- a prohibition against improving the patented subject matter, compelling the licensee to transfer to the licensor free of charge any improvements it makes or the IP rights relating to such improvements;
- a direct or indirect restriction against exporting goods produced or services provided under the licence to territories where the licensor neither holds the respective patent nor has the exclusive right to import such goods;
- an obligation to buy all or a certain percentage of raw materials, components or equipment from the licensor or a third party designated by the licensor, where this is not required to ensure the quality of the goods produced or services provided by the licensee; or
- a prohibition against complaining about or initiating lawsuits with regard to the validity of patent or the licensor’s right to license.