Guidelines for project meetings – Obligations and conduct of participants and chairpersons (as of December 2021)
As a participant of a meeting organized by BFI, you have received a link to the following BFI information for project meetings with the invitation. Please make yourself familiar with these guidelines before the meeting begins.
- In order to ensure compliance with antitrust law, the following guidelines are binding for all project meetings and sessions organized by BFI (in person, by telephone or video conference or in other virtual formats). At the beginning of the project meeting, the responsible staff member will again point out to all participants that they must pay attention to compliance with antitrust regulations. It will be noted in the meeting minutes that this information has been provided.
- Representatives of competing companies may be present in project meetings making it necessary to ensure compliance with antitrust law in such meetings. In general, project meetings must not be used for extraneous purposes, in particular for the discussion of topics that are subject to and prohibited by antitrust law.
- All participants have to ensure that project meetings are conducted in compliance with antitrust regulation. Each meeting has to be attended by a BFI employee who is in particular responsible for ensuring that antitrust law is complied with in the meeting. In case the chairperson does not undertake this responsibility himself/herself he/she shall determine an adequate replacement.
- The discussion has to be limited to the research project in question. In particular, there must not be any exchange regarding:
- Strategic information that goes beyond information that is required in order to carry out the joint research. This includes an exchange of information regarding future research activities of the companies.
- Information about activities of a company generally considered to be confidential such as information regarding delivery prices, quantities or sources of equipment and supplies – as opposed to information that is generally known.
- Exchange or agreements on topics subject to antitrust regulation such as prices, quantities, costs, suppliers or customers.
- Agreements regarding restrictions of the freedom to carry out research and development activities in a field unconnected with that to which the joint research relates or, after the completion of the joint research, in the field to which it relates or in a connected field.
- Agreements regarding licensing to third parties or non-aggression clauses.
- Every statement that is issued in a meeting – be it in writing or orally – must be done in a way that is clear and does not bear any danger of being misinterpreted.
- In case the responsible employee or a participant notices the imminent danger of a violation of antitrust law, he/she shall bring the inadmissibility of such conduct to the attention of the chairperson and the participants and take measures to end the critical behaviour. In order to do so participants may be excluded from the meeting or the meeting may be cancelled.
- In case an antitrust violation takes place in a meeting the responsible employee informs the BFI management after the meeting.