The European Commission has recently announced further initiatives to enhance the protection of intellectual property rights (IPR). Predominantly, these are meant to encourage all companies to invest in innovation, with a special focus on SME and startups.
With these initiatives, the European Commission responds to the growing importance of IPR with IPR intense sectors accounting for an estimate of around 42% of EU GDP and the increased competition on innovation and creativity in the global economy. At the same time, counterfeit and pirated goods account for 5% of all import into the EU. The initiatives aim at facilitating cross-border litigation and effective actions against IPR infringements acknowledging the fact that SME and startups often lack resources to maintain larger IPR portfolios or engage in extended litigation.
Some of the initiatives mentioned in the press release are:
- The Commission calls on Member States to step up their efforts by boosting judicial training, systematically publishing judgements on IP cases and encouraging alternative dispute resolution tools.
- The Commission continues to support industry-led initiatives to combat IP infringements, including voluntary agreements on advertising on websites, on payment services and on transport and shipping. The aim being to enable swift actions against counterfeiting and piracy without court actions.
- The Commission proposes to reinforce cooperation programmes with third countries (China, South-East Asia, Latin America) and create a watch-list of markets that are reported to engage in, or facilitate, substantial IPR infringement.
Read the original press release issued by the European Commission here.