European Commission adopts Action Plan on Intellectual Property

Submitted by Lee Gibson on 26 November 2020

The European Commission has published a new Action Plan on Intellectual Property to help companies, especially small and medium-sized companies (SMEs), make the most of their inventions and creations.

Intellectual property (IP) is a key driver for economic growth as it helps companies to valorise their intangible assets.

The Action Plan aims to enable the European creative and innovative industry to remain a global leader and accelerate Europe's green and digital transitions.

In particular, it sets out key steps to improve the protection of IP; to boost the uptake of IP by SMEs; to facilitate the sharing of IP to increase the technological uptake in the industry; to fight counterfeiting and improve the enforcement of IP rights; and to promote a global level playing field.

The COVID-19 crisis has highlighted dependencies on critical innovation and technologies. The Action Plan addresses these challenges whilst making sure that critical IP can be made available in time of crisis.

Globally, IP filings are on the rise, as intangible assets play an increasing role in the global race for technological leadership.

IP-intensive industries account for 45% of all gross domestic product (GDP) and 93% of all European Union (EU) exports, while the added value of IP is growing across most European industrial ecosystems.

The Action Plan builds on the strengths of the European IP framework to ensure that it supports economic recovery and resilience in key economic areas.

Commissioner for the Internal Market, Thierry Breton, said: “Europe is home to some of the world's leading innovations, but companies are still not fully able to protect their inventions and capitalise on their intellectual property.

"We are proposing to overhaul our intellectual property system to strengthen Europe's ability to develop next-generation technologies, reflect advances in data and artificial intelligence, allow companies to quickly pool their knowledge in times of crisis, and support Europe's path towards economic recovery and the green transition.”

Read more here and view the Commission's Action Plan Q&As here.

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