[Ip-health] EC: Commission sets out "blueprint" for Intellectual Property Rights to boost creativity and innovation

Ante ante at ffii.org
Tue May 24 15:17:38 PDT 2011

A day earlier, EDRi (European Digital Rights initiative) published a shadow 


PR: http://www.edri.org/files/IPR_pressrelease_110523.pdf

vriendelijke groet,


On Tuesday 24 May 2011 16:06:06 Joanna Keenan wrote:
> European Commission's press release today.
> http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=IP/11/630&format=HT
> ML&aged=0&language=en&guiLanguage=en
> Commission sets out "blueprint" for Intellectual Property Rights to boost
> creativity and innovation
> Brussels, 24 May 2011
> Commission sets out "blueprint" for Intellectual Property Rights to boost
> creativity and innovation
> Intellectual property rights (IPR), which comprise patents, trademarks,
> designs and geographical indications, as well as copyright (authors'
> rights) and rights related to copyright (for performers, producers and
> broadcasters), have been around for centuries. Often, without our even
> realising, they affect our daily lives: they protect the technology we use
> (cars, mobile phones, trains), the food we eat and the music we listen to
> or the films we watch. But in the last few years, technological change
> and, in particular, the growing importance of online activities, have
> completely changed the world in which IPR operate. The existing mix of
> European and national rules are no longer adapted and need to be
> modernised. That is why the Commission has adopted today a comprehensive
> strategy to revamp the legal framework in which IPR operate. Our objective
> is to enable inventors, creators, users and consumers to adapt to the new
> circumstances and to enhance new business opportunities. The new rules
> will strike the right balance between promoting creation and innovation,
> in part by ensuring reward and investment for creators and, on the other
> hand, promoting the widest possible access to goods and services protected
> by IPR. Getting this balance right will make a real difference to
> businesses (from the individual artist working alone to the big
> pharmaceutical companies) by encouraging investment in innovation. This
> will benefit the EU's growth and
> competitiveness which is delivered through the single market. Consumers
> will benefit from wider and easier access to information and cultural
> content, for example online music. The strategy deals with many issues to
> ensure IPR are covered comprehensively - from the patent a business needs
> to protect an invention to tackling the misuse of such inventions via a
> proposal also adopted today which will strengthen action on counterfeiting
> and piracy. Among the first deliverables of this IPR overall strategy are
> today's proposals for an easier licensing system for so-called "orphan
> works" that will allow many cultural works to be accessible online, and
> for a new regulation to reinforce customs actions in fighting trade of IPR
> infringing goods.
> "Ensuring the right level of protection of intellectual property rights in
> the single market is essential for Europe's economy. Progress depends on
> new ideas and new knowledge," said Internal Market Commissioner Michel
> Barnier. "There will be no investment in innovation if rights are not
> protected. On the other hand, consumers and users need to have access to
> cultural content, for example online music, for new business models and
> cultural diversity to both thrive. Our aim today is to get the balance
> between these two objectives right for IPR across the board. To make
> Europe's framework for intellectual property an enabler for companies and
> citizens and fit for the online world and the global competition for
> ideas."
> Algirdas ?emeta, Commissioner responsible for Customs said: "Customs are
> ideally placed at the border, to protect citizens and legitimate businesses
> and their contribution is highly valuable in fighting counterfeiting and
> piracy". He added: "I am convinced that a robust system of intellectual
> property rights is essential for the whole EU economy. With today's
> proposal, customs will be able to provide greater protection for IPR and to
> better tackle the trade in IPR infringing goods."
> The IPR Strategy sets out a series of short- and long-term key policy
> actions in various areas which include:
>    - Patents: the Commission already launched proposals in April for a
>    unitary patent protection under enhanced cooperation (see IP/11/470).
>    Meanwhile, work will continue on proposals relating to the creation of a
>    unified and specialised patent court for the classical European patents
> and the future European patents with unitary effect. This would
> considerably reduce litigation costs and the time it takes to resolve
> patent disputes. It would also increase legal certainty for business.
>    - Trade marks: while trade mark registration in the EU has been
>    harmonised in Member States for almost 20 years and the Community trade
> mark was established 15 years ago, there is an increasing demand for more
> streamlined, effective and consistent registration systems. The Commission
> intends to present proposals in 2011 to modernise the trade mark system
> both at EU and national levels and adapt it to the Internet era.
>    - Geographical indications (GIs): GIs secure a link between a product's
>    quality and its geographical origin. However, there is currently no such
>    system available at EU level for the protection of non-agricultural
> products such as Carrara marble or Solingen knives. This leads to an
> unlevel playing field in the Single Market. The Commission will therefore
> carry out an in-depth analysis of the existing legal framework in the
> Member States as well as the potential economic impact of protection for
> non-agricultural GIs in 2011 and 2012. Depending on the outcome of an
> impact assessment, these could eventually be followed up by legislative
> proposals.
>    - Multi-territorial copyright licensing: While the substantive scope of
>    copyright has been largely harmonised, rights are still licensed on a
>    national basis. In view of the digital Single Market, streamlining
> copyright licensing and revenue distribution is one of the most important
> challenges that must be addressed. In the 2nd half of 2011, the Commission
> will submit a proposal to create a legal framework for the efficient
> multi-territorial collective management of copyright, in particular in the
> music sector. It will also establish common rules on the transparent
> governance and revenue distribution. In the second half of 2011, the
> Commission will also launch a consultation on the various issues related
> to the online distribution of audiovisual works.
>    - Digital libraries: The creation of European digital libraries that
>    preserve and disseminate Europe's rich cultural and intellectual
> heritage is key to the development of the knowledge economy. To facilitate
> this, the Commission is also tabling today a legislative proposal that
> will enable the digitisation and online availability of so-called "orphan
> works" (works like books and newspaper or magazine articles that are still
> protected by copyright but where the right holders are not known or cannot
> be located to obtain copyright permissions) – see MEMO/11/333.
> Concurrently, the Commission looks forward to concluding a Memorandum of
> Understanding amongst libraries, publishers, authors and collecting
> societies to facilitate licensing solutions to digitise and make available
> out-of-commerce books. - IPR violations: Counterfeiting and piracy are a
> growing threat for the economy. Between 2005 and 2009, the number of
> registered cases at the EU borders of goods suspected of infringing IPR
> increased from 26 704 to 43 572. Meanwhile, the creative industry
> estimates that piracy has cost the European music, movie, TV and software
> industry €10 billion and more than 185 000 jobs in 2008 alone. The
> Commission is set to intensify its efforts in this area. Firstly, the
> Commission has tabled a regulation today that is to reinforce the European
> Observatory on Counterfeiting and Piracy, which it launched in 2009, by
> entrusting its tasks to the Office for Harmonisation in the Internal
> Market (OHIM). This will allow the Observatory to benefit from OHIM's
> intellectual property expertise and strong record of delivery in trade
> marks and designs. The Regulation now passes to the European Parliament
> and the Council for consideration. Secondly, in Spring 2012, the
> Commission will propose to revise the IPR Enforcement Directive (see
> IP/04/540). The Directive provides for civil law measures allowing right
> holders to enforce their intellectual property rights but should be
> adapted, in particular to meet the specific challenges of the digital
> environment. - IPR enforcement by customs: Customs supervise all trade
> crossing EU external borders: they carry out controls for many purposes
> and have an essential role in fighting the trade in IPR infringing goods.
> In 2009 only, customs intercepted over 40 000 suspect shipments involving
> 118 million articles. Whilst the majority of goods intercepted are
> counterfeit or pirated, customs' unique position at the border allows for
> the enforcement of a wide range of intellectual property rights. As part
> of today's overall IPR strategy, the Commission also proposes a new
> customs regulation, to further reinforce the legal framework for customs'
> actions. The proposal also aims to tackle the trade in small consignments
> of counterfeit goods sent by post as the overwhelming majority of these
> goods results from internet sales.
>  Background
> IPR is a cornerstone of the EU economy and a key driver for its further
> growth. In 2009, the value of the top 10 brands in EU countries amounted to
> almost 9% of GDP on average. Copyright-based creative industries such as
> software, book and newspaper publishing, music and film, contributed 3.3%
> to EU GDP in 2006 and account for approximately 1.4 million SMEs,
> representing 8.5 million jobs. Employment in "knowledge-economy"
> industries increased by 24% between 1996 and 2006 compared to 6% for other
> industries.
> For more information on Intellectual Property Rights:
> http://ec.europa.eu/internal_market/top_layer/index_52_en.htm
> See MEMO/11/332 and MEMO/11/333
> For more information on the customs policy:
> http://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/customs/customs_controls/counterfeit_p
> iracy/statistics/index_en.htm
> For more information on the new IPR customs regulation:
> See MEMO/11/327
> http://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/index_en.htm
> Joanna Keenan
> Press Officer
> Medecins Sans Frontieres
> Campaign for Access to Essential Medicines
> www.msfaccess.org
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