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News article16 November 2021

European Parliament outlines necessary steps in IP reform efforts

On Thursday, the European Parliament has adopted with an overwhelming majority a report on the European Commission's "EU Intellectual Property Action Plan". This presents an important step forward in addressing weaknesses in the current intellectual property (IP) system.

The report assesses the ambitions of the Commission’s plan, which was presented last autumn, and outlines a series of recommendations in regards to IP. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, in particular, strong IP rights (IPR) protection is needed for the economic and social recovery of the EU.

Potential next steps outlined by the report include the launch of the unitary patent system, addressing counterfeiting and piracy and establishing geographical indications (GIs) for non-agricultural products. Certain challenges like the fragmentation of IP systems, greater support of technology transfer and increasing protection for AI-generated inventions also still need to be addressed.

While the EU already has strong intellectual property rights rules, these steps could help to greatly improve the current system and ensure companies can protect and commercialise their intangible assets, fight unauthorised copying by competitors and have a competitive advantage.

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Publication date
16 November 2021