The European Court of Auditors has published a report in which it criticises the EU’s legal framework for the protection of intellectual property rights (IPR). The team of auditors argue that the current EU IP protection system is not as effective as it could be and, moreover, too expensive.
The report focuses on three different IP areas: industrial designs, trademarks and geographical indications. Auditors noted that IPR-intensive industries generate almost half (45 %) of the EU’s economic activity, worth €6.6 trillion, and provide nearly a third (29 %) of total EU employment. The auditors also stated that each year counterfeit products are responsible for €83 billion in lost sales. If the problem of counterfeit products were tackled effectively, the EU economy would gain 400,000 jobs, according to a recent estimate of the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO).
With IPR being a crucial factor in the EU’s global competitiveness, the auditors argue, better protection at lower cost is necessary. The Court's recent recommendations are aiming to rectify these perceived shortcomings. More specifically, this includes: completed and updated regulatory frameworks, an assessment of the governance arrangements and methodology for determining fees, improving the geographical indications systems and the enforcement framework and, lastly, improving the management of the European Union Intellectual Property Office's (EUPO) European Cooperation Projects.
- Publication date
- 3 May 2022