Business Briefs

Doing Business in Europe:
Intellectual Property Rights

Intellectual property refers to industrial property, copyright and related rights. The need to develop a harmonized EU legal framework for intellectual property rights stems from the differences that exist between national laws in this field, creating in effect a barrier to the free movement of goods and services in the Single European Market (SEM) and the distortion of competition. Several European Union member states and the European Commission have long pushed actively for the adoption and reinforcement of international protection of intellectual property rights (IPR). There has been some degree of harmonization of national laws in specific areas of IPR. However, the European Commission believes that international efforts to improve the protection of IPR have not achieved the degree of harmonization necessary for the operation of a true European single market. This concern explains the ongoing Commission efforts to reinforce EU-level policy and to strengthen the protection of IPR at the global level.

  • European Community Actions
  • Trademarks & Designs
  • The Patent System & the Attempt to Create a Community Patent
  • Copyright & Related Rights
  • Counterfeiting & Piracy

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