MEPs debate strategies for protecting intellectual property rights 

Intellectual property rights are an essential part of the economy © BELGA_EASYFOTOSTOCK  

Fake products are harmful to the economy, not only to those who have invested in the original products, but also to consumers, whose health and safety are at risk. Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) exist to help counter these dangers. On Monday 8 June MEPs debate two reports dealing with IPR infringements and vote on them the following day. Watch it live on our website.

To deal with the growing number of IPR infringements both inside and outside EU, the European Commission has released an EU action plan as well as a revised strategy for the protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights outside the EU. The recommendations for the EU action plan have been drafted by Czech EPP member Pavel Svoboda and those for the strategy outside the EU  by Italian S&D member Alessia Maria Mosca.

EU action plan

To effectively address IPR issues in countries outside the EU, measures within the EU should be better coordinated. The EU action plan focuses on measures to tackle commercial-scale infringements and raise awareness to help people better understand the consequences of IPR infringements.

Svoboda, who is responsible for steering the action plan through Parliament, said: “We need effective campaigns, especially among the  younger generation, as these could at least help us to better understand the big change which is happening, especially in the digital environment.” He also highlighted the need to support small and medium-sized enterprises when upholding their rights.

Strategy outside the EU

Technological developments, increasingly globalised trade, e-commerce and outsourcing raise the need for new measures to combat IPR infringements outside the EU. Among other measures, strategy seeks to help identify countries where the protection and enforcement of IPR is weak.

Mosca, who is responsible for steering the strategy through Parliament, said:  “We call for some concrete measures in order [for the strategy] to be effective, both internally and in reference to third countries.”

She added it was important for the EU, and especially the Parliament, to show that they take IPR issues seriously and that they are using their global position to improve the current system, also outside the EU: "The EU has the duty to be a global leader on these issues.”

Watch the debates live on 8 June after 19.00 CET.

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What are intellectual property rights? 
  • Rights given to people over the creations of their minds. It can include literary works, films, music, artistic works, architectural designs (copyrights) and patents, trademarks, geographical indications (industrial property).