EU Council “recognizes the importance of intellectual property protection to incentivise R&D investments by EU industry in the development of key technologies in 5G/6G”

Adopted today, the European Council conclusions on ‘Shaping Europe’s Digital Future’ recognise the vital importance of Intellectual Property Rights to the European data economy and the EU 2025 connectivity objectives.

[Brussels: Tuesday 9 June, 2020] IP Europe commends the Council of the European Union for recognizing the importance of intellectual property rights to the European digital economy. EU industry is a leader in the development of 4G and 5G mobile communication standards, a critical digital sector. This requires substantial and continuous private sector investments in R&D, which are only made possible through strong IP protection.

The Council’s acknowledgement of the importance of intellectual property for European leadership in mobile technology standards comes at critical juncture in the policy cycle. The European Commission has two important files before it – a review of the Horizontal Cooperation Guidelines and the adoption of an Intellectual Property Action Plan – which could significantly impact European contributors to standards development. European participation in the development of 5G and 6G is strategically important for the EU, as these globally interoperable technologies are becoming more and more vital to industries wishing to participate in the Internet of Things.

Reacting to the Council Conclusions, Francisco Mingorance, Executive Secretary of IP Europe, said: “We welcome EU Member States’ recognition of the important role IP plays as a catalyst for the digital innovation ecosystem. Technology developers like Ericsson, Nokia and Orange have collectively invested hundreds of billions of Euros in the development of 4G and 5G. European leadership in the field of mobile communication technology is predicated on a strong and predictable IP framework that enables fair compensation for the use of the technology.”

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About IP Europe

IP Europe is a coalition of research and development-intensive organizations headquartered in Europe, whose inventions are protected by intellectual property rights. From global technology leaders and research institutes creating the technologies that underpin the 5G cellular standard, to innovative SMEs which rely on their patent portfolios to grow, IP Europe gives a voice to organisations that recognise the value of IP in fostering innovation, growth and jobs.

Our goal is to promote the vital importance of Intellectual Property Rights to the European digital and knowledge-based economy and to ensure that EU policies support a world-leading innovation ecosystem. Today in the EU, 40% of economic activity and 35% of employment – spanning 77 million jobs – are generated by IPR-intensive companies.

Media contact:

Press statement can be downloaded here.

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