Economy Ministers state that the EU Intellectual Property Action Plan can “incentivize R&D investments and foster key technologies”
[Brussels, 22 September 2020] Building on June’s European Council Conclusions on
‘Shaping Europe’s Digital Future’ , EU Economy Ministers have highlighted their own expectations for the Commission to use effective Intellectual Property (IP) as a mechanism to incentivise investment in Europe’s industrial competitiveness, thereby helping to drive the economic recovery.
In addition to recognizing the vital importance of IP rights (IPR), the Competitiveness Council Conclusions2 – adopted yesterday – also confirmed the need to help Europe’s SMEs to innovate, scale-up and prosper by facilitating IP driven investments.
According to Francisco Mingorance, Executive Secretary of IP Europe, “Europe needs to support innovators and explicitly recognise the value of effective IPR protection and enforcement for innovative European businesses of all sizes. When it comes to strengthening technological sovereignty and maintaining European leadership in strategic technologies, such as 5G and 6G, comprehensive and predictable IP protection is vitally important.”
“We therefore hope the forthcoming IP Action Plan explicitly recognises that European FRAND-based open standards development and its licensing model are sound. By doing so, the EU can continue to encourage the multi-billion R&D investments made by European companies in this space. Such recognition, even in non-legislative EU policies, can have a significant positive impact on wireless innovators operating in the real economy.”
The Council’s Conclusions also confirmed the need for SMEs to, “fully benefit from the opportunities of the SingleMarket, including by fostering the ‘Think Small First’ Principle and enabling growth investments through the facilitation of intellectual-property- driven investments for SMEs.”
Ruben Bonet, SME Chair of IP Europe, added: “The importance and vulnerability of Europe’s SMEs has been made clear by the COVID-19 crisis. Now, more than ever, the EU needs to create a business environment that enables innovative SMEs to capitalise on the opportunities of the Internet of Things and the digital transition. We welcome the Council conclusions and call on the European Commission to ensure that IP protection is strengthened as European SMEs need to continue to invest, innovate and remain competitive.”