Speaking today at a European Parliament event on “IP in International Trade” Ruben Bonét, CEO of Fractus and Chairman of IP Europe SMEs Chapter, said:

“European companies, particularly SMEs, need more effective ways of protecting their IP rights internationally and a global level playing field. Promoting respect for IP as a reciprocity requirement in public procurement tenders and giving European companies the same access to third country markets should be part of this global level-playing field.

The EU has largely opened-up its public procurement markets to third countries, although many of these countries do not yet grant European companies the same access. The aim of the new European Commission International Procurement Instrument is to remedy this situation.

With this new Instrument, Europe could take a significant step forward in ensuring reciprocity and improving conditions for European companies competing for public contracts in third countries. Countries that often advantage their own national champions.

A chapter on protection and respect for IP rights should also be included in any future public procurement. This would encourage foreign trading partners to commit to an equally high level of protection, similar to that exercised in the EU.

EU policy makers and the new European Commission should take up IP protection in Europe and in third countries as a political priority – the upcoming International Procurement Instrument is a great opportunity to do just that.

Europe needs strong industrial policies that support its Strategic Autonomy in the Digital Age. IP protection must be central to these industrial policies to ensure continued investments in R&D, full participation in cellular ecosystems and fair access to global value chains for European innovative SMEs.”