An intellectual property action plan in support of EU’s recovery and resilience

Blogs July 7, 2021

IPR and Technology

This is the name of the action plan adopted by the European Commission in November 2020. The plan is part of the EU's new industrial strategy. The comprehensive action plan demonstrates that the field of intellectual property is a critical area for EU in terms of the Union’s economy and competitiveness.

The overall aim of the action plan - and all its components - is to provide more effective protection and support for companies developing new innovations and new works. This, in turn, will promote the EU’s economy and society. There is a need to review and update EU rules in the area of intellectual property law, according to the European Commission.

Five areas have been set as high priorities in the action plan:

  • Achieve more effective intellectual property rights protection

  • Support SMEs in utilising intellectual property rights

  • Ensure more efficient access to published intangible assets and, at the same time, guarantee rights holders a reasonable return on investments

  • Effectively prevent infringements of intellectual property rights

  • Seek to increase awareness and understanding of respect for legal rights and fair play on a global level.

Many in the field of intellectual property believe that such an action plan has been needed for a long time. It should be noted that many interests in intellectual property law conflict with other issues, whereby a balance between them must be managed. Examples of such clashes include those between intellectual property law and freedom of expression, freedom of information, the right to health, freedom of the arts, the EU's cornerstone of free competition. This balance has been exercised for many years, for example, by the European Court of Justice. It remains to be seen how the European Commission will approach the action plan and handle the balance described above.