Report on protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights

intellectual property rightsThe European Commission has published its biennial report on protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights (IPR) in key third countries.

The report is part of the European Commission’s Strategy for the Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights in Third Countries. It is largely based on an EU survey on the protection and enforcement of IPR throughout the world, carried out by the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market, and will help the Commission to update its list of ‘priority countries’ on which to focus its activities and efforts for improving protection and enforcement of IPR. It will also benefit third country authorities’ understanding of the perception of EU users of their IPR systems, particularly in regard to potential areas for improvement.

Despite positive developments and comprehensive legal reforms, enforcement initiatives and the creation of specialised IP Courts, two thirds of goods detained in 2013 at EU borders due to suspected IPR-infringement originated in mainland China. China therefore retains its status as a priority country. The EU has, however, over the years developed close cooperation with China on IP matters and recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding to reinforce this cooperation.

India also remains a big concern for the Commission, in particular its lack of effective patent protection. The report also highlights a general worsening of IPR protection and enforcement in Argentina, Russia and Ecuador compared to the last report in 2013. Accordingly, the Commission has moved these countries up its priority list.

Compared to the situation in 2013, the report identifies notable improvements in Israel and the Philippines. Israel has improved its protection of pharmaceutical products, while the Philippines have taken significant steps to improve the IPR environment, particularly in legislation and enforcement.

The report provides valuable information for EU rights’ holders on the effectiveness of intellectual property rights regimes in countries outside the EU. It will also enable right holders – in particular small and medium-sized firms – to improve their business strategies and operations to protect their corporate value in intangibles based on intellectual property they own. In particular, they will be able to better manage risk around their IPR when doing business in or with certain third countries.

Source: OHIM