Niveau juridique : Union européenne
Texte de la question :
« On 25 November 2020, the Commission presented an Action Plan on Intellectual Property to make the best possible use of the ‘innovative potential’ of European industry in order to protect its innovations and know-how.
According to the above-mentioned action plan, European patents are still subject to ‘expensive’ national validation procedures and small and medium-sized enterprises are often not aware of the benefits of incorporating intellectual property into their business strategies. Indeed, only 9% of SMEs have applied for their intellectual property (IP) to be protected.
Given that small and medium-sized enterprises and micro-enterprises account for 99% of all businesses and that the Commission itself estimates that 6.8% of all imports into the Union (i.e. goods worth more than EUR 121 billion) are counterfeit (goods infringing trademarks or geographical indications) or pirated (copies made without the consent of the IP right holder), can the Commission answer the following questions:
1. What financial instruments will it adopt to help small businesses benefit from their intangible assets?
2. What measures does it intend to propose to promote the dissemination of IP rights among small and medium-sized enterprises and micro-enterprises?
3. What specific measures will it take to combat counterfeiting and improve the enforcement of IP rights? »
Réponse de Mr Breton au nom de la Commission européenne :
« The Intellectual property (IP) Action Plan designed a set of measures to help small and medium-sized enterprises benefit from IP protection. Apart from cutting red tape, the Commission will provide financial support for IP protection, better information and advice. The Commission is also working with the financial sector to ensure that the companies can leverage their IP assets in order to get finance.
In addition, as of 11 January 2021 until the end of 2021, the Commission, with the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) and national IP Offices, provides co-funding for so-called IP scans (i.e., initial, strategic IP advice) and selected IP filings. In cooperation with the EUIPO, the Commission will also provide one-stop shop information on IP and make IP filings easier. It is also mainstreaming IP advice in EU funding and works with Member States to ensure that similar actions are taken at the national level.
As regards the fight against counterfeiting, the Commission will establish an EU toolbox against counterfeiting to promote and facilitate effective cooperation between IP rights holders, intermediaries and law enforcement authorities. The fight against IP rights infringement related to goods imported from third countries, putting at risk the health or security of EU consumers or the environment, is one of the investigative priorities of the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) that supports and complements the actions of the Member States.
The Commission plans to strengthen the enforcement of IP rights at EU level, by broadening the Commission’s mandate and assigning it to OLAF, so that the latter does not only prevent counterfeit goods from entering the single market, but can also act against illicit production of counterfeit goods within the EU. »
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