A strong industrial property rights system is a driving force for innovation, stimulating R&D investment and facilitating the transfer of knowledge from the laboratory to the marketplace. On 16 July 2008, the Commission adopted a Communication on an industrial property rights strategy for Europe which outlines actions to ensure Europe has a high quality industrial property rights system in the years to come. The Communication provides a horizontal strategy across the spectrum of different industrial property rights and includes initiatives on enforcement, innovation support for small and medium-sized enterprises, and the quality of industrial property rights. It complements the 2007 Communication on the patent system, which set out a way forward towards the adoption of a Community patent and an integrated EU-wide jurisdiction for patents.
In its recent communications, the European Commission set out its vision for improving the patent system in Europe and for revitalising the debate on this issue. Patents are a driving force for promoting innovation, growth and competitiveness, but the single market for patents remains incomplete.
The European Commission -Directorate General Internal Market and Services- in collaboration with the French presidency of the European Council organised a Conference on Industrial Property Rights in Strasbourg on 16 and 17 October 2008.
The Conference tackled three main topics: a Jurisdiction for European and Community Patents, the Community Patent, and Counterfeiting. The third of these topics was discussed from different aspects such as the economic stakes and implications for competitiveness and innovation, the consequences for the health and safety of citizens, and cross-border cooperation to strengthen enforcement of Industrial Property Rights.