In this section you will find information on how the EU protects intellectual property rights and fights against piracy and counterfeiting.
To create a genuine Single Market in Europe, restrictions on freedom of movement and anti-competitive practices must be eliminated or reduced as much as possible, while creating an environment favourable to innovation and investment. In this context, the protection of intellectual property is an essential element for the success of the Single Market. In our growing knowledge-based economies the protection of intellectual property is important not only for promoting innovation and creativity, but also for developing employment and improving competitiveness.
Intellectual property is divided into two categories: industrial property, which includes inventions, trademarks, industrial design, and geographical indications of source; and copyright, which includes literary and artistic works such as novels, films, musical works, paintings, photographs, and architectural designs. Rights related to copyright include those of performing artists in their performances, producers of phonograms in their recordings, and those of broadcasters in their radio and television programs.