Belső piac, ipar-, vállalkozás- és kkv-politika

Intellectual property action plan implementation

Intellectual property action plan implementation

The table reflects the state-of-play of the implementation of the key actions mentioned in the IP action plan of 2020 (last update 2 June 2021).


Better protection of IP

Action Status and info Further information
Support a rapid roll out of the unitary patent system, to create a one-stop-shop for patent protection and enforcement across the EU Ratification of the UPC Agreement by the Member States concerned is expected, as well as endorsement of the Provisional Application Protocol. • Unitary patent
• UPC Preparatory Committee webpage
• Related EPO web pages
EU member states info:
• Ratification of the UPCA
• Ratification of the PAP
Optimise the supplementary protection certificates system, to make it more transparent and efficient (Q1 2022) Evaluation completed. An inception impact assessment will be published soon. Impact assessment being prepared. Supplementary protection certificates for pharmaceutical and plant protection products
Modernise the EU legislation on industrial designs, to make it more accessible and better support the transition to the digital and green economy (Q4 2021) Evaluation and inception impact assessment published. Public consultation launched in April 2021. 


Industrial design protection
Strengthen the protection system for geographical indications for agricultural products to make it more effective and consider, on the basis of an impact assessment, whether to propose an EU protection system for non-agricultural geographical indications (Q4 2021) • Inception impact assessment on EU protection of geographical indications for non-agricultural products (Nov 2020).
Feedback to the inception impact assessment is being analysed. Public consultation launched in April 2021. Impact assessment being prepared.
• Inception impact assessment regarding the revision of the EU geographical indications (GIs) systems in agricultural products and foodstuffs, wines and spirit drinks (Oct 2020).
• Geographical indications for non-agricultural products
• Geographical indications for agricultural products
Evaluate the plant variety legislation (Q4 2022) Plant variety property rights  

Promoting effective use and deployment of IP, especially by SMEs

Action Status and info Further information
Provide, with the EUIPO, a scheme for IP SME vouchers to finance IPR registration and strategic IP advice (Q1 2021) IP vouchers are available from 11 January 2021, to co-finance trade mark and design registration as well as personalised IP advice (‘IP Scan’). • IP Voucher/SME Fund
EU countries info:
• Promotion of the IP Voucher and provision of experts for the IP Scan service.
Roll out IP assistance services for SMEs in the 'Horizon Europe' programme and expand it to other EU programmes (2020+) • New IP Scan services for Horizon participants are available from 22 March 2020.
• IP assistance will be better integrated within the EIC support services.
• IP assistance will also be integrated into the InvestEU SME window, and gradually into ESIF-funded R&I projects.


• New IP Scan for Horizon Europe participants
• European IP Helpdesk
• IP Booster
EU countries info:
• At national and local level, link the IP assistance services with general business and research and innovation support services.
Present a code of practice on smart use of intellectual property in an international context to raise awareness among universities, research organisations and businesses (2022)   Related Commission recommendation and code of practice of 2008

Easier access to, and sharing of IP-protected assets

Action Status and info Further information
Ensure the availability of critical IP in times of crisis, including via new licensing tools and a system to co-ordinate compulsory licensing (2021-22) Impact licensing initiative study recently completed – related stakeholder workshop held on 28 January 2021 (outcomes).  
Improve transparency and predictability in SEP licensing via encouraging industry-led initiatives, in the most affected sectors, combined with possible reforms, including regulatory if and where needed, aiming to clarify and improve the SEPs framework and offer effective transparency tools (Q1 2022) • Studies (landscaping / essentiality checks pilot) and expert group (report) recently completed.
• Actions are being prepared to promote industry-led solutions through structured dialogues, and to discuss selected SEPs-related issues with stakeholders.
• Standard essential patents
• SEP-related webinars
Promote data access and sharing, while safeguarding legitimate interests, via clarification of certain key provisions of the Trade Secrets Directive and a review of the Database Directive (Q3 2021) Study recently launched on the legal protection of trade secrets in the context of the data economy

Data act, including the review of the Database Directive
Inception impact assessment (feedback until 25 June 2021)
Public consultation (feedback until 03 September 2021)
• Study to support the impact assessment for the review of the Database Directive (ongoing, duration – 4 months)

Fighting IPR infringements

Action Status and info Further information
Clarify and upgrade the responsibilities of digital services, in particular online platforms, through the Digital Services Act (Q4 2020) • Proposal of 15 December 2020: COM(2020)825)
• Background on the Digital Services Act
Strengthen the role of OLAF in the fight against counterfeiting and piracy (2022) Reference in the Commission Communication 'Long term action plan for better implementation and enforcement of single market rules', COM(2020)94, pp. 11-12. OLAF’s IPR web page
Establish an EU Toolbox against counterfeiting setting out principles for joint action, cooperation and data sharing among right holders, intermediaries and law enforcement authorities (Q2 2022) Roadmap being prepared.
First ISSG meeting on 4 March.
• New customs action plan
• Counterfeit, piracy and other IPR violations

Fair play at global level

Action Status and info Further information
  • Periodic monitoring reports: Third Country Report / Watch List
• DG TRADE’s IPR webpages
• EU representation before WIPO