Intellectual Property (IP) is a terminology that refers to the ownership of intangible assets, such as inventions, novels or music. Legislators worldwide have sought to reward, for their efforts, the creators of intellectual assets with a set of proprietary rights. These rights are collectively referred to as Intellectual Property Rights (IPR).
The European Commission creates, procures, acquires, and disseminates intangible assets on a regular basis, in particular copyright works such as text, sounds, videos, images, software and data. In addition, technical inventions developed by the JRC or in the frame of strategic programmes such as the Satellite Navigation programme Galileo or the ITER project are often protected by patent or design rights.
The JRC creates most of the IP rights of the Commission and has therefore developed expertise in the identification, protection, and management of IP assets. In the case of technological inventions and their transfer to third parties, the aim is to maximise their impact on society. Examples of such technological inventions can be found on the patents & technologies section which is currently being updated.
The JRC runs the Commission's Central IP Service with an aim to further enhance the effective institutional management of IPR. Experts from the Central IP Service and the Technology Transfer Office take an active role in the Commission policy-making process for policies related to IP and Technology Transfer.