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Council conclusions on intellectual property policy

On Nov 10th 2020 the Council of the European Union adopted a document entitled Council Conclusions on Intellectual Property Policy and the Revision of the Industrial Designs System in the Union, on key elements of the future intellectual property policy of the European Union.

In its conclusions, the Council emphasizes the importance of a strong, effective, transparent and balanced system for the protection of intellectual property and trade secrets and the need for a coherent comprehensive strategy to ensure equitable access to and protection of innovation. In addition to the above, the Council aims to ensure that businesses established in the European Union, including small and medium-sized enterprises, can generate revenue from the commercialization of their intellectual property, but also to enable them to use new technologies, such as artificial intelligence technologies, 3D printing and blockchain technology.

Second part of the Council document is dealing with conclusions concerning geographical indications, and the Council states that it welcomes the entry into force of the Geneva Act of the Lisbon Agreement on designations of origin and geographical indications, recognizing the need to strengthen the system of protection of geographical indications within the European Union and to provide all Contracting Parties with rapid, unrestricted high-level protection for geographical indications through a single registration.

Furthermore, in regards to the part of the document relating to the enforcement of intellectual property rights, the Council notes in its conclusions, inter alia, that despite the efforts made, the market share of counterfeits is still unacceptably high, including products that endanger the health and safety of consumers, and that the same products are still offered on the Internet, which is why it encourages the European Commission to take a number of concrete measures to tackle counterfeiting and piracy, including, inter alia, stronger Internet platforms and other providers of information hosting services to combat such illegal shops.

Finally, with regard to industrial design, the Council in its conclusions encourages the European Commission to present proposals for the revision of the legal framework for the protection of industrial design.

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