Chapter 10: Moving out of the economic crisis: what role and shape for intellectual property rights in the European Union?
Christophe Geiger, Director of the Centre for International Intellectual Property Studies (CEIPI), University of Strasbourg, gives an academic’s perspective to the analysis in Chapter 10. Well functioning Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) are a necessity for promoting innovation and growth in Europe’s way out of the crisis. IPR intensive industries generate approximately 40 per cent of total economic activity in the EU. Besides affecting the European economy, the EU puts high hopes in IP in order to ensure food security, address climate change, deal with demographic change, improve the health of citizens and play an essential role in fostering cultural diversity. This Chapter assesses the challenge that the Barroso II Commission was faced with in fostering the development of a growth and competitiveness oriented framework for intellectual property (IP), while fully balancing the interests of all stakeholders and values more generally speaking. The analysis reveals how striking a balance can prove challenging. The EU’s IP system is a dearth of coherence, and in many respects still an incomplete construction. The recent failure of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) goes to show that a consensus on the right balance between IPR’s and fundamental rights is never easily achieved, in particular when it is sought at the level the international cooperation. The Chapter concludes that paradoxically, the more important intellectual property rights have become to the crisis struck EU economy, the more they are contested. Having outlined the developments in the construction of the intellectual property regime at EU level, the Chapter briefly draws perspectives on how to secure the establishment for the future an EU IP system which would better combine innovation and societal concerns.
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