Chapter 11: EU intellectual property rights law – driving innovation or stifling the Digital Single Market?
Chapter 11 of the book offers insights into European intellectual property rights policies. Kaisa Olkkonen and Jari Vaario, senior corporate figures with years of first hand experience on IPRs, with Harri Kalimo, Professor at the Institute for European Studies (IES) at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, offer three fundamental examples from the area: standard essential patents (SEPs), copyright licensing for content online and copyright levies for digital copies. The Chapter’s conclusions are somewhat negative, however: the authors assess that during Barroso II Commission, the development of the EU’s IPR policies seems to have been sluggish, and in parts even counter-productive from the perspective of Europe’s commercial interests. The crisis has given the Commission only limited leverage in persuading the Member States to push the digital agenda. The Member States seem to have become even more defensive. While the Commission may have managed to put some of the issues on the agenda, the time it took to do this entails a heavy penalty on the European market players and consumers. In the area of copyright licensing, the delay has also meant a non-economic loss on cultural diversity. Much work remains to be completed by the Juncker Commission, and constitutionally speaking the slow process at EU level has in some cases moved the frontier of policy developments to the national level.
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