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The Intellectual Property Debate

Perspectives from Law, Economics and Political Economy

Edited by Meir Perez Pugatch

Intellectual property (IP) has become one of the most influential and controversial issues in today’s knowledge-based society. This challenging book exposes the reader to key issues at the heart of the public debate now taking place in the field of IP. It considers IP at the macro level where it affects many issues. These include: international trade policy, ownership of breakthrough technologies, foreign direct investment, innovation climates, public–private partnerships, competition rules and public health where it is strongly embedded in contemporary business decision making.
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Chapter 4: The Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights: An EU Perspective of a Global Question

Paul Vandoren and Pedro Velasco Martins


Paul Vandoren and Pedro Velasco Martins* One of the main problems with adopted rules is that they must be implemented and enforced, in order to remain credible and effective. In many instances, and in particular when such implementation is complex, costly and resource-intensive, it would certainly help if the institutions called upon to carry out such tasks were convinced of the overall beneficial effect of their efforts for the community in general. In this chapter, we will describe why the enforcement of intellectual property rights (IPR), and in particular the fight against violations of such rights, is important for the European Union. But, perhaps most importantly (and in a way more difficult) we will endeavour to explain why it should be equally important for others, including many developing countries where piracy, counterfeiting and other IPR infringements are currently widespread and systemic, to contribute to such efforts. Furthermore, we will present the ‘Strategy for the enforcement of intellectual property rights in third countries’,1 a paper setting the guidelines for the action of the European Union in the coming years to address the problem outside its borders. At a time when we are celebrating the 10th anniversary of the TRIPs agreement,2 we must face the fact that levels of piracy and counterfeiting continue to increase every year and have grown to industrial proportions, becoming a serious threat to national economies and governments. This has happened in spite of the fact that, by now, most...

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