Achievements and New Perspectives
Edited by Christophe Geiger
Chapter 2: Pruning the European intellectual property tree: in search of common principles and roots
A few years ago, William Cornish wondered whether intellectual property had not become ‘omnipresent, distracting, irrelevant’. Many others now doubt the coherence of the intellectual property regime and denounce its excessive development. Taking stock of these sound and always well-reasoned critiques, the conference organized in Strasbourg in the frame of the EIPIN assumed the uneasy task of reconstructing European intellectual property. This reform of the IP regime ought necessarily to begin with an assessment of the existing rules and their relevance. As the European Union knows a multiplicity of IP rights, from classical ones (copyright, patent, trademark or design) to more marginal ones, in terms of the economic sectors concerned (rights in databases, in plant varieties, in semiconductors, in geographical indications), the quest for consistency could integrate a reflection on the common core embedded in that diversity. Is there (and should there be) common ground and uniform principles across all intellectual property rights? And to what extent should diversity and specificity of intellectual property rights give way to a common approach?
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