Constructing European Intellectual Property
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Constructing European Intellectual Property

Achievements and New Perspectives

Edited by Christophe Geiger

This detailed study presents various perspectives on what further actions are necessary to provide the circumstances and tools for the construction of a truly balanced European intellectual property system. The book takes as its starting point that the ultimate aim of such a system should be to ensure sustainable and innovation-based economic growth while enhancing free circulation of ideas and cultural expressions. Being the first in the European Intellectual Property Institutes Network (EIPIN) series, this book lays down some concrete foundations for a deeper understanding of European intellectual property law and its complex interplay with other fields of jurisprudence as well as its impact on a broad array of spheres of social interaction. In so doing, it provides a well needed platform for further research.
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Chapter 20: Checks and balances in the intellectual property enforcement field: reconstructing EU trade agreements

Xavier Seuba


The recent emphasis on the enforcement of intellectual property rights (IPR) has given place to a third generation of issues and debates in the IPR international policy-making area since the entry into force of the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS). In effect, right after the TRIPS was adopted, most of the research and policy proposals focused on its impact on public goods and social interests. The implications of the TRIPS were so broad that, even today, analysis of the TRIPS in search of policy space to protect the public interest continues to be fruitful. Later on, in the first years of the twenty-first century, a related but distinct debate re-emerged, this one focusing on relationships between IPR, innovation and the public interest. While some sustain the validity of the present IPR system to deliver meaningful innovation, others claim that the costs of the system go beyond its current benefits, which only arise when there is a market-based interest. More recently, intellectual property enforcement has been placed at the forefront of the international activity in the IPR field, in sharp contrast with the traditional autonomy left to national jurisdictions in this regard. Promoters of new enforcement undertakings assume that the enforcement of IPR is a neutral endeavour limited to implementing what has already been agreed upon. Others, however, question the priority character put on the enforcement of IPR; claim that enforcement is not addressed in a balanced manner; and sustain that enforcement, as presently promoted, impacts the substantive breadth of IPR.

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