Politics & Law

Intellectual property action plan to strengthen EU economic resilience and recovery published

Today, we published a new action plan on intellectual property to help companies, especially small and medium-sized companies (SMEs), to make the most of their inventions and creations and ensure they can benefit our economy and society.


Intellectual property (IP) is a key driver for economic growth as it helps companies to valorise their intangible assets. The action plan aims to enable European creative and innovative industry to remain a global leader and to speed up Europe's green and digital transitions. In particular, the plan sets out key steps to

  • improve the protection of IP
  • boost the uptake of IP by SMEs
  • facilitate the sharing of IP to increase the technological uptake in the industry
  • fight counterfeiting and improve the enforcement of IP rights
  • promote a global level playing field

The coronavirus crisis has also highlighted certain dependencies on critical innovation and technologies, so the action plan addresses these challenges while making sure that critical IP can be made available in time of crisis.

Intangible assets such as brands, designs, patents and data are increasingly important in today's knowledge economy. IP-intensive industries account for 45% of all GDP and 93% of all EU exports, while the added value of IP is growing across most European industrial ecosystems. Globally, IP filings are on the rise, as intangible assets play an increasing role in the global race for technological leadership. The action plan builds on the strengths of the European IP framework to ensure that it supports our economic recovery and resilience in key economic areas.

Commissioner for the Internal Market Thierry Breton said: “Europe is home to some of the world's leading innovations, but companies are still not fully able to protect their inventions and capitalise on their intellectual property. Today, we are proposing to overhaul our intellectual property system to strengthen Europe's ability to develop next generation technologies, reflect advances in data and AI; allow companies to quickly pool their knowledge in times of crisis, and support Europe's path towards economic recovery and the green transition.”

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