EU Council adopts conclusions on future EU intellectual property policy

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The FINANCIAL — The European Council adopted a set of conclusions on key elements of a future EU intellectual property policy. These conclusions should be seen as the Council’s input to ongoing work within the Commission on an EU intellectual property action plan, expected to be presented shortly.

In these conclusions, the Council stresses the importance of a strong, efficient, transparent and balanced system of IP protection and the need for a coherent overall strategy to ensure both protection of – and fair access to – innovation.

As regards the non-patentability of plant or animal products exclusively obtained by means of essentially biological processes, the Council welcomes recent developments within the framework of the European Patent Organisation.

The Council also recognises the need to strengthen Geographical Indications protection systems in the EU. It stands ready to consider a system of sui generis protection of non-agricultural products on the basis of a thorough impact assessment of its potential costs and benefits.

The Commission is encouraged to undertake a number of concrete actions in the fight against counterfeiting and piracy, including further involving online platforms and other hosting providers.

Finally, the Council invites the Commission to present proposals for the revision of the legal framework on industrial design protection. Such revision should in particular address:

a) the complementarity between the Community, national and regional design protection systems,

b) the accessibility of these systems, for instance by clarifying and evolving the subject matter and requirements of design protection,

c) the implications of the use of new technologies,

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d) the transit of infringing goods through EU territory even when such goods are not intended to be placed on the EU market, and

e) the protectability of component parts of complex products used for repair purposes under design law.

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