On 16 September 2014, the Commission published a decision to establish a group of experts on the enforcement of IP rights (the ‘Decision’). The background to the Decision highlights the Commission’s position on the importance of protecting IP, stating that to do so promotes innovation and creativity, develops employment and improves competitiveness. The Decision will be welcomed by those who have been calling on the Commission to take a stronger stance on IP issues (mentioned on this blog here) with the expert group forming a “platform for discussion” to improve collaboration between Member States. The group will comprise experts from national IP authorities and is tasked with improving consistency and developing a common EU approach. The Commission notes that the borderless nature of internet related infringements necessitates a concerted approach to enforcement.
In addition to developing cooperation between Member States, the expert group’s work will comprise: advising and assisting the Commission on IP policy, monitoring the development of those policies and new issues, as they emerge, and exchanging experience and good practice in enforcing IPRs. A Commission representative will set the agenda for the expert group and as new issues arise, or attract Commission attention, the Decision foresees the development of temporary focus groups with a specific mandate and the seeking of advice from experts on an ad hoc basis.
For those interested, expert group submissions and agendas will be published in the Commission Register of expert groups.