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Property rights

Quotation: Rennings, K.. 2013: Introduction to the economic Impact Areas Property Rights. Available at:


The economic impact area “Property Rights” deals with the protection and enforcement of property and especially of intellectual property rights. This is crucial to the EU´s ability to compete in the global economy since the European competitiveness is built on innovation and value added products by high levels of creativity. EU growth and jobs are hampered when our ideas, brands and products are pirated and counterfeited. Moreover, counterfeit products often danger our citizens´ safety or health.
Therefore intellectual property rights such as patents, trademarks, designs, copyrights or geographical indications are becoming increasingly important for European inventors, creators and businesses. These rights enable them to prevent unauthorised exploitation of their creations and distinctive signs, or to allow such exploitation in return for compensation.
This text is for information only and is not designed to interpret or replace any reference documents. The text is partially adapted from:

Relevant Policies

The Commission is currently campaigning for the effective introduction of a Community Patent System, which would be less costly and more legally effective, as a guarantee of competitiveness for European industry.
An industrial property right strategy for Europe
For more detailed information see

Legal Basis for the Commission to Act

Charter of Fundamental Right of the European Union: Art. 17
Art. 17.1 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union states that “Everyone has the right to own, use, dispose and bequeath his or her lawfully acquired possessions. No one may be deprived of his or her possessions, except in the public interest and in the cases and under the conditions provided for by the law, subject to fair compensation being paid in good time for their loss. The use of property may be regulated by law in so far as is necessary for the general interest.
In contrary to the case of intellectual and industrial property rights, however, little action has historically been taken at EU level in order to assure protection of property rights; in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity, this area has been traditionally regulated at the national level. However, there are instances in which Community action may results in impact affecting property rights and /or of the prerogatives attached to them.
Protection of intellectual property is covered by the international organizations “World Intellectual Property” (WIPO) and the “World Trade Organization (WTO). European Union Bodies to carry out this mission are the Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market (OHIM) and the European Patent Office (EPO)

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Content for this term

Title Type Updated date
Property Rights Impact Area 2014-01-22 16:07
Rennings, Klaus Expert 2013-12-03 16:39