Utilising immaterial rights requires both good competences at companies and an easy-to-use rights protection system in the society. The society can support immaterial value creation also by ensuring good education and incentives to utilise immaterial rights in the company's operations.
The European Union is renewing the patenting system and creating a new unitary patent alongside the current policies. The unitary patent would enable the application for patent protection with one application to all countries participating in the system. Any disputes concerning these patents would be handled in a single court.
The unitary patent is intended to be easier to use, better value, and faster than the current decentralised European patent. The goal is to improve the competitiveness of European countries in the global market and simplify the patenting process of smaller companies in particular.
Utilising copyrights is expanding to more and more branches. Today, it is not uncommon that a product or a service innovation is protected by copyright as well as patents and registered trademarks, among others. Immaterial rights often fuse into each other and their interaction is essential in protecting innovations.
Hence, it is increasingly important that copyrights take into account the changed and globalised environment. The system must be easy to use and support the growth of a new global digital business among others. We must abandon narrow-minded thinking and start taking into account the interests of all the parties in the value chain.
Europe is dragging behind the rest of the world in utilising digital assets globally. Creating digital contents services in Europe is much too difficult, which is above all caused by the scattered and monopolised copyright system.
The functionality of the European Union's digital internal market requires at least the following:
- Replacement of the device-based private copying copyright levy system with a more modern compensation mechanism.
- Simplifying licensing in a digital environment.
- Simplifying licensing across borders.
- Getting rid of the monopolies of copyright organisations.
- Fighting against piracy by improving the supply of legal content.
- DIGITALEUROPE copyright levies - Creating a European copyright system for the digital age
- DIGITALEUROPE levy infographic [jpg file]
- DIGITALEUROPE alternatives to device based copyright levies [pdf file]
- DIGITALEUROPE on Vitorino recommendations on private copying [pdf file]