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United States | Brussels, 18 July 2014

Transatlantic Working Group discusses Intellectual Property Rights

On 17 and 18 July, the EU and the U.S. convened a session of the Transatlantic Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Working Group in Brussels to discuss cooperation in the IPR field relevant for both IP rights holders and users. The group is composed of officials representing lead agencies and services from both Europe and the U.S. and was established in 2005.

56 million IP jobs
Around 90 participants from a wide range of business and non-governmental organizations attended an open stakeholder event on 17 July. The experts from the European Observatory on Infringements of Intellectual Property Rights and the European Patent Office kicked-off the event with their assessment of empirical approaches to IP policy. The audience learnt, for example, that 56 million European jobs depend on IP-intensive industries such as:

  • machinery,
  • pharmaceuticals,
  • the creative arts.

EU-US cooperation
Officials from the EU and U.S. also briefed the audience about ongoing cooperative efforts to protect these industries through stronger IPR enforcement, and heard a presentation from BASCAP on how to deal with IPR infringement in free trade zones. The EU and U.S. officials also explained current cooperation to strengthen IPR protection globally through multilateral fora. Some key examples of this cooperation include:

  • IPR for green technology,
  • capacity-building for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs),
  • joint cooperation with third countries such as China, Russia and India.

IPR enforcement and SMEs
On 18 July, EU and U.S. officials met on DG Trade premises to discuss shared objectives in key areas of IPR enforcement, multilateral cooperation and policy development at the domestic level. Officials also worked through the input received by stakeholders during the first day of the event. Both sides agreed to continue to work together to strengthen intellectual property protection through both bilateral and multilateral mechanisms. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) were of particular focus for the experts. They agreed to continue working on the development of resources that will benefit SMEs, in particular those who wish to trade across the Atlantic.

Customs officials reiterated their willingness to continue cooperating on fighting counterfeit and pirated goods.

The meeting was co-chaired by the European Commission’s Trade Department and the United States Trade Representatives' Office. The stakeholder briefing was hosted by the Transatlantic Business Council and the Representation of the Free State of Bavaria to the EU. The next meeting of the Transatlantic IPR Working Group is tentatively scheduled to take place in the U.S. in summer 2015.
The U.S. and the EU established the IPR Working Group in 2005. The working group is composed of officials representing lead agencies and services from both the United States and Europe, and it works in close consultation with industry and other interested stakeholders. This long-standing forum for cooperation remains a valuable part of the Transatlantic Economic Council to which it reports.

More on the TEC
Report of TEC facilitators' meeting, April 2013