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A “Single Market for Intellectual Property Rights” in a Global world of standards and competition policies

Tuesday, June 7th, 2011

The IPR Strategy recognizes explicitly that IPRs create a host of ways for innovators to extract value and reward, and that each is valid. It recognizes that businesses should not be hampered in finding new models to value their IPR. Most strikingly for the standards world, the Communication expressly recognizes in the context of standardization that licensing is an important part of it and that “many European companies nowadays generate a large part of their revenue through licensing of their IP portfolios (page 5)”. The IPR strategy only refers to standardization once, at page 5, and it is interesting that the text looks only at the importance of IP licensing regimes (and by implication the success of the current FRAND patent policy underlying the global standards world), not only in fostering take up for standards, but in incentivizing repeat contributions to allow the standards to evolve. However, as relates the text’s reference to ‘diligent management of IPR’, the management of IPR should be based on commercial decisions, not state involvement (as occurs in copyright). The GSM patent pool model is not necessarily capable of replication.  The success of UMTS, also referred to in the Communication is based on an open licensing model.  It is up to the owners of IPR to decide how best to manage their IPR, and if they are considering joining a standards organizations that standards organization’s IPR rules are clear and balanced so that potential members can make decisions about participation.
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A Single Market for IPR – Necessary, but not Comprehensive Enough to Boost Innovation and Growth in Europe

Tuesday, June 7th, 2011

The Communication of the European Commission about a “Single Market for Intellectual Property Rights” provides a comprehensive approach of initiatives covering all relevant Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs).  All proposed initiatives are justified based on the current knowledge about the economic impacts of IPRs and other intangibles on companies’, but also economies’ competitiveness and growth. Furthermore, the current fragmentation of the markets for IPRs in Europe is certainly a disadvantage for European companies especially related to the United States of America, Japan and, meanwhile, also China. However, the approach is not comprehensive enough to boost innovation in Europe.


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Putting Knowledge into Practice

Tuesday, June 7th, 2011

Most European-based institutions – not least the European Commission – consider IPRs to be an important aspect (among other issues) in the EU’s ability to compete in the global economy, as EU growth and jobs are hampered when ideas, brands and products are counterfeited and pirated.

Indeed IPRs, including patents, trademarks, design rights and copyrights, can serve as incentives for innovation and can help identify trusted producers. In this context, there is no doubt that the latest Strategy for European Intellectual Property Rights reflects the belief in the IP system as a power-hub for innovation in Europe.

Yet the success of this strategy does not only depend on the EU’s ability to effectively implement this strategy, not least with regard to the registration, protection and enforcement of IPRs in Europe.


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European Standards in Business-Related Services

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011

In its Communication on “Europe 2020: a strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth” the European Commission underlines that a strong, deep and extended Single Market is vital for growth and job creation. To answer the challenges set to achieve the Europe 2020 goals, a Single Market with well functioning open markets and empowered consumers is essential.

With the same view, CEN and CENELEC believe that standardization has a major role to play in assisting to reach a well functioning Single Market. In the past European standardization has already contributed in essential ways to remove technical barriers for businesses, to promote the spread of new technologies and to foster innovation.

CEN and CENELEC will continue supporting the consolidation of the European single market as detailed through the 50 proposals of the Single Market Act. Our standards are adopted identically by the 31 member countries of CEN and CENELEC, withdrawing national conflicting standards and therefore ensuring one standard for Europe.
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Standards as Crucial Element for the Implementation of the Single Market in Services

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011

The extension of the European legislation, i.e. the New Approach, on the European standardisation system to extend it to services was overdue reflecting the crucial and – despite the economic crises – still increasing relevance of the service sector for the economic development of the European economy.

Due to the different modes of service trade, European standards for services do not only promote the traditional trade of services, but also the other forms like foreign direct investments in service companies. This removal of barriers will increase the competition in service markets. However, the full potential of service standards for the promotion of trade, competition and employment will only be exploited if a sufficient number of service standards are available.
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The Future for Standards is Not Standard

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011

Looking at the title of today’s forum, one wonders if standardizing the single market is something of an oxymoron? While on one hand the standardization process will enable greater interoperability and reduce barriers to trade, on the other, markets are ever evolving beasts and, as fast as we try to make standards, new technologies and new services will continue to evolve, making the old standards obsolete.
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Behind the Scenes: Standardisation and the Single Market

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011

Within the context of Standardising the single market, we have twelve projects for the 2012 Single Market” – one of which is to Strengthen Standardisation.

The overall goals can be summarised as:

1) Free movement of Goods: Product interoperability, safety, quality

2) Services: inclusive services, ensuring growth

3) Standards – accessible, inclusion of SMEs

But behind these overarching goals, there are deeper issues.
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Whither European or International Services Standards?

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011

Let us focus on the issue within the topic “Twelve projects for the 2012 Single Market” of European services standards as distinct from the impact of the effectiveness, efficiency and inclusiveness of the European standards system on that question.

While of course to separate these issues removes the very interesting political and philosophical debate whether it is wise or not to revise the European standardisation system to extend it to services based upon the performance of the European standards system to deliver relevant services standards to the market. My rationale is that the best predictor of future performance is past performance. Those who believe that the European standards model largely oriented to products has performed well in the past will see benefits to its extension to services in the future. And those who believe other standards models have better served markets in the past will reach negative conclusions.
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A Tale of Three Cities

Wednesday, May 11th, 2011

The launch of concurrent efforts to implement standards-based infrastructural re-engineering of massive proportions in three separate political, geographic, and economic settings provides an unparalleled opportunity to compare what works – and what doesn’t – in the modern world.  Those settings are China, Europe and the United States.

Consider the differences:


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Smart Grids Standardization in Europe

Tuesday, May 10th, 2011

Europe is committed to the 20-20-20 targets to reduce carbon emissions and to secure energy supply. Energy efficiency and renewable energy are seen as key to reach this goal. Both measures call for changes in our energy supply system leading to smart grids as key enablers for the required innovation. To promote this transformation the European Commission has taken a number of actions including a mandate on standardization.


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