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Intellectual Property Rights Sector

If a report below does not have a direct link, it means it is somewhat older and we ask that you request it by sending an email to office.brusselsec@trade.gov . Please keep in mind that you may be asked to register on the Commercial Service website to do download reports with links.

MR-80 / Protecting Designs in the European Union

Summary
U.S. exporters targeting the European Union market with products whose added value derives in part from their unique outward appearance (the product not the exporter) should consider registering the design using an EU-wide industrial property protection instrument: the Registered Community Design (RCD). This report sets out the importance of protecting designs, describes the industrial property protection provided to designs in the EU, and explains how to apply for an RCD.

MR-77 / EU's Information Services Market Boosted by New Rules on the Re-use of Public Sector Info

Summary
Public sector information (PSI) such as weather and traffic data is a key raw material for companies looking to provide value added information service and products. In the United States its commercial re-use is made easy thanks to a clear and simple legal framework based on the Freedom of Information Act and an absence of government copyright. This contrasts with the situation in the European Union (EU) where efforts by companies to provide information products and services based on PSI are complicated by the relatively restrictive and generally divergent rules applied by European authorities to its re-use. In response to this, and in an effort to promote the availability of such products and services, the European Commission proposed a Directive on the re-use of public sector information.

MR-39 / Patent Protection in the European Union

Summary
U.S. companies that base their business models on cutting edge, innovative technologies often secure patent protection in the U.S. When those companies start looking to export their technology, or license their patents abroad, they need to secure additional patent protection in the markets they target because U.S. patents cannot be enforced outside of the U.S.’s territories. This report highlights some of the key differences between patent law in the U.S. and the EU’s Member States, and examines the options open to U.S. companies looking to secure patent protection in the EU.