Intellectual Property Rights

Intellectual Property Rights

Intellectual property rights (IPR) provide an incentive for innovation, employment and competition, and protect the right-holders against the use of their property without authorisation. The EEA Agreement contains harmonised provisions on intellectual property rights. In order to support the free movement of goods, these rules also contain the principle of regional exhaustion of intellectual property rights, applicable in the entire EEA. In practice, once a product has been placed on the market within the EEA by a right-holder (or with their consent), they can no longer prevent the importation of the product from another EEA State.

Based on Article 65(2) of the EEA Agreement, intellectual property legislation has been incorporated into Annex XVII.  Nevertheless, not all EU initiatives in this field have been adopted, primarily due to two-pillar issues related to the granting and enforcement of rights.  Other reasons for non-incorporation include acts dealing with third country relations or acts that pertain to policy areas falling outside the scope of the EEA Agreement.

The Working Group on Intellectual Property meets regularly and actively follows EU initiatives within the field of IPR.

Intellectual property is covered by Annex XVII of the EEA Agreement.

See also:

Digital Single Market - Copyright

DG Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (DG GROWTH) - Intellectual Property

DG Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (DG GROWTH) - Enforcement of intellectual property rights

EU Observatory on Infringements of Intellectual Property Rights - EUIPO

Senior Officer
Internal Market Division

+32 22861 764