Which role for IPR and brand protection in promoting EU growth?

Speakers: Gal Jean-Luc, De Salvo Gaetano, Skehan Paul, Snowdon Christopher
Moderator: Newman Matthew

We are most pleased to invite you to participate in an evening of discussion on the role for IPR and brand protection in promoting EU growth with our distinguished speakers

  • Mr Jean Luc GalEuropean Commission, Intellectual Property and Fight Against Counterfeiting, DG GROW,
  • Mr Gaetano De SalvoPermanent Representation of Italy to the EU, Internal Market and IPR, 
  • Mr Paul SkehanDirector General, Spirits Europe and 
  • Mr Christopher Snowdon, Head of Lifestyle Economics, Institute of Economic Affairs (IAE).

The debate will be moderated by Matthew Newman, Senior correspondent at MLex.

This event is held under the Chatham House Rule

About the debate

Illegitimate use of legitimate companies’ brands, trademarks, and products has increased exponentially over the years. The sophistication and complexity of this illegal activity has also valuably increased. This trend affects not only companies profit margins, but also their reputation. In addition, and despite the enforcement effort to protect trademarks and design rights, counterfeiting is on the rise as well.  Brand protection is of vital importance across sectors and particularly for SMEs, notably the backbone of the European economy. Furthermore, in a interdependent and interconnected world, brand protection is both an matter of visibility for enterprises and of reassurance about quality for consumers.

Industrial property – such as patents, trademarks, industrial designs, indications of origin, artistic work protected, software, databases, architectural designs, advertising creations and multimedia, trade secrets, know-how, confidentiality agreements are often more important than the production itself.  As the brand is part of the value – if not the value of a product itself in the eyes of the customer – some commentators have outlined the need to maximise brands legal protection. Counterfeiting shall be fought in the same way as branding minimization or misrepresentation.

Furthermore, a high-quality IPR system appears as a critical policy tool for the whole of the industrial community. IP protection stimulates innovation by providing incentives that ensure a constant supply of new inventions as intellectual property rights promote risky and costly investments and enable innovation in economic sectors which are vital for the EU economic growth. At the same time, IPRs promote the disclosure of inventions, which stimulates further innovation. As a result, the absence of effective IP protection represents a risk of under-investing in R&D and innovative products. Brand protection is therefore paramount for the good functioning and development of any market economy. It consequently appears that brands should be unconditionally protected and respected, by both public authorities and private economy actors.

Within this context, the analysis of the state of play of the initiatives on IPR and brand protection within and outside the EU would allow a deeper understanding of how to guarantee that the added value of the European economy is supported. How should IPR and brand protection play a more prominent role in promoting EU growth?


The event will commence with a welcome drink at 7h00 pm, followed by a debate at 7h30 pm. After the debate there will be an opportunity for questions and discussions.

We look forward to seeing you at 7h00 pm on the 18th of October at Science14 Atrium, rue de la Science 14-B, Brussels.

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#IntellectualProperty, #EUindustry, #Innovation, #SMEs, #EUeconomy