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Intellectual property

Internal market

A uniform system of protection of intellectual property rights, ranging from industrial property to copyright and related rights, constitutes the foundation for creativeness and innovation within the European Union. Respect of the basic principles of the internal market (the free movement of goods and services and free competition) is based on standardisation of intellectual property at European level. Protection of intellectual property is covered by many international conventions, most of which are implemented by the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) and the World Trade Organisation (WTO). The European Union possesses two important bodies to carry out its mission: the Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market (OHIM), which is responsible for the registration of Community trade marks and designs, and the European Patent Office (EPO). The Commission is currently campaigning for the effective introduction of a Community patent system, which would be less costly and more legally effective, as a guarantee of competitiveness for European industry. Finally, the protection of these rights also entails protecting them against piracy, illegal trade and counterfeiting.

See also

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