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          EU report findings: ICC says now is time for leaders to step up IP protection

          • Paris, 03 October 2013

          The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) has hailed the release of a new European report revealing that intellectual property (IP) intensive industries generate almost 40% of total economic activity (GDP) and create 26% of all jobs in the European Union (EU) – but cautioned EU leaders to act on the findings to strengthen intellectual property.

          The report was presented on Monday in Brussels

          Compiled by the European Commission, the Office of Harmonization for the Internal Market and the European Patent Office, the report - comparable to a 2012 study on the impact of IP industries in the US - leaves no doubt that IP-based industries are a cornerstone of the European economy. It confirms ICC's longstanding position that IP and IP rights drive economic growth, investment and employment, and underpin vibrant, innovative and growing economies.

          Welcoming the report findings that IP is a critical asset for businesses and economies around the world, ICC Secretary General Jean-Guy Carrier said: "Coming at a time when Europe is facing unprecedented economic challenges, this report demonstrates to European policymakers that if they want to stimulate economic growth and employment, they must support innovative companies that drive the economy. This can be achieved by promoting effective IP systems, and putting in place measures to protect their IP rights."

          Jeffrey Hardy, Director of ICC's Business Action to Stop Counterfeiting and Piracy (BASCAP) initiative said that the IP-based industries cited in the new study also confronting a massive infiltration of counterfeit and pirated goods, which crowd out billions in legitimate economic activity, increase burdens on tax payers and dislocate hundreds of thousands of legitimate jobs. ICC estimates that counterfeit and pirated goods drain US$1 trillion from the global economy and divests over 2.5 million jobs worldwide.

          "This type of IP theft is creating an enormous drain on the European economy and is robbing Europe of the growth and job gains cited in the Commission's new report," Mr Hardy said.

          "We hope the study will highlight the value of IP to European policymakers and citizens - and compel government leaders in the EU and its Member States to take the necessary measures to protect IP rights, including the strong enforcement of regulations that prevent infringement of those rights," he added. "The take-away from this new report should be that IP is important and government efforts to strengthen IP enforcement regimes are investments that pay tangible dividends to economic development and society.

          Through its BASCAP initiative and Commission on Intellectual Property, ICC has long demonstrated the importance of IP and called for efficient and sustainable systems for the protection of IP to encourage innovation and the development of knowledge-based industries, to stimulate international trade, and to create a favourable climate for foreign direct investment and technology transfer.

          To view the full report and for additional documents visit OHIM

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