A report on the status of innovation and intellectual property in Europe suggests that the region must make “bold” reforms to keep up with the ever-evolving digital economy. The report, authored by ten European leaders in arena of IP law and policy, was recently presented at the 2012 Intellectual Property and Innovation Summit.
The report, Intellectual Property and Innovation: A Framework for 21st Century Growth and Jobs, strongly suggests that Europe must make more significant efforts to overhaul its system for patent, copyright and trademark enforcement if it wants to grow its digital economy. As highlighted by BusinessWeek, strict licensing rules have prohibited Internet music stores, like Apple Inc.’s iTunes, from selling digital music in the European Union.
“Europe’s digital economy desperately needs better conditions in which to grow,” said Ian Hargreaves, professor of digital economy at Cardiff University. “There is now a stirring for copyright reform in Europe that can only grow, as a generational shift continues towards those born digital,” the lead author of the report further stated in the foreword.
Hargreaves also contrasted the speed and level of innovation in Silicon Valley with the slow progress being made in Europe. He characterized companies like Google, Facebook and Apple as “pioneers in Internet search, content curation, device manufacture and user-generated content.”
In contrast, Hargreaves noted, “Europe, with historic strength in creative content, has struggled with the consequent pace and disruption.”