Intellectual property

Intellectual property refers to creations of the mind: inventions, literary and artistic works, symbols, names, images and designs used in commerce. Intellectual property rights give the owner exclusive rights.

To create a genuine Single Market in Europe, restrictions on freedom of movement and anti-competitive practices must be eliminated or reduced as much as possible, while creating an environment favourable to innovation and investment. The protection of intellectual property is an essential element for the success of the Single Market. Protecting intellectual property is important not only for promoting innovation and creativity, but also for developing employment and improving competitiveness.

Intellectual property rights are generally divided into two categories: industrial property rights and copyright. Industrial property rights include inventions, trademarks, industrial design, and geographical indications of source. Copyright covers author's rights for original creations such as literature, music, art and software.

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