European Union Intellectual Property Rights Law and Policy

Nation states within the European Union work to standardize their national laws for intellectual property rights to a single uniform standard within the European Community. International agreements, or “Directives” are passed at the EU level that have binding effect upon the nations within the Community. Intellectual property rights is one of the most hotly contested policy issues at the EU-level, particularly as new states join the EU. Therefore the EU Parliament receives frequent proposals to revise European law dealing with intellectual property rights.

The most noteworthy EU Directive in the area is the 2001 EU Copyright Directive, which among other things, outlawed bypassing digital locks on movies or CDs. But a new court decision from Finland has narrowed the directive’s ability to ban “ineffective” measures, such as that used on DVDs.

Key European Union Directives on Copyright and Related Rights:

See also: