Biomedical Engineering Reference
In-Depth Information
research institutes, companies and institutions on one hand, and promoting the
dissemination of innovative tools and services into the productive society on the
other one, can fulfill the most urgent need of technology and demand of innovation
which companies have to answer market requests.
Industrial property is a strategic factor that may provide opportunities for univer-
sities and companies to protect their knowledge but above all to identify key new
technologies and/or technological and industrial partners with which to develop new
business initiatives. However, the patenting process is often a difficult path: some-
times this discourages companies from taking care of that, thus there is a lot of inno-
vation that is lost or is not 'properly coded' and therefore not economically exploited.
Creativity and innovation in the EU are part of a uniform system of protection
of intellectual property rights ranging from industrial property rights to copyright
of authors. The protection of these rights also implies that they must be protected
against piracy, illegal trade and counterfeiting. The fundamental principles of the
internal market (free movement of goods and services and free competition) is
based in particular on the uniformity of IPR on a European scale. 1
The protection of intellectual property is subject to a number of international
conventions whose implementation is mainly carried out by the World Intellectual
Property Organization (WIPO) and the World Trade Organization (WTO).
Similarly and for these purposes, the European Union has founded two important
institutions, namely the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM),
responsible for the registration of Community trademarks and Community designs,
and the European Patent Office (EPO). At present, the Commission is engaged in
the effective implementation of a Community patent system, harmonized and more
effective, legally capable of ensuring the competitiveness of European industry. On
13 April 2011, the European Commission proposed a “regulation implementing
enhanced cooperation in the area of the creation of unitary patent protection”, that
has now to be voted by the European Parliament and the Council of the European
Union. This regulation is the last step in a series of attempts—that have failed for
about forty years—to set up a common patent with validity in all Member States of
the European Union (EU). The European Parliament voted for the unitary patent
regulation on Tuesday, 11 December 2012. 2
In this text we want to provide the information necessary to understand what
elements and what tools are available and provided for by the law in order to pro-
tect the “industrial property”, i.e. the intangible value of knowledge also related to
patents and trademarks. In particular we will refer to the biomedical technology as
strategic field of application. Indeed, about 90 % of innovation is produced in two
sectors: military industry and medicine (and related disciplines). In the last dec-
ades, luckily, medicine asserting itself as the main one.
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