European Election’s Potential Impact on Intellectual Property

Published: June 15, 2019

Citizens across the European Union voted May 23-26 to elect the Members of the European Parliament for the 2019-2024 term. The results are as follows:

European Parliament 2019-2024
Provisional results


While the election is over, there is still much to be determined. First, results are not final at this stage. (Abstentions and reshuffling and allocation of seats may still occur.) In addition, the repartition per political group-a political group consists of at least 25 members elected in at least seven member states-is provisional (based on the 2014-2019 structure) since each national party has until June 24 to decide in which political group it will sit.

Intellectual property (IP) is not expected to be a priority during the new term per se. IP was not at the center of the political campaign for the EU elections, nor was it a priority under the last parliamentary term, with copyright being a notable exception. How IP will fare in the next term will depend on the commissioner’s profile (for example, anti- or pro-EU; heavyweight or lightweight) and whether IP is central in the next commissioner’s portfolio.

Concrete IP Issues That Could Develop During the 2019-2024 Term

Issues that could develop during the 2019-2024 term potentially include the following:

  • The EU Designs legislative framework, following the public consultation that took place in early 2019;
  • The review of EU Directive on the enforcement of intellectual property rights (IPRED);
  • An initiative on non-agricultural geographical indications;
  • A review of the e-commerce directive; and
  • Future initiatives on artificial intelligence and blockchain.

Click here for full coverage (analysis of election results, nominations to top EU positions, and next important steps) on the INTA Blog.

In Brief-Recent Developments in Europe

  • European Union Elections and Anticounterfeiting: Hélène Nicora, INTA Chief Representative Officer, Europe Office, and Hadrien Valembois, INTA Policy Officer, Europe Office, met with representatives of the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations on May 15 in Brussels, Belgium. Discussions touched upon anticounterfeiting and the next EU Parliament and Commission.
  • Brands Restrictions: INTA provided comments on May 18 to the Dutch Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport in response to the Dutch proposal to amend the Tobacco and Related Products Decree in connection with the introduction of plain packaging for cigarettes and “roll-your-own” tobacco. INTA cautioned against legislation that prohibits or severely restricts the use of trademarks, and prevents them from fulfilling their functions in the marketplace to the detriment of consumers, trademark owners, and competition as such, adding: “Accordingly, INTA is opposed to prohibiting the use of trademarks through full standardization of packaging (i.e., plain packaging).”
  • EU-Ukraine Dialogue: Milesh Gordhandas, INTA Advisor, Europe Office, attended the EU-Ukraine IPR Dialogue preparatory meeting on May 29, with industry stakeholders at the office of the Directorate-General for Trade (DG TRADE) in Brussels. Participants stressed the need for a strong IP office with clear competences and powers, in order to avoid political interferences, in line with INTA’s comments provided prior to the meeting.

    In these comments, INTA stated that it is “encouraged by the EU-Ukraine IPR Dialogue discussions, which hopefully, together with the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, will lead to a process of further improvements in terms of protection and enforcement of trademark rights in Ukraine.”

  • Meetings in Spain: The Management Board and Budget Committee (MBBC) of the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) met June 4‒6 in Alicante, Spain. INTA Board Member Ronald Van Tuijl (JT International S.A., Switzerland) attended the MBBC meetings on behalf of INTA and discussed users’ concerns and priorities with the EUIPO. INTA is one of the five user associations acting as permanent observers to the MBBC (together with AIM, BusinessEurope, ECTA, and MARQUES).

Next in Europe-Important Upcoming Dates to Keep in Mind

  • June 18‒19: Europol IP Crime Conference-MÁlaga, Spain
  • June 18: INTA educational roundtable on “The State of Play for Trademarks and Brands-Where Is Internet Governance Ahead of the EuroDIG?”-Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • June 26: INTA Trademark Administrators Seminar on Trademark Oppositions in Austria: Best Practices and Recent Developments in 2019-Vienna, Austria
  • July 1: EU Parliament’s 2019‒2024 term begins
  • July 2: INTA joint Policy Dialogue on “Reinforcing the Protection of IPRs against Online Counterfeiting: Challenges and Remedies in the Digital Age,” together with the Italian IP Office (UIBM) and the Italian anticounterfeiting association (INDICAM)-Milan, Italy
  • July 3: 7th EU Customs‒rights holders and stakeholders meeting, organized by the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Taxation and Customs Union (DG TAXUD) at the EUIPO in Alicante, Spain
  • September 15‒17: INTA’s Trademark Administrators and Practitioners Meeting (TMAP)-Berlin, Germany
  • November 1: Start of the mandate of the new EU Commission (2019‒2024)
  • December 1: Election of the new President of the European Council

INTA’s Europe Representative Office, based in Brussels, Belgium, represents the Association’s 1,800+ members across Europe (including those in EU and non-EU member states, and Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States). Working in collaboration with staff at INTA’s headquarters in New York City, the Europe Representative Office leads the Association’s policy, membership, marketing, and communications initiatives throughout the region. To learn more about INTA’s activities in Europe, please contact INTA Chief Europe Representative Officer Hélène Nicora at [email protected] and follow us on Twitter at @INTABrussels.

Although every effort has been made to verify the accuracy of items in the INTA Bulletin, readers are urged to check independently on matters of specific concern or interest.

© 2019 International Trademark Association