Intellectual property

Intellectual property (IP) plays an active role in the development of the circular economy by promoting innovation, the diffusion of technology, and the efficient use of resources.

INTELLECTUELE EIGENDOM

Intellectual property, a significant leverage to support the transition towards a circular economy

Intellectual property (IP) plays an active role in the development of the circular economy by promoting innovation, the diffusion of technology, and the efficient use of resources.

Intellectual property encompasses commercially used inventions, designs, symbols, names and images, all of which are legally protected through patents, designs, copyrights and trademarks. These legal safeguards ensure that creators are aknowledged or benefit financially from their inventions or creations. Intellectual property can play a crucial role for companies in the circular economy as it encourages innovation and knowledge sharing, in addition to promoting sustainability.

Supporting and disseminating circular innovation

Intellectual property offers legal protection for inventions and creations related to the circular economy. By providing assurance that their ideas are protected and can yield economic benefits, businesses are incentivized to invest in R&D.

Intellectual property can also facilitate the dissemination of circular technologies. Through patents and licenses, companies can share technologies and know-how, which, in turn, promotes the adoption of more sustainable practices. For instance, if a company develops an effective recyclingAny recovery operation through which waste, including organic waste, is reprocessed to become substances, materials or products that can be used for their initial function or other functions. technology, it can file a patent and make it available to other companies that are interested in using it.

Encouraging efficient use of resources

Intellectual property also stimulates the efficient use of resources. IP rights to products encourage consumers to buy higher quality, more durable products, because they are more expensive to imitate. Additionally, intellectual property rights also encourage companies to adopt recycling and reuseReuse designates all operations by which substances, materials or products that are not waste are used again in an identical way to their originally intended purpose. practices by allowing them to control and add value to their own brand products.

Furthermore, by providing legal protection for sustainable innovations, intellectual property levels the playing field for businesses that are committed to sustainability in addition to encouraging more businesses to embrace circular economy principles.

Find out more about intellectual property.

Discover the 'ideas powered for business' SMESmall and medium-sized enterprises fund, established to improve access to intellectual property rights for small or medium-sized enterprises in the European Union.