Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) cover the laws that allow companies and individuals to protect their patents, trademarks, designs, copyrights and creative output. A convergence of IPR regulations between the EU and the US is expected to increase national incomes in the EU by €1 billion.

IPRs are particularly important for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) as they provide the security to create and innovate. In order for TTIP to be successful it must help nurture research, development and creativity. An agreement in this field would provide the stability to allow scientific advances or creative products to be shared securely and respectively by the author, artist or scientist.

Through cooperation on IPR TTIP has the potential to tackle fake, counterfeited and pirated products that are damaging to companies and SMEs. Together the US and the EU would ensure that only high quality and safe products reach the market. The power of the US and EU to set the standards on IPR within TTIP, would establish the global foundations for tackling cyber theft, trade secret misappropriation and intellectual property infringements.

A clear example of IPR discrepancy is the US “Bars and Grills” intellectual property rule. This rule means musicians are not compensated when their music is played in retail or social outlets in the USA. Therefore success of recent British music artists goes unrewarded, whilst US musicians pick up royalties from public playing of their music in the UK. This is just one area where the balance could to be restored.