The Belgian Presidency will mainly deal with the various components of the ‘patents package’, which consists of compulsory licensing for crisis management, the reform of the EU framework for supplementary protection certificates, and standard essential patents.
The Belgian Presidency will continue working on this package, focusing on compulsory licensing, which is the only part of the package that has not yet been the subject of structured discussions in a Council group of experts. This aspect is important in order to improve the EU’s resilience in times of crisis.
The Belgian Presidency will also resume discussions on supplementary protection certificates (medicinal products and plant protection products), focusing on the two unitary instruments, given that this is an important element in order to complete the unitary patent system.
Our Presidency also coincides with the preparation and organisation of two diplomatic conferences of the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), one on genetic resources (GR) and traditional knowledge associated with genetic resources, and the other on the Design Law Treaty. Work within the WIPO will focus on preparing and coordinating the positions of the European Union and its Member States in preparation for the GR Diplomatic Conference to be held in Geneva from 13 to 24 May.
As far as work within the WIPO is concerned, our objective is the adoption of a Council decision on a mandate authorising the opening of negotiations on behalf of the European Union. At the same time, discussions on the draft treaty (basic proposal) are being held in order to properly prepare the EU and its Member States for the forthcoming negotiations. The Belgian Presidency must also ensure the coordination of positions with regard to a number of WIPO meetings that will take place during this first half of the year and immediately afterwards (general assemblies in July). Nearly twenty Council working group meetings are scheduled.
In terms of copyright, the main event will be the Presidency conference held in Namur on 8 and 9 April, with the following theme: “The Action of the EU and its Member States in Favour of Fair Remuneration for Authors, Performers and Creative Industries in the Digital Content Landscape”. This will be an opportunity to look back at the transposition of the DSM Directive by the various Member States, but also to examine, with the participation of the European Commission, new challenges such as buy-out clauses and artificial intelligence. You can find all information about the event on our web page.
In addition, still on the subject of copyright, the Belgian Presidency is committed to ensure the smooth progress of ongoing cases, in particular the preparation of the WIPO Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights and the follow-up on the discussions relating to the CJEU’s Judgment C-265/19 in the RAAP case (Recorded Artists Actors Performers Ltd.) in order to progress towards a satisfactory solution.