Dear Peter, dear All,
Thanks for starting this interesting discussion, I do think it is worthwhile to discuss the issue in light of the shifting role of the IP rights in modern societies. While I am convinced that future societies will continue and increase their reliance on intangible assets I am curious to see how much of this will be done within the framework of the existing Paris/Berne IP framework.
Over the last decade the Paris/Berne framework is showing signs of strain and is increasingly not adept to ideally protect modern forms of human creativity. I too, see that present system is often worked in favour of a “skilled operator” and that many segments of the new industries are deciding to stay out of it partially, or altogether. While it is difficult to describe all distortions of this type as “abuse”, as some of it remains borderline within ethical ambit, I too have seen blatant misuse of patent and design rights that can be described as sheer bluffing in some and obfuscation in other cases, and where demands were not properly made on the basis of the legal right they invoked but went way beyond it.
All this, without discussing the deeper issues of how much the traditional IP systems promote innovation. The EU observatory plans to study the Brands and Innovation link and there we might gain some new insights if the study is framed properly. In this sense I would support ECTA working together with the Observatory in digging beyond the traditional views in an attempt to reframe our understanding of what works best for the societies in terms of stimulating and facilitating innovation as there can be no doubt that that our future depends on it.
I will not elaborate any further now, but will be happy to do so if the discussion continues.