Being one of the drivers of innovation and creativity, system of intellectual property rights needs to be constantly adapted to the technological and societal changes in order to underpin investments in innovations and research and thus boost the competitiveness of the European industry, and small and medium-sized enterprises in particular. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) contribute significantly to economic growth and social stability of the European Union. However, despite many efforts already invested in providing support to the SMEs by the EU’s and Member States’ institutions and programs, only a small share of the European SMEs uses intellectual property system and benefits from it. Thus, the conference intends to open a discussion in order to find a missing link and to contrive appropriate actions for more efficient raising awareness of the importance of intellectual property protection and empowering of the SMEs to efficiently manage their intellectual property. Such a support to small and medium-sized enterprises is one of the key priorities of Croatian presidency in the field of intellectual property.
Also, to ensure that intellectual property system is fit for purpose, its development should be considered in the context of future European Union industrial strategy and other related policies. At this conference we intend to review how well aligned are current and considered European and global initiatives regarding the intellectual property system with the European Union industrial strategy, and what steps need to be taken. Furthermore, the conference will examine the role of intellectual property in achieving greener Europe and in addressing European and global green issues. Finally, today’s digital economy is critically relying on data, which demands an adequate response from the intellectual property system. Therefore, it is vital to stimulate discussions about the relationship between the growing importance of the data economy and the protection of intellectual property, development and importance of copyright infrastructure and the role and challenges of trade secrets protection for business in digital environment. It is just about time to address these issues in order to keep up with the fast developments and trends of the digital economy.