Industry calls for ambitious legislative measures to curb online counterfeiting

November 2017 Industry calls for ambitious legislative measures to curb online counterfeiting

The “Together Against Counterfeiting” alliance, which brings together over 80 companies across all industrial sectors, along with 16 European and national and international trade associations, said today that it regrets that the European Commission’s long awaited “IP Package” does not include binding legislative measures to help right-holders in the fight against counterfeiting.

While the package clarifies several issues relating to the application of the directive on enforcement of intellectual property rights (IPRED), including the calculation of damages, the scope of injunctions, and a clarification on the concept of “intermediary”, it fails to properly address the issue of counterfeiting. 

In its current shape, the package will not strengthen the existing framework and will not prevent counterfeiting on online and offline markets. This could be solved by establishing legally binding provisions applicable to all actors in the value chain and ensuring the implementation of proactive measures against counterfeiting. These measures should be proportionate and appropriate for each type of infringement.

Therefore, the members of the “Together Against Counterfeiting” alliance call on the Commission to support today’s announcement with strong legislative action before the end of the current mandate, in particular in the framework of the ongoing assessment on tackling illegal content online.

Speaking on behalf of the European Brands Association (AIM) an organisation representing many of the alliance’s signatory companies, Michelle Gibbons, AIM’s Director General, commented:

“The publication of the IP Package is a first step in the right direction, but it is far from enough. Unless the legislative framework to protect European innovation and creativity is modernised and strengthened, counterfeiting will continue to expand dramatically, as will negative impacts for the health and safety of European consumers and the European economy”.

The growing proliferation of counterfeiting has clearly shown the limits of the current voluntary approach and the publication of the IP Package constitutes a missed opportunity to create a binding incentive for all actors to join forces in the fight against counterfeiting.

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