EC consults on piracy watch-list

The European Commission has launched a public consultation to establish its first world-wide ‘Counterfeit and Piracy Watch-List’.

The aim is to identify the marketplaces outside the EU where counterfeiting, piracy or other forms of intellectual property abuse are common practice. The initiative is part of the Commission’s strategy announced in the 2017 Communication, A balanced Intellectual Property enforcement system responding to today’s societal challenges. Based on stakeholders’ input, the future watch-list will help to raise awareness of consumers that might be buying products in those marketplaces, and encourage their operators and owners to crack down on intellectual property abuse.

The Commission will also monitor the measures taken by local authorities to reduce the availability of goods and services infringing intellectual property rights in identified markets.

According to the Commission, intellectual property infringement is a particular scourge on European industry and hampers investment and employment in industries reliant on creativity and innovation. According to the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) and the OECD, trade in counterfeit and pirated products amount to around €338 billion worldwide. The European Union is particularly affected, with counterfeit and pirated products amounting up to around 5 per cent of all imports or as much as €85 billion a year.

Contributions to the public consultation should be sent before March 31st 2018.

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