European Commission Adopts New Strategy On Enforcement Of IP Rights 01/07/2014 by MaÃ«li Astruc for Intellectual Property Watch 1 Comment Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Today, the European Commission adopted two communications on intellectual property rights enforcement, one within the single market, the other in relation to third countries. Focusing on commercial scale infringement activities, the Commission will consider other measures later, including legislative ones. “The EU needs innovation and creativity to stay competitive,” says a provisional version of the EU Action Plan [pdf]. A recent study estimated that IPR-intensive sectors account for around 39 percent of EU GDP and about 35 percent of employment (indirect employment included). The new EU strategy will focus on commercial-scale infringement activity as the “most harmful.” “Rather than penalising individuals for infringing intellectual property rights, often unknowingly, the actions set out here pave the way towards a ‘follow the money’ approach, with the aim of depriving commercial-scale infringers of their revenue flows, ” the EU Commissioner for Internal Market and Services Michel Barnier said in a press release [pdf]. The “Action Plan to address infringements of intellectual property rights in the EU” will consist of 10 actions, which are summarised in a document [pdf]. The action plan will involve all stakeholders. “Fostering this multi-stakeholder approach is challenging, but it is the only way to ensure proper protection of our intellectual property in the EU and in international trade,” said Algirdas Šemeta, EU commissioner for customs. The plan establishes a wide range of measures. The Commission will set up a new stakeholder dialogue in 2014 and 2015 comprising advertising service providers, payment services and shippers, with the aim of agreeing on a memorandum of understanding to reduce profits from infringement on the internet. Another action will be to review national schemes for IP enforcement for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in a “green paper.” The Commission will then consider possible action. A broad debate will be launched on rights holder responsibility to ensure the integrity of the supply chain through due diligence, followed by policy initiatives. The document also calls for better cooperation among member state authorities, an exchange of best practices, training programmes for member state authorities toward preventive actions, and new campaigns of awareness-raising for consumers. The press release also mentions a “strategy for the protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights in third countries,” This call for the continuation of multilateral efforts to improve the international IP system and to ensure the adequacy and efficiency of the IP chapters in bilateral trade agreements for rights holder protection. There is no link provided to this document. The strategy on third countries also will aim to focus on ‘priority countries’ through surveys, working with other countries to improve their IP systems, assisting SMEs in third countries through projects, and raising awareness on appropriate IP technical assistance, according to the press release. The actions in the communications will be undertaken this year and in 2015, the press release said. The Commission asks key EU institutions to “actively contribute to the work ahead” through the European Observatory on Infringements of Intellectual Property Rights. It will later consider the need for further measures, including legislative ones. All documents are available here. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Related MaÃ«li Astruc may be reached at email@example.com."European Commission Adopts New Strategy On Enforcement Of IP Rights" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.