The EU faces a high number of intellectual property rights infringements, and the volume and financial value of these infringements are alarming, as reported by the Commission in its report on the application of the Directive on the enforcement of intellectual property rights (COM(2010)0779); these figures also illustrate the added value which IPR represent for the European economy in global competition. Law enforcement is essential, and whereas Member States must adopt measures to enforce IPR effectively.
Believes that, in the context of commercial activity, applying due diligence on the part of the various parties throughout the supply chain is a key element in combating infringements of IPR and protecting consumers to the maximum, and would improve cooperation between undertakings and contribute to preventing infringing goods from entering the market.
Welcomes the approach of depriving IPR infringers of their revenues by means of agreements between right-holders and their partners; supports the elaboration of memoranda of overall understanding as soft-law measures to fight against counterfeiting and piracy, and supports the idea of developing such measures further, involving all stakeholders in the value chain.
Stresses the need to address, more specifically, the younger generation by means of appropriate campaigns to raise awareness, bearing in mind that, as a recent survey of perceptions of intellectual property has revealed, it is that particular generation that is least respectful of intellectual property rights.
Stresses the importance of initiatives to assess and monitor the development of knowledge of young people’s understanding and perception of intellectual property in order to better understand their needs and to define the most appropriate action to take.
Believes at the same time that the public authorities and European institutions should help consumers to be better able to identify infringing offers so that they can decide not to proceed with a given purchase; encourages the Commission and Member States to introduce effective measures requiring each participant in the supply chain to refrain from using means intended to mislead consumers; calls in particular on the Commission to step up measures to combat unfair on-line trading practices, particularly those aimed directly at consumers.
Believes that infringements of IPR hamper the development of new economic models whose competitiveness is damaged by illicit offers an abusive practices; takes the view that sufficient progress has not been made in this area, and reiterates its demand that the Commission and Member States support the cultural and creative industry in developing, in all Member States, licit offers that are both diversified and attractive.
Stresses that intellectual property rights are guarantors of the creativity, innovation and competiveness of the cultural and creative industries in particular, but also of other industrial sectors, as underlined by Commission in its Communication ‘For a European industrial renaissance’; calls on the Commission to continue the work of taking IPR into account as a factor in the competitiveness of the European economy.
Stresses the importance of regularly analysing the factors which decisively influence decisions by SMEs to use or not to use IPR, so as to identify where improvements could be made, whether in the case of innovative SMEs or in the case of SMEs which encounter problems, in particular, in exercising their IPR.
Expresses its satisfaction about the development of the activities of the European Observatory on Infringements of Intellectual Property Rights as a useful aid to the deliberations of political decision-makers and as a tool for collecting and exchanging data and information on all forms of IPR infringements.
Welcomes in particular the efforts made and the results achieved by the Observatory, particularly regarding specialised studies and tools, such as the implementation database and the Anti-Counterfeiting Intelligence Support Tool database, and calls on Member States to take full advantage of them.
Calls on the Commission to make full use of the data collected by the Observatory, and of the results of the Observatory’s activities, to draw conclusions and propose solutions for improving IPR enforcement to be used by policy-makers; calls on the Commission to report back to Parliament on this on a regular basis.
Welcomes the establishment by the Commission of an expert group on IPR enforcement, and calls on the Commission to invite Parliament and, where necessary, the European Observatory on Infringements of Intellectual Property Rights, to send experts to attend its meetings. Stresses the need to work together and for information to be exchanged between all parties.
Stresses the importance of close cooperation and exchanges of information, as well as the importance of appropriate training of customs authorities, market surveillance authorities and judicial authorities.