Adequate protection of intellectual property rights is a prerequisite for the development of the digital economy and of the digital single market. Considers that respect for the exercise of intellectual property rights and efforts to combat counterfeiting should be the main objectives of the action plan.
Considers that it will be possible to achieve greater transparency and better information in an effective manner only with the cooperation of the main internet stakeholders who convey content protected by IPR and that it is therefore desirable to involve them in such efforts to achieve transparency and the circulation of information.
Intellectual property rights (IPRs) are legal rights relating to creations from intellectual activities in the industrial, scientific, literary and artistic fields; IPRs enable creators or holders of the patent for an invention, of a trademark or of a work protected by copyright to subsequently benefit from their work and their investment; intellectual property rights are one of the driving forces of innovation and creativity and a key contributor to competitiveness and employment; the enforcement of intellectual property rights plays a significant role in ensuring consumers’ health and safety; counterfeiting is generally linked with a black economy.
Reiterates its call for a comprehensive IPR strategy, including a complete and strong legal framework to combat counterfeiting and piracy adapted to the online environment; considers that legal protection is urgently needed for new creations since this will encourage investment and lead on to further innovations.
Constance Le Grip
The development of ecommerce and online activities has changed the way IPR enforcement in the digital environment should be considered, particularly because it affords new possibilities for infringement.
There is a certain level of tolerance among Europeans for the idea that IPR infringements could be considered legitimate, especially among the young generation; this is particularly attributable to the fact that citizens/consumers are insufficiently aware of the disastrous impact of counterfeiting, which has become a global phenomenon with alarming economic and social consequences, with production sites and extensive distribution networks, particularly using the internet.
Law enforcement is essential, and it is of the utmost importance to find effective means of enforcing IPR, particularly on the internet, which has become the prime channel for distribution of counterfeits. Calls on the Commission to work to redefine the status of intermediaries in the current digital environment and to formulate proposals for compelling them to shoulder their responsibilities.
Deplores the fact that the Commission’s action plan does not include any action designed to improve consumers’ ability to identify infringing goods and contents, and calls on the Commission to reflect further on the development of specific tools, particularly the establishment of a harmonised European system of notification/withdrawal of infringing goods and content, so that consumers and undertakings can take action when they are misled in the same way as they can act to draw attention to undesirable content.
Believes that progress with regard to the competitive supply of non-infringing products and content must continue, so that citizens/consumers genuinely have every opportunity to purchase licit goods or to use licit content. Stresses the need to support and facilitate the work performed by customs services in mutual cooperation, by clarifying operational rules, particularly in order that this work may permit the effective performance of inspections on goods in transit within EU territory.