In “Legal Affairs - JURI”

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In July 2014, the Commission adopted the Communication 'Towards a renewed consensus on the enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights: An EU Action Plan’ according to which the Commission seeks to re-orientate its policy for intellectual property enforcement towards better compliance with intellectual property rights (IPR) by all economic actors.

The Commission announced it would assess a series of possible actions:

  • Action 1: Raise awareness amongst citizens, especially young people on the economic harm caused by commercial scale IP infringements and on the potential health and safety risks associated with IPR-infringing products.
  • Action 2: Develop an EU due-diligence scheme to prevent commercial scale IP infringements.
  • Action 3: Facilitate the development of a further voluntary Memoranda of Understanding to reduce the profits of commercial scale IP infringements in the online environment, following stakeholder dialogues involving advertising service providers, payment services and shippers.
  • Action 4: Analyse and report on existing national initiatives seeking to improve IP civil enforcement procedures for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), in particular in respect of low value claims and consider possible action in this field.
  • Action 5: Consult stakeholders on the need for future EU action based on the best practice found in nationally financed schemes assisting SMEs to enforce their IP rights.
  • Action 6: Consult stakeholders on the impact of chargeback and related schemes to tackle commercial scale IP infringements and explore the need and scope for taking concrete action in this field.
  • Action 7: Establish a Member State Expert Group on IP Enforcement, where Member States could share best practice on the work within the EU of all their concerned authorities and be informed on the delivery of this Action Plan.
  • Action 8: Support the European Observatory on Infringements of Intellectual Property Rights in the development of a comprehensive set of sectoral IP enforcement related training programmes for Member State authorities in the context of the Single Market.
  • Action 9: Develop, promote and publish a guide on best practice for public authorities to avoid purchasing counterfeit products.
  • Action 10: Publish a biennial report on the economic impact of the EU's IP policy that could serve as a more effective monitoring tool for the EU's new IP enforcement policy as set out in this Communication.

On 9 June 2015, the European Parliament adopted a resolution 2014/2151(INI) ‘Towards a renewed consensus on the enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights: An EU Action Plan’ on the Commission’s communication COM(2014)   392 – setting an Action Plan to address infringements of intellectual property rights in the EU published on 1 July 2014.

  • The European Parliament welcomed the Commission’s Action Plan.
  • According to the Parliament, the key objective should be to ensure the effective, evidence-based enforcement of IPR, which plays a key role in stimulating innovation, creativity, competitiveness, growth and cultural diversity.
  • Ensuring fair remuneration for creators should as well be a crucial element of the EU Action Plan. To that end, the Parliament, inter alia, stated that all actors in the supply chain have a role to play in the fight against IPR infringement and should be involved in this process.
  • Furthermore the Parliament stressed the importance of ensuring the application of due diligence throughout the supply chain, the need for operators in the industry to exchange information about platforms which provide access to content that infringes IPR, the importance of sector-based agreements and good practice guides to combat IPR infringements, the involvement of organised crime in international IPR-infringing activities.
  • Moreover, Parliament’s resolution emphasised the importance of improving civil enforcement procedures for SMEs and individual creators as regards IPRs and called on the Commission to adapt the EU legislative framework regarding IPR infringement to the internet environment.

On 29 November 2017, the Commission adopted a comprehensive package to address the issues identified in the Action plan comprising:

  • A Communication, 'A balanced IP enforcement system responding to today's societal challenges'
  • A Communication providing guidance and clarifying certain provisions of the IPR enforcement Directive to ensure a more homogenous interpretation in Europe
  • An evaluation report and study on the Directive on the enforcement of IPR
  • A Communication, 'Setting out the EU approach to Standard Essential Patents'
  • An Overview report on the functioning of the Memorandum of Understanding on the sale of counterfeit goods via the internet

Furthermore, the Commission announced it would create an expert group to gather further expertise on issues such as licensing practises, sound Intellectual Property valuation, Fair, Reasonable and Non Discriminatory (FRAND) licensing conditions and launch a pilot project on the evaluation of the essentiality of Standard Essential Patents (SEP). Further measures might be taken as needed.

Regarding IPR implemention, the Council endorsed in September 2018 a new EU customs action plan to combat infringements of intellectual property rights to cover the years 2018 to 2022. The Council invited the Commission to prepare a roadmap by Spring 2019 on the implementation of the new action plan, as well as to monitor this implementation and to submit annual reports to the Council. 



Author: Tambiama Madiega, Members' Research Service,

As of 20/02/2023.