New plans outlined to tackle ‘commercial scale IP infringements’

http://www.out-law.com/en/articles/2014/july/new-plans-outlined-to-tackle-commercial-scale-ip-infringements-/

New plans outlined to tackle ‘commercial scale IP infringements’

The voluntary scheme will be created following a series of consultations the Commission intends to hold “on applying due diligence throughout supply chains as a means to prevent commercial scale IP infringements”.

The action is one of a number the Commission has committed to taking in a bid to help companies better protect and enforce their IP rights. The actions are outlined in a new communication the Commission has issued on enforcement of IP rights (13-page / 286KB PDF).

“The Commission will launch a series of consultation actions with all relevant stakeholders including civil society on applying due diligence throughout supply chains as a means to prevent commercial scale IP infringements,” the Commission said in its new communication. “On the basis of the collected information it intends to develop an EU due-diligence scheme for this purpose. It will, in the first instance, seek to encourage the voluntary take-up of the scheme that it will monitor closely to determine if further initiatives are required.”

In its communication paper, the Commission also said it would promote the creation of agreements between rights holders and third party “business partners” that would see those business partners take action to cut funding to commercial scale IP infringers.

“The Commission will establish new stakeholder dialogues in 2014 and 2015, comprising advertising service providers, payment services and shippers, with the objective of achieving in the course of 2015 further memoranda of understanding that will help keep IP-infringing products off the internet,” the Commission said. “The goal is to deprive IP infringers of their revenue streams.”

Among the other actions contained in the plan is a commitment from the Commission to achieve better coordination between national agencies across the EU in the way they monitor for and combat IP rights infringement. It also wants to enhance available training in tackling cross-border IP rights infringement.

In addition, the Commission said it would launch a pilot screening programme to analyse public purchases of medicines and gauge “the scale of the problem” of IP rights infringement in that sector.

“On the basis of these activities the Commission shall publish and promote a guide on methodologies to assist public authorities in detecting and preventing counterfeit products from entering into public services,” it said.

Elyssa D. Durant. Ed.M.Research & Policy Analyst

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