5th March 2020 |
The European Commission launched a public consultation which aims at identifying online and physical marketplaces located outside the European Union that are reported to engage in or facilitate substantial IPR infringements, and in particular piracy and counterfeiting.
Objective of the consultation
Infringements of intellectual property rights (IPR), and in particular commercial-scale counterfeiting and piracy, cause significant economic losses for rightholders and legitimate businesses as well as to those whose employment depends on such businesses. These infringements undermine the European Union's comparative advantages in innovation and creativity to the detriment of EU citizens and pose significant risks to consumer health and safety as well as to the environment. Besides, IPR infringements, and in particular counterfeiting and piracy also seriously harm European business trading outside the European Union.
Therefore, the European Commission launched a public consultation which aims at identifying online and physical marketplaces located outside the European Union that are reported to engage in or facilitate substantial IPR infringements, and in particular piracy and counterfeiting.
The European Commission – on the basis of input from the stakeholders – after thorough verification of the information received – intends to publish an update of its so called “Counterfeit and Piracy Watch List” towards the end of 2020. This list will again identify and describe the most problematic marketplaces – with special focus on online marketplaces – in order to encourage their operators and owners as well as the responsible local authorities and governments to take the necessary actions and measures to reduce the availability of IPR infringing goods or services.
The European Commission will continue to monitor the measures and actions taken by the local authorities in relation to the listed marketplaces as well as the measures and actions taken by the operators and marketplace owners to curb IPR infringements. The owners and operators of these marketplaces will be urged to adopt business models that rely on the licensed distribution of legitimate content and products and to work with rightholders and enforcement officials to address infringements.
The responsible government authorities will also be expected to intensify their efforts to investigate reports of IPR infringements in such marketplaces, and to pursue appropriate enforcement actions if needed. The list is an effective tool also to raise consumer awareness concerning the environmental, product safety and other risks of purchasing on these marketplaces.
The Counterfeit and Piracy Watch List is not an exhaustive list of the reported marketplaces and service providers and does not purport to make findings of legal violations. It does also not provide the Commission services’ analysis of the state of protection and enforcement of IPR in the country or countries concerned.
The European Commission requests written contributions from stakeholders identifying marketplaces that should be included in the Counterfeit and Piracy Watch List for 2020. Marketplace operators and service providers appearing in the first Counterfeit and Piracy Watch List of 2018 are also invited to submit written contributions in which they present the actions they have taken to address IP infringements on their platforms or while providing their services.
This public consultation can be viewed at Public Consultation on the Counterfeit and Piracy Watch List and is due for completion by 12 May 2020.