Copyright: new measures to combat commercial piracy needed

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“Intellectual property rights (IPR) are a key driver for growth and innovation. Intellectual property isn’t just about copyright but also about trademarks and patents, among others. All of these are vital to the value of Europe’s goods and services and contribute to the EU’s cultural variety. Statistics show that in 2012, more than 90 thousand IPR violations took place at the EU’s external borders. In order to enhance the EU’s competitiveness, adequate protection against counterfeiting on a commercial scale needs to be introduced”, said Pavel Svoboda MEP, Chairman of the Legal Affairs Committee of the European Parliament.

The European Parliament endorsed Svoboda’s Report on the enforcement of intellectual property rights in the European Union by 529 votes to 143 with 28 abstentions. Parliament endorsed the European Commission’s Communication of July 2014 presenting an Action Plan on the enforcement of intellectual property rights, noting that primary enforcement rests with the Member States’ public authorities.

The Action Plan proposes new enforcement tools while taking a ‘follow-the-money’ approach seeking to deprive commercial-scale infringers of revenue flows. It further develops the following issues: raising awareness, ensuring the integrity of supply chains, a reduction of profits in the online environment, assisting SMEs, chargeback systems, better cooperation between national authorities, and screening public procurement for IP-infringing products.

“We support the European Commission’s ambition to help small and medium-sized enterprises. It is part of a series of measures to help small and medium entrepreneurs and a way to boost creativity in Europe. I believe that the European Commission will be able to transform the ideas into concrete legislative proposals before July 2016”, concluded Svoboda.

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