The aim is to identify the marketplaces outside the EU where counterfeiting, piracy or other forms of intellectual property abuse are common practice. The initiative is part of the Commission’s strategy announced in the 2017 Communication A balanced Intellectual Property enforcement system responding to today’s societal challenges.
The European Commission – on the basis of input from the stakeholders – after thorough verification of the received information – intends to publish a so called Counterfeit and Piracy Watch-List in 2018, which will be updated regularly. The list will 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 Commission will also monitor the measures taken by local authorities to reduce the availability of goods and services infringing intellectual property rights in identified markets.
Intellectual property infringement is a particular scourge on European industry and hampers investment and employment in industries reliant on creativity and innovation. According to the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) and the OECD, trade in counterfeit and pirated products amount to around €338 billion worldwide. The European Union is particularly affected, with counterfeit and pirated products amounting up to around 5% of all imports or as much as €85 billion a year.
Contributions to the public consultation should be sent before March 31, 2018.