European Commission steps up protection of European intellectual property in global markets

13 gennaio 2020

On January 9, 2020,  the European Commission published  the latest report on protection and enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) in third countries. 

Efficient, well-designed and balanced intellectual property (IP) systems are a key lever to promote investment in innovation and growth. Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) are one of the principal means through which companies, creators and inventors generate returns on their investment in innovation and creativity 

The main objective of this report is to identify third countries in which the state of IPR protection and enforcement (both online and offline) gives rise to the greatest level of concern and thereby to establish an updated list of so called "priority countries". 

According to a recent EUIPO-OECD study on Trends in Trade in Counterfeit and Pirated Goods (2019)9, in 2016, counterfeit and pirated goods accounted for up to 3.3% of world trade and up to € 121 billion or 6.8% of EU imports from third countries. These numbers are alarming, in particular when compared to the figures of 2013 under the previous EUIPO- OECD study on Mapping the economic impact of trade in counterfeit and pirated goods (2016)10: they indicate that the share of counterfeit and pirated goods in world trade increased by up to 10.4% and the share of fakes in EU imports by up to 42.3% between 2013 and 2016. 

The EUIPO’s 2019 Status Report on IPR infringement contains the latest quantification of IPR infringements by sector in the EU . IPR infringements have serious negative consequences for a large variety of sectors, not only in terms of lost revenue but also in terms of job losses. 

The geographical and thematic priorities for the EU action to protect intellectual property rights are based on the level of economic harm to EU companies. The report will help to further focus and target efforts. The updated list of priority countries in the report remains split in three categories reflecting the scale and persistence of problems: 1) China; 2) India, Indonesia, Russia, Turkey, Ukraine; 3) Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador, Malaysia, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia and Thailand.

China is at the origin of a dominant share of counterfeit and pirated goods arriving in the EU, in terms of both value and volume. More than 80% of counterfeit and pirated goods seized by EU customs authorities come from China and Hong Kong.

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