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AmCham EU commends European Commission initiative to set up IP watch list for marketplaces outside the EU
As anticipated in its November 2017 Communication ‘Towards a balanced IP enforcement system responding to today’s societal challenges’, in January 2018 the European Commission took the first step in the creation of its first Counterfeit and Piracy Watch List asking stakeholders’ input to inform its actions.
The aim of the list is to identify online and physical markets located outside the EU that reportedly engage in or facilitate commercial-scale Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) infringements and to motivate appropriate action – whether public or private - to curb such violations.
AmCham EU welcomes the initiative of the European Commission to set up an IP watch list for marketplaces outside the EU. We represent American companies committed to and invested in Europe and creativity and innovation lie at the heart of our members’ business models. Aggregate US investment in Europe totalled more than €2 trillion in 2017, including in IPR intensive industries. Research consistently shows that commercial scale infringements of copyright and trademarks have a significantly adverse impact on right holders and legitimate business and undermine critical competitive advantages in innovation, while posing threats to consumer health and safety, as well as to jobs and growth.
We appreciate that the online environment offers tremendous possibilities to distribute content and goods across the markets, but we are as well aware that it allows for much wider and quicker proliferation of IP-infringing items, often originating from jurisdictions with weaker enforcement regimes. We therefore consider a sound and robust enforcement regime essential for the protection of our members’ incentives to continue investing in ever innovative and creative products.
Recent official data shows that IPR violations are on the rise and amount up to around 5% of all imports to the EU or as much as €85 billion a year. With such a global challenge, the response must also be global: the magnitude of piracy and counterfeiting in the online and offline world requires effective enforcement responses and fast, coordinated interventions from all players, from the local to the global level.
Additionally, similar efforts undertaken in other jurisdictions, such as the US Notorious Markets list, have resulted in notable efforts from market owners and operators to address the widespread availability of pirated or counterfeited goods in their markets.
AmCham EU therefore supports the Commission’s approach to strengthen international efforts against counterfeiting and piracy and to encourage sustainable and meaningful actions to prevent IP violations throughout the global supply chain.