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EU Survey Reveals Anti-Counterfeiting Targets

by Ulrika Lomas, for LawAndTax-News.com, Brussels

09 October 2006


The European Commission on Thursday published the results of a survey of EU businesses on their experience with Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) enforcement outside the EU in 2005.

The results have helped the Commission to define a list of priority countries and regions on which to focus activity and resources in the fight against counterfeiting.

In a statement, the Commission explained that:

"While the EU does not exclude the possibility of action in the WTO against IPR infringement, the EU is not creating a ‘black list’, but looking to focus technical assistance and cooperation in the joint fight against piracy. Today’s survey results send a message of concern and signal the EU’s firm resolve to tackle it."

"The European Union is ready to help key third countries in improving their act; but will not accept systematic and large scale infringements of the rights of EU industry."

"The results of the survey are intended to provide a resource for European businesses by making them aware of the risks they may face when dealing with certain third countries, but also by drawing attention to the resources available for protecting their intellectual property rights outside the EU."

The survey identified China as the main priority for the EU. Indicators such as customs seizures show that alone it is responsible for around two thirds of infringing goods entering the EU. On the other hand, China is the country where the EU has established the most in-depth cooperation to address the problem.

Category 2 in the survey comprised countries with high levels of production, transit and/or consumption of counterfeit goods, such as Russia, Ukraine, Chile and Turkey. These countries have made serious commitments to the EU to adopt the highest standards of IPR enforcement, but need to considerably step up their efforts and tackle serious deficiencies, according to the EC.

Category 3 countries/regions were identified as those with high levels of production, transit and/or consumption of IP infringing goods, with which the EU is considering enhanced trade agreements with a closer focus on IPR enforcement: The survey showed a need for a particular focus on Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Korea.


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