Past January 31st, a letter was sent to the European Union Commission President Jean Claude Juncker by big companies such as Apple, Adidas, Bayer, Channel, Hero, Lego, L’oréal, Moët Hennessy, Nike, Philips or Coca Cola, amongst others, with a call for action to modernize the Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement Directive (IPRED).
The companies point out that European Union’s economy is dependent on innovative and creativity industries and that a new legal framework to protect companies and consumers from counterfeits is essential, specially for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) that might not have the financial resources to engage in infringement actions against counterfeiters.
The letter cites recent reports from the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO), the European Patent Organisation (EPO) and OECD that mention that counterfeit goods amount to 5% of all imports made into the EU at €116 billion.
The companies address that the online marketplace poses a problem to counterfeiting as the physical world investments are usually low but the reach is high. Also, they point out that intermediaries such as social media, delivery companies, domain name registrars, search engines and payment services should take effective measures to stop the circulation of counterfeit goods.
The letter thus concludes that the EC should take advantage of the upcoming revision to the IPRED and modernise its legal framework to ensure that all actors in the distribution chain help to enforce rights such as Patents, Trademarks or Industrial Designs across the EU.