Better ammunition for intellectual property rights holders against counterfeiting and piracy – the new european customs enforcement regulation

Whether it is related to innovation, advancement of modern technologies, brand identity, or, even more importantly, to increased consumer protection or health and safety guarantees, intellectual property is an important parameter in people’s quest for better life standards and quality, efficiency and progress.

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SALANS FMC SNR DENTON EUROPE - TODOR SI ASOCIATII SOCIETATE PROFESIONALA DE AVOCATI CU RASPUNDERE LIMITATA


ANAMARIA CORBESCU

ANAMARIA CORBESCU

MANAGING COUNSEL at SALANS FMC SNR DENTON EUROPE - TODOR SI ASOCIATII SOCIETATE PROFESIONALA DE AVOCATI CU RASPUNDERE LIMITATA


ANDA TODOR

ANDA TODOR

MANAGING PARTNER at SALANS FMC SNR DENTON EUROPE - TODOR SI ASOCIATII SOCIETATE PROFESIONALA DE AVOCATI CU RASPUNDERE LIMITATA

Equally clear, however, is the fact that developing, exploiting and defending intellectual property rights is an increasingly difficult task in today’s world where swift changes take place as markets, businesses and people evolve and interact. 

 

Background, Facts and Figures

 

With millions of pirated and counterfeit products discovered in the EU each year by customs authorities and with discussions ongoing for many years regarding a review of the existing legal framework on protecting intellectual property rights, the Council was prompted to request, in its Resolution of 25 September 2008 on a comprehensive European anti-counterfeiting and anti-piracy plan, that Council Regulation (EC) No 1383/2003 of 22 July 2003 concerning customs action against products suspected of infringing certain intellectual property rights and the measures to be taken against products found to have infringed such rights, be reviewed.

 

On 5 August 2013, the European Commission published a new set of statistics based on detentions of articles suspected to infringe intellectual property rights, made by customs authorities under the existing procedures. The figures, compiled based on data transmitted by the national customs administrations to the European Commission, clearly confirm the continuing trend of high numbers of shipments suspected of violating intellectual property rights, with nearly 90,000 detention cases registered in 2012, resulting in approximately 40 million detained articles. The value of the equivalent genuine products is estimated to be just below €1 billion. Cigarettes are at the top of the list of detained articles (31%), followed by other goods (such as bottles, lamps, glue, batteries, washing powder) and packaging materials. Products for daily use (i.e. personal care articles, medicines, toys, electrical household items) accounted for 12.7% of the total number of detained articles. The main country shipping products to the EU that infringe on intellectual property rights continued to be China.

 

The New European Customs Enforcement Regulation

 

Against this backdrop, everyone agreed that the first and easiest way to protect European markets and consumers from exposure to pirated and counterfeit products was to prevent such products from entering the EU and that the customs authorities should represent the first line of defense. 

 

Published on 29 June 2013, the new Regulation (EU) No. 608/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 June 2013 concerning customs enforcement of intellectual property rights (the “Regulation”) repeals the previous rules, namely Council Regulation (EC) No. 1383/2003, and is to enter into force from 1 January 2014, with some of the Regulation’s articles applicable as early as 19 July 2013.

 

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