Green Paper on counterfeiting and piracy


Subject: Green Paper on counterfeiting and piracy
From: Barbara Schleihagen (Eblida@nblc.nl)
Date: pe 23 loka   1998 - 14:30:56 EEST


Dear all,

The European Commission has adopted a Green Paper on combating
counterfeiting and piracy in the Single Market, marking the start of a
wide- ranging consultation of all the parties concerned, the Member States
and the institutions of the European Union (EU). This consultation, which
is expected to be completed in March 1999, aims to determine the economic
impact of counterfeiting and piracy in the Single Market, to assess the
effectiveness of the relevant legislation and to propose a number of
initiatives to improve the situation. These initiatives could include
support for private-sector monitoring, legal protection of security and
authentication devices, assessment of the penalties and other means of
enforcing intellectual property rights and the setting-up of suitable
administrative cooperation between the relevant national authorities.

The initiatives on intellectual property rights have so far focussed
essentially on harmonising national legislation (for example trademarks,
biotechnology inventions) and on creating unitary rights at Community level
(for example, the Community trademark). It is necessary to ensure proper
implementation not only of the legislation itself, but of the rights and
obligations of market operators resulting from this legislation in the
Single Market. In fact, counterfeiting and piracy are prejudicial
to the proper functioning of the Single Market as they give rise to
deflections of trade and distortions of competition, leading to a loss of
confidence among market operators in the ability of public authorities to
provide effective protection of their rights and to a reduction in
investment.

A horizontal initiative could prove to be needed to respond to this
phenomenon in a comprehensive way. The Green Paper aims to assess precisely
the scale and economic impact of counterfeiting and piracy in the Single
Market and to assess the effectiveness of legislation on intellectual
property. The improvements under consideration in the Green Paper relate to
four specific aspects:

a) Support for private-sector monitoring
b) Legal protection of security and authentication devices
c) Assessment of the means of enforcing intellectual property rights
d) Setting up suitable administrative cooperation between the relevant
national authorities

Consultation of the parties concerned

The Green Paper represents a starting point for a wide-ranging consultation
of the parties concerned. It will be completed in March 1999 with the
organisation, jointly with the German Presidency of the EU Council, of a
hearing of all interested parties in Munich on 2 and 3 March, in order to
consider in more detail the most important points arising from the coming
discussions. The Commission will then be in a position to determine the
action to be undertaken in this field.

Copies of the Green Paper may be obtained from the European Commission at
the following address:

European Commission
DG XV.E.3
Rue de la Loi, 200
B-1049 Brussels
by fax : (32-2) 299.31.04
and by e-mail: E3@dg15.cec.be
or through the EU's Europa Web site:

http://europa.eu.int/en/comm/dg15/dg15home.html or:
http://europa.eu.int/comm/dg15/en/intprop/indprop/922.htm

Best wishes,
Barbara Schleihagen

**********************************************************************
EBLIDA
Barbara Schleihagen, Director
Heidi Hogan, EU Policy Officer
P.O. Box 43300
NL-2504 AH The Hague
Tel: +31-70-309 06 08
Fax: +31-70-309 07 08
email: eblida@nblc.nl
http://www.kaapeli.fi/~eblida/



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