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European Commission publishes blacklist of counterfeiters

The European Commission has published its first “Counterfeit and Piracy Watchlist”. The list includes online pharmacies, e-commerce platforms, websites providing copyright-protected content and physical marketplaces outside the European Union that have been reported to engage in, facilitate or benefit from substantial counterfeiting piracy.

The watchlist aims to encourage operators and local enforcement authorities to take the necessary actions to curb intellectual property rights (IPR) infringements as well as make citizens aware of the risks linked to purchasing from those marketplaces. It is part of a strategy launched in the 2017 Communication “A balanced Intellectual Property enforcement system responding to today’s societal challenges” that presented a wide range of measures to strengthen the fight against counterfeiting at a global level and to ensure that the IPR of European companies were well protected.

Indeed, according to the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) and the Organisation for European Cooperation and Development (OECD) trade in counterfeit and pirated products represents up to 2.5% of the total value of global trade. The European Union is particularly affected with counterfeit goods amounting to 5% of all imports and causing serious sales and revenue losses for European companies.

The Commission is planning to update the list every two years and monitor any measures taken in relation to the marketplaces listed in it.

The watchlist is available here: http://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/html/157564.htm

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