Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) think that the EU needs a better system to protect intellectual property rights (IPRs). They asked the EU Commission to identify and look into what better tools and methods could be employed. MEPs moreover call for a better assessment and adjustment of intra-EU rules to fight online breaches of IPRs.
The Parliament thinks that the “commercial nature of many IPR infringements” and the “growing involvement of organized crime” are both serious threats to innovation and creativity in the EU, which are the block’s key assets in the international market. Therefore, MEPs asked the EU executive to deal with this “extremely complex” issue in order to address the needs of all stakeholders – rights holders, economic operators and end users.
MEPs say that the current system of intellectual property rights protection does not differentiate between digital violations of copyrights and counterfeiting. In the Parliament’s opinion, the Commission and EU Member States ought to “engage with online platforms” in order to identify and deal with the infringements such as sales of counterfeit or plagiarized products by digital sales platforms. MEPs think that an anti-counterfeiting protocol should be added to the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime.
The EU Parliament moreover calls for a comprehensive legal framework that would reflect the specificities of the Internet environment, which would help better protect IPRs in the EU. To combat IPR infringements, it is necessary to involve all stakeholders in the supply chain and help small firms to get their IPRs enforced, MEPs think. They also emphasize that the EU should promote campaigns that would raise awareness of the consequences of IPR infringements for economy, society and consumers and citizens individually.