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Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs

Enforcement of intellectual property rights

An efficient and effectively enforced intellectual property (IP) framework is necessary to encourage investment in innovation and creativity while preventing commercial-scale infringements of IP rights that pose risks to the economy, consumer safety, and the environment. The European Commission is committed to establishing an infrastructure that empowers creators and inventors within the EU, ensuring they receive fair returns from creations and innovation, ultimately benefiting the EU economy and society.

What the Commission is doing

As part of the Commission’s commitment to fostering innovation, safeguarding investments, driving the green and digital transition, and protecting consumer safety, public health and the environment, the Commission has adopted a recommendation to combat counterfeiting and enhance the enforcement of IPR (toolbox to fight counterfeiting).

Building on the directive on the enforcement of IPR and the Digital Services Act, this recommendation seeks to make the fight against counterfeiting and piracy more effective by calling for stronger cooperation and information exchange between authorities at all levels and opening a modernisation process for the memorandum of understanding on the online sales of counterfeit products.

It also includes recommendations aimed at enhancing enforcement procedures, the use of AI in the fight against counterfeiting and pirated goods and content, reinforcing the enforcement capacity of SMEs including against cyber-theft and promoting IP awareness, training, and educational material.

The Directive on the Enforcement of IPR

The Directive on the Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights ('IPRED') was adopted in April 2004. The directive requires all EU member countries to apply effective, dissuasive, and proportionate remedies and penalties against those engaged in counterfeiting and piracy. The objective of IPRED is to create a level playing field for rightsholders in the EU, ensuring that each EU country provides a harmonised set of measures to empower rightsholders in defending their IP rights.

Guidance on the Directive on the Enforcement of IPR

Following the evaluation of IPRED in November 2017 the Commission adopted, as part of the IP package, the guidance communication clarifying provisions of IPRED that have been subject to varying interpretations across EU member countries. These interpretations may relate to the scope, rules on obtaining and preserving evidence, injunctions, or calculation of damages. The guidance is based on rulings by the EU Court of Justice and best practice developed in EU countries.


GROW-IPRENFORCEMENTatec [dot] europa [dot] eu (