Feeds

EU ministers want new life for IP enforcement

New laws if that doesn't work, please

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

European Union minsters have told EU governing bodies to revive plans to create a pan-EU law criminalising intellectual property infringement, and to make more use of a new body to cooperate on the enforcement of intellectual property rights.

They have also asked the European Commission to create new laws if cooperation does not work.

The Competitiveness Council, which is part of the EU Council of Ministers, has published a Resolution on the enforcement of intellectual property rights. It says that the European Commission should consider reviving a previously-proposed and much-amended Directive that sought to harmonise criminal sanctions for IP infringement across Europe.

"[The Council] invites the Commission to analyse the opportunity of submitting an amended proposal for a Directive on criminal measures aimed at combating counterfeiting and piracy," a resolution from the Council said. "This analysis must include an assessment of the extent to which action is essential to ensure the effective implementation of a Union policy in an area which has been subject to harmonisation measures, as well as an examination of the impact, costs and benefits of any new measures."

The planned Directive was first proposed in 2005 but was controversial and faced opposition and heavy amendments. The Directive stalled after a critical report by the European Parliament's Economic and Social Committee in 2007.

The Council also called for countries and EU bodies to make more use of the European Observatory on Counterfeiting and Piracy, which was established by the Commission and met for the first time last year.

If none of their recommendations work, ministers have asked the Commission to consider new anti-piracy laws.

"In cases where stakeholders' dialogues are unable to reach agreed solutions, [the Commission should] review the situation in cooperation with Member States and... come forward with proposals for an appropriate follow-up, including proposals for legislation, if necessary and appropriate," said the Resolution.

The ministers welcomed the creation of the Observatory but asked the Commission to outline more clearly exactly what its powers and the scope of its activities will be.

They said that countries should cooperate more fully with the Observatory so that the data on which policies are based can be made more reliable.

"Member States and industry [should] provide the Observatory with available information and .. jointly develop and agree, in the context of the Observatory, on plans to collect further information and … jointly develop a common methodology for collecting data," they said.

It also asked the Observatory to publish an annual report detailing the levels of counterfeiting and piracy in the EU that year and the economic impact that activity had had.

See: The resolution (6-page/106kb pdf)

Copyright © 2010, OUT-LAW.com

OUT-LAW.COM is part of international law firm Pinsent Masons.

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Arrr: Freetard-bothering Digital Economy Act tied up, thrown in the hold
Ministry of Fun confirms: Yes, we're busy doing nothing
'Blow it up': Plods pop round for chat with Commonwealth Games tweeter
You'd better not be talking about the council's housing plans
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
ONE EMAIL costs mining company $300 MEEELION
Environmental activist walks free after hoax sent share price over a cliff
Apple smacked with privacy sueball over Location Services
Class action launched on behalf of 100 million iPhone owners
UK government officially adopts Open Document Format
Microsoft insurgency fails, earns snarky remark from UK digital services head
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.