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European anti-counterfeiting and anti-piracy plan
The Council is hereby calling upon the Commission and the Member States to take action to fight against counterfeiting and piracy more effectively.
Council Resolution of 25 September 2008 on a comprehensive European anti-counterfeiting and anti-piracy plan [Official Journal C 253 of 4.10.2008].
With this Resolution, the Council is calling on the Commission to put into effect the actions to combat counterfeiting and piracy set out in its Communication on an industrial property rights strategy for Europe [COM(2008) 465]. This Communication provides a set of measures aimed at enforcing industrial property, copy- and related rights such as customs initiatives, completing legislation, concluding inter-industry agreements, enforcing cross-border judgements, enforcing intellectual property rights in third countries and working towards a plurilateral anti-counterfeiting trade agreement (ACTA).
In this regard, the Commission is invited to establish a European counterfeiting and piracy observatory based on its existing structures. It should define in detail the arrangements and financing for the establishment and future operations of the observatory. The aim of the observatory should be to allow for regular evaluations and more accurate analysis of the counterfeiting and piracy situation in Europe. The data for this should be provided on a voluntary basis by both the private and public sectors.
The Commission should also communicate with actors taking part in the fight against counterfeiting and piracy. This should involve the diffusion of related information, in particular by using the Internet.
Finally, the Commission is also invited to develop awareness-raising activities in order to inform consumers of the dangers of counterfeiting. These should include operational guides and events to mark the European awareness day related to counterfeiting and piracy.
At the same time, the Council is also inviting the Commission and the Member States to take action to fight against counterfeiting and piracy. This should, among others, consist of drawing up an anti-counterfeiting customs plan for the period 2009-12. This plan should prioritise information sharing via electronic means, along with collaboration between border authorities, namely customs authorities, and rights holders. The Commission and the Member States should also review the customs law with a view to enhancing the legal framework so that the fight against counterfeiting is made more effective.
In addition, the Commission and the Member States should:
- establish a rapid information exchange network for counterfeit products and services by stepping-up cross-border administrative collaboration with the help of national contact points and modern information and communication tools;
- ensure that the institutions fighting against counterfeiting and piracy may coordinate properly by promoting the sharing of best practice between national administrations;
- review the legal framework relating to intellectual property rights in order to evaluate its effectiveness;
- encourage partnerships between the public and private sector for fighting counterfeiting and piracy, propose good practice and promote collaboration between professionals.
Furthermore, the Commission and the Member States should promote the protection of intellectual property rights within the international context, including in cooperation activities with third countries. This should consist of endorsing the inclusion and enforcement of intellectual property rights in bi- and multilateral agreements and actively working towards the conclusion of a plurilateral anti-counterfeiting trade agreement.
In March 2008, the Council launched the new cycle of the renewed Lisbon strategy for growth and jobs (2008-10). In this context, the European Union was invited to fight against counterfeiting more effectively by working towards a more efficient system of protection of intellectual property rights.