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IP/08/652

Brussels, 28 April 2008

Internal Market: Commission to hold conference on counterfeiting and piracy

The European Commission will hold a conference on counterfeiting and piracy on 13 May 2008. Speakers will cover various topics including the effects on economic growth and job creation in Europe, risks to citizens' health and safety and measures which could enhance the fight against fake goods. Members of the European Parliament as well as a wide range of stakeholders representing business, public administrations and civil society are expected to attend.

Internal Market and Services Commissioner Charlie McCreevy said: "I am increasingly concerned about the rising number of counterfeits and pirated goods in the Single Market. But before the Commission takes further action, we need to hear stakeholders' views. The conference presents a great opportunity to exchange views and to share ideas on how to tackle this problem."
The conference starts at 9.00, in the Charlemagne building, Rue de la Loi 170, Brussels. It can also be followed via webstreaming at:

http://scic.ec.europa.eu/streaming/char/

Background

Counterfeiting and piracy, or the infringement of intellectual property rights such as copyright, trade marks, designs or patents, are a rapidly growing phenomenon, both at the global level as well as within Europe. Counterfeiting and piracy have devastating effects on the economy, including job creation and the health and safety of the citizens. A recent OECD study estimated that global trade in fake goods represented 200 billion USD.

The Commission is taking the fight against counterfeiting and piracy seriously. It is a key component of the Lisbon Strategy for Growth and Jobs. Concerted actions are required within the EU, at its borders, and in our relations with third countries.

For example, in 2004, the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers adopted a directive on the enforcement of industrial and intellectual property rights (2004/48/EC), which requires all Member States to create a level playing field for right holders in the EU by applying effective remedies against those engaged in counterfeiting and piracy.
The conference programme and more information on the fight against counterfeiting and piracy are available at:

http://ec.europa.eu/internal_market/iprenforcement


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