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European Commission


Brussels, 10 December 2012

Commissioner Šemeta welcomes Council adoption of Action plan on Intellectual Property Rights

"In a knowledge-based economy, competitiveness depends on our capacity to protect innovation and creativity. To do this, an active policy against counterfeit and pirated goods is essential. Last year, Customs seized 115 million such articles, thereby protecting legitimate EU businesses. We must keep up this important work, and build on it. Member States and the EU will join efforts to tackle major trends in trade of IPR infringing goods.The Action Plan on Intellectual Property Rights adopted today will help maintain and create jobs and promote growth in the EU."


Today the Competitiveness Council adopted the Action Plan to combat IPR infringements for 2013-2017.

The competitiveness of economies today is increasingly based on creativity and innovation. Therefore, the massive violations of Intellectual Property Rights in traded goods are a serious global problem. Customs plays an important role in checking for, and intercepting these counterfeit and pirated products.

In 2011, Customs detained almost 115 million articles suspected of infringing IPRs. In a report presented to Ministers today, the Commission showed that positive results have been achieved under the current Action Plan (2009-2012). But the challenges remain high, and the report outlines the need to maintain an EU-wide approach in the work of Customs enforcement of IPR.

The new Action Plan contains innovative ideas to step up the fight against IPR infringements at EU borders, taking into account of the current economic climate.

Particular focus is put on the effective implementation and monitoring of EU legislation on customs enforcement of IPR which should soon be adopted by the European Parliament and Council (see IP/11/630 and MEMO/11/327).

The other strategic objectives of the action plan are:

  • Tackling major trends in the trade of IPR infringing goods (e.g. the increased trend in small parcels related to internet purchases).

  • Tackling trade of IPR infringing goods throughout the international supply chain.

  • Strengthening cooperation with the European Observatory and law enforcement authorities on IPR infringements

The Action Plan and Commission report on the current action plan can be found on:

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