Evaluation of intellectual property rights

The European Commission has published the first evaluation of the impact and implementation of the Directive on the enforcement of intellectual property rights which came into force in 2004 and was required to be implemented by 2006. Member states’ laws were harmonised on enforcement procedures, remedies and penalties. The Commission concludes that the Directive has had a substantial and positive effect on protecting intellectual property rights under civil law in Europe. However the volume and value of infringements are alarming, in particular due to the internet. Clarification may be needed (1) on the limitations of the existing legal framework to deal with the digital environment, (2) when injunctions may be granted against intermediaries and (3) of the meaning of various corrective measures. Other issues identified include the options available to address problems in collecting evidence in cross-border cases and the usefulness of harmonising the secondary use of infringing goods.

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