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What You Need to Know About the EU’s Strategy to Combat Counterfeiting

EU’s Strategy to Combat Counterfeiting

In an effort to strengthen intellectual property (IP) rights, the European Commission recently adopted a recommendation on initiatives intended to curb counterfeiting activities both online and offline. This post discusses the strategy, adopted recommendations, and new approaches to stopping the sale of counterfeits in the EU. Contact us to learn how LegitScript Merchant Monitoring and Onboarding or Marketplace Monitoring can help you maintain compliance.

The Strategy to Tackle Organized Crime Was First Announced in 2021

The European Union (EU) empowers the European Commission to propose and implement laws that align with EU objectives. Currently, the Commission is combating high-impact crimes such as IP infringement by doubling down on the legal ramifications.

In 2021, the European Commission announced the EU Strategy to tackle Organised Crime 2021-2025. Key Actions from the new strategy state in Section 2.1 that the Commission [will] not stop at the seizure of illegal items or the arrest of low-level criminals, but target actors and networks which are the backbone of criminal ecosystems.

The Commission added that they would “work with all relevant stakeholders, to streamline, expand and modernise the European Multidisciplinary Platform Against Criminal Threats (EMPACT) and establish it as the EU flagship instrument to fight organised and serious international crime through a set of actions and a legislative proposal”.

EU Adds Recommendations to Its “Toolbox” in 2024

In the Commission recommendations, they refer to the previously published Strategy to Tackle Organised Crime that identified IP infringement or counterfeiting crimes as high-impact crimes. On March 19, 2024, the Commission announced the adoption of recommendations to “combat counterfeiting” on and offline. This became official with the release of the Commission Recommendation(s). It is referred to as “the EU toolbox against counterfeiting” and addresses a multitude of key actions.

Key Actions to Combat Counterfeiting

According to the press release, some of the recommended key actions include:

  • Adapting procedures to counter new counterfeiting practices to address issues like mirror websites and improving how information is shared about court proceedings.
  • Ensuring appropriate compensation for damages, including both material and moral damages.
  • Reviewing maximum sanctions on serious criminal IP offenses and potentially increasing them.
  • Giving “trusted flagger status” to signatories of a memorandum of understanding on the sale of counterfeits online so that these entities' notifications are given priority.

Additionally, the release notes another key action that includes some pivotal language regarding the use of new technologies to detect counterfeits. “Adapting IP practices to AI and virtual worlds” includes “using blockchain for supply chain traceability” and mentions the use of content recognition systems to detect IP Infringing goods.

Reduce Your Risk of Violative Products While Growing Your Business

Are you a sponsoring or acquiring bank concerned about unwittingly processing transactions for potentially violative products and services? LegitScript Merchant Monitoring and Onboarding combines advanced technology with analyst insight to identify merchants presenting a high risk for counterfeit sales. Contact us for a quick strategy session.

Are you an e-commerce website or online marketplace worried about highly violative products in your ecosystem? LegitScript Marketplace Monitoring relies on more than 15 years of work with the world’s leading payment companies, search engines, social media companies, and e-commerce marketplaces to provide you with the largest database of violative, high-risk, and problematic products spanning the payment ecosystems and commercial internet. Contact us to learn more.

Smelting words into subject matter expertise since 2020, Thea Le Fevre specializes in B2B SaaS Content Marketing. She believes in embracing innovation and produces AI-assisted content along with organically crafted content. Take a deep dive into her work for up-to-date industry news surrounding issues in trust & safety, payments risk & compliance, healthcare, and more.

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