December 21, 2020
The Commission’s second Counterfeit and Piracy Watch List names websites and physical marketplaces outside the EU that are reported to engage in, facilitate or benefit from counterfeiting and piracy.
The Watch List aims to encourage the operators of these marketplaces and of the intermediaries providing services to them, as well as local enforcement authorities and governments, to take action to stop or prevent intellectual property infringements. It also aims to raise awareness among EU citizens on the environmental, product safety and other risks of purchasing from these potentially problematic markets.
The European Union Intellectual Property Office, the European Anti-Fraud Office and Europol have also contributed to the preparation of the Watch List. The List has four focus areas:
- websites providing copyright-protected content;
- e-commerce platforms;
- online pharmacies; and
- physical marketplaces.
The list reports on the input received during a public consultation (from 19 February to 1 June 2020), where the Commission invited all stakeholders to share their views. More than 70 responses were received, mostly from brand owners, copyright holders, associations and federations representing rights holders and associations fighting against IP infringements. E-commerce, social media platforms, providers of internet infrastructure services or associations of providers of technology products and services also contributed to the public consultation.
According to EUIPO and the OECD, trade in counterfeit and pirated products amounts annually to around €460 billion worldwide. The EU is particularly affected, with counterfeit and pirated products amounting up to around 6.8% of all imports or as much as €121 billion a year. To read the Commission’s press release in full and for a link to the Watch List, click here.