The European Commission has published the final report of the Technopolis Group-led evaluation of the Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Enforcement Directive (IPRED – Directive 2004/48/EC). Our findings and recommendations feature prominently in the EC Communication and comprehensive package of measures adopted on 29 November 2017 to improve the enforcement of IPR.
Some key findings include: overall, IPRED has proven to be effective at a very general and conceptual level, allowing for a common legal European framework; it achieved “minimum harmonisation” goals while higher order effectiveness is being hampered by the actual application of IPRED in the Member States with their varying, non-harmonised civil court proceedings.
In the area of copyrights, a critical aspect concerns the challenge of providing a harmonised copyright framework that allows legitimate business models to thrive, as well as “soft law” measures such as memoranda of understandings between intermediaries and rights holders. The evaluation highlighted major problem areas where measures could be taken.
The Directive aims to overcome the existing fragmentation of the EU’s internal market in the area of IP litigation and ensure a high, equivalent, and homogenous level of protection and civil enforcement of IP rights within the EU. In order to provide a level playing field, by requiring ‘minimum harmonisation’, the Directive provides for harmonised legal remedies, such as the ‘evidence’, the claimant’s right to access information on the infringement, provisional and precautionary measures, injunctions, and damages.
The study included a legal analysis on the implementation of IPRED in all 28 EU Member States, provided by a network of legal experts from Schalast, EY, and the MULTILAW network. The study team used public consultation results in the methodological framework and filled information gaps with expert interviews, including the judiciary, lawyers, intermediaries and right holders. In addition, the evaluation team used a database on court cases for adding quantitative information.
For further information
The full report is available online https://publications.europa.eu/en/publication-detail/-/publication/1e3b2f41-d4ba-11e7-a5b9-01aa75ed71a1/language-en
Press release on new EC Communication and IPR package http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-17-4942_en.htm