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Together Against Counterfeiting Alliance says IP Action Plan is only a first step, counterfeiting should be addressed in Digital Services Act (DSA)

25 November 2020 - The Together Against Counterfeiting (TAC) Alliance, which brings together nearly 100 companies across all industrial sectors and over 20 trade associations and NGOs, welcomes the publication of the European Commission’s Intellectual Property (IP) Action Plan and its call to better protect intellectual property rights. However, we are concerned about the apparent lack of ambition of the Commission to properly address counterfeiting through horizontal and legally binding solutions.

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The Together Against Counterfeiting (TAC) Alliance, which brings together nearly 100 companies across all industrial sectors and over 20 trade associations and NGOs, welcomes the publication of the European Commission’s Intellectual Property (IP) Action Plan and its call to better protect intellectual property rights.

However, we are concerned about the apparent lack of ambition of the Commission to properly address counterfeiting through horizontal and legally binding solutions.

While the proposed actions and the recognition of the issue of counterfeiting are encouraging, they are still based on voluntary recommendations and initiatives, which will not be effective enough to prevent millions of counterfeited goods from reaching the European market every day and causing damaging impacts to consumers’ health, but also to the economy, employment and environment.

Voluntary actions and best practices should only complement legally binding measures. The upcoming DSA is a unique opportunity to support such an approach and make sure, once and for all, that what is illegal offline is also illegal online.

The TAC Alliance therefore calls on the European Commission to propose within the DSA a framework that matches its high ambition to curb the phenomenon of counterfeiting. We believe this should go through the introduction of binding duty of care obligations that require all online intermediaries to deploy proactive and “stay-down” measures to prevent the appearance of illegal goods online.

Reacting to today’s publication, Toni Garcia, Head of Government & Public Affairs EMEA at Nike, stated:

“The IP Action Plan rightfully puts the spotlight on the growing perils linked to counterfeiting, which has increased by almost 40% since 2016. Counterfeiting not only threatens consumers’ health, it also hurts Europe’s economy and jobs. To curb this phenomenon, we need concrete and tangible actions as part of the upcoming Digital Services Act, including binding proactive measures to prevent fake goods from reaching the Internet. This will ensure European consumers’ health and safety and increase their trust in the digital ecosystem.”

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The Together Against Counterfeiting (TAC) Alliance brings together almost 100 companies from all industrial sectors, with the support of over 20 trade associations and NGOs. Our purpose is to raise awareness about the impact of the worrying growth of counterfeiting and push for the adoption of immediate, horizontal and ambitious legislative solutions at European level.

Learn more about us: www.tacalliance.eu

Press contact:

Thomas Barros-Tastets

Mob: + 32 484 66 01 90 ; thomas.barros-tastets@portland-communications.com

Maïssane Lahmar-Savage

Mob: +32 477 98 31 88 ; maissane.lahmar-savage@portland-communications.com