Towards a stronger Europe against counterfeiting: Strategies and challenges for the implementation of the European Commission Recommendation of March 19, 2024

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The fight against counterfeiting is a major challenge for the European Union, where the effective protection of intellectual property rights is recognized as a central pillar in supporting an innovative, resilient and competitive economy. The European Commission’s recommendation on March 19, 2024, heralds a pivotal move towards bolstering defenses against counterfeiting—a menace that not only siphons economic vitality but also poses significant risks to consumer safety and environmental sustainability. This comprehensive strategy underscores the European Union’s commitment to fostering an innovative, resilient, and competitive marketplace by safeguarding the fruits of ingenuity and hard work.

The critical nature of the Recommandation

Counterfeiting is a formidable adversary, casting a long shadow over nearly half of the EU’s GDP and jeopardizing 40% of its employment. The sectors at the forefront of green technologies and creative industries find themselves at the crossroads of innovation and infringement, making the battle against counterfeit goods a central economic and health issue.

Recommendation Highlights: A Blueprint for Action

The recommendation introduces key measures to strengthen cooperation between right holders, intermediary service providers and competent authorities. It promotes the use of appropriate tools and technologies to effectively combat counterfeiting and piracy.

These measures aim to protect investment and encourage innovation. They provide a framework for coordinated action against counterfeiting activities, essential for SMEs and industries dependent on intellectual property rights.

Implementation and challenges

The Recommendation underlines the need for coordinated action between Member States, right holders, intermediary service providers and competent authorities. It proposes a series of measures aimed at strengthening cooperation and efficiency in the enforcement of intellectual property rights across the European Union.

The Commission encourages the adoption of a set of tools and practices to combat counterfeiting effectively. This toolbox aims to promote cooperation between the various players involved, the use of cutting-edge technologies and the adoption of sector-specific best practices. It includes, for example, guidelines for monitoring online markets and managing infringement notifications, as well as recommendations for the use of counterfeit product recognition technologies.

Facing Implementation Headwinds

While the recommendation charts a course towards a fortified intellectual property regime in the EU, its successful implementation hinges on overcoming several challenges. This includes specific training on the latest trends in counterfeiting and the use of available technological tools to identify and track counterfeit products. Collaboration with experts in intellectual property and cybersecurity is essential to adapt enforcement strategies to emerging challenges.

A major challenge lies in the need for close international cooperation, given the cross-border nature of counterfeiting. The variability of legal frameworks and available resources between countries complicates the harmonization of efforts. Establishing effective mechanisms for judicial cooperation and information sharing between national and international authorities is crucial.

Another major challenge is to ensure that measures taken respect fundamental rights, such as the protection of personal data and freedom of expression. It is vital to establish clear and fair procedures for handling infringement notifications and for the intervention of the authorities, in order to avoid abuse and protect the legitimate interests of the parties concerned.

Counterfeiting often benefits from technological advances to evolve and adapt rapidly. Enforcement strategies must therefore be dynamic and capable of adjusting to new counterfeiting methods, while exploiting emerging technologies to improve the effectiveness of the fight against counterfeiting.

Conclusion: A Forward-Thinking EU in the Face of Counterfeiting

The European Commission’s recommendation on March 19, 2024, is a testament to the EU’s forward-thinking strategy in protecting intellectual property rights. It not only aims to safeguard the bloc’s economic interests and consumer safety but also sets a global standard for combating counterfeiting. As Europe embarks on this ambitious journey, the collective effort of governments, industries, and communities will be paramount in turning the tide against counterfeiting, ensuring a safer, more innovative, and competitive European Union.


Dreyfus Law Firm stands ready to guide and support stakeholders through these evolving challenges.

Dreyfus et associés has partnered with our network of Intellectual Property specialised lawyers.

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