The European Commission endorses FESI’s industry initiative in the fight against counterfeits

On the 21st of June, the European Commission; FESI; several right owners and internet platforms signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the purpose of stopping the online sale of counterfeit goods. It follows from a previous version signed in 2011.  

There is no doubt that the development of e-commerce offers unprecedented opportunities to increase European consumer’s choice and access in the Internal Market. However, even if the majority of e-commerce that takes place on internet platforms is legitimate, they can also be absued by those who seek to distribute counterfeit goods. The latter is damaging and harmful to all legitimate stakeholders including internet platforms, intellectual property rights owners and, most importantly: consumers.

At the IPR Enforcement Conference, which provided a forum to discuss the latest developments in the enforcement of IPR within the framework of the Digital Single Market Strategy – it was stated that infringements of intellectual property rights (IPR) especially counterfeiting, are dramatically increasing. Up to 5% of goods imported into the European Union are fakes. Moreover, IPR infringements are particularly damaging for SMEs facing high litigation costs. Counterfeited products often pose a threat to public health and safety.  Herein it is also important to note that illicit traffic in counterfeited goods makes increasingly a part of “business models” of organised crime and serves for money laundering.

FESI Secretary General Alberto Bichi comments ““As the main European representative of suppliers and retailers in the sporting goods industry, FESI is proactively making continuous efforts to combat the online sale of counterfeiting goods. With the signing of the current MoU, we are confident that in joint cooperation with the Commission, the involved right owners and internet platforms we will significantly reduce the level of commercial scale IPR infringements.”