With this consultation the Commission sought views from all interested parties, in particular rightholders, the judiciary and legal profession, intermediaries, public authorities, consumers and civil society, on the question if the legal enforcement framework is still fit for purpose.
In its Digital Single Market strategy the Commission committed to undertake a set of targeted actions which aim to foster the cross-border digital economy but also aim to ensure a safe online environment for business operators and consumers.
Among the concrete actions envisaged is the modernisation of IPR enforcement, focusing on commercial-scale infringements (the 'follow the money' approach) and its cross-border applicability. The Single Market Strategy reiterates these objectives, emphasising the Commission's horizontal approach to IPR enforcement and the need to strengthen the protection of all IPR.
The consultation therefore aimed to help assess the functioning of Directive 2004/48/EC on the enforcement of intellectual property rights (IPRED) in the online environment, with a view to identify the possible need for adapting such provisions and to propose corrective measures. It gathered experience on the use and impact of IPRED and also sought views and opinions from those concerned with the application of the Directive on its functioning and the possible need for amendments. It also aimed to gather experience and opinions about the use and impact of so-called 'follow the money' initiatives in the area of IPR enforcement.
The consultation consisted of 5 different questionnaires for the different stakeholder groups (rightholders, the judiciary and legal profession, intermediaries, Member States and public authorities, and consumers and civil society). The public consultation was available in 6 languages (DE, EN, ES, FR, IT, PL). Respondents could reply in any of the official EU languages.
The consultation ran until 15 April 2016 (for a 12-week period starting on the date when consultation texts were published in all 6 languages).