The Memorandum of understanding (MoU) on the sale of counterfeit goods via the internet is a voluntary agreement facilitated by the European Commission to prevent offers of counterfeit goods from appearing in online marketplaces.
The Commission invited internet platforms, rights owners and associations to sign a memorandum of understanding on the sale of counterfeit goods via the internet. As part of our overall efforts to fight intellectual property rights (IPR) infringements, we facilitate stakeholder dialogues that promote collaborative approaches and voluntary, practical solutions to better enforce IPR in an evolving technological and commercial environment.
This MoU was first concluded in May 2011 and brought together major internet platforms and rights holders for products for which counterfeit and pirated versions are sold online (e.g. fast-moving consumer goods, consumer electronics, fashion and luxury products, sports goods, films, software, games and toys). In 2016 the MoU was revised and signed again to include key performance indicators to track its impact and measure its success. A declaration was also adopted that focuses on the facilitation and monitoring of MoUs seeking to dissuade IPR infringing activities.
In November 2017, the Commission published an overview of the functioning of the MoU, as part of the IP Package. The overview concludes the assessment period during which progress made during the first year of the work under the revised MoU was measured. The results are based on data obtained in relation to the key performance indicators set out in the MoU and feedback gathered from the MoU signatories.
The results of the work under the MoU are positive. They show that the MoU has effectively contributed to removing counterfeit products from online marketplaces and that it is a useful forum which allows trust and cooperation between parties to be strengthened.
In April 2013, the Commission published a report on the functioning of the 2011 MoU. The report provides a detailed assessment of best practices and practical measures that successfully prevent the sale of counterfeits online. The report also demonstrates that, in parallel with legislation, voluntary cooperation significantly contributes to curbing online counterfeiting, providing flexibility to adapt quickly to technological developments and deliver efficient solutions.