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Industry cooperation to fight counterfeiting expanded

Today, the online platform bol.com and the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries (EFPIA) signed up to the Memorandum of understanding on the sale of counterfeit goods on the internet. They join the 28 other stakeholders already working together under the agreement.

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Facilitated by the European Commission, the memorandum of understanding (MoU) helps build cooperation between its signatories

  • rights holders of goods for which counterfeit versions are often sold online
  • online platforms
  • business associations

and contributes to the prevention of counterfeit goods being sold online.

Counterfeit goods damage businesses, have a negative impact on jobs and tax revenues, often endanger the health and safety of consumers and could have a negative environmental impact.

The evaluation report on the functioning of the MoU (August 2020) shows continuous cooperation on the removal of counterfeit goods from online marketplaces. The report includes a series of reported practices shared by signatories in key areas, such as proactive and preventive measures, notice-and-takedown procedures and tackling repeat infringers. These reported practices could set a standard for online platforms and rights owners to combat counterfeiting online. They may also prompt stakeholders not involved in the MoU to develop effective anti-counterfeiting strategies.

Signatories consider the MoU useful to encourage qualitative dialogues on design infringements, new fraud patterns, changes in consumer behaviour and more recently,  the consequences of the Covid-19 crisis for the fight against counterfeiting. There is also an interest in delving deeper into certain MoU areas, such as boosting pragmatic ways for online platforms, rights owners and law enforcement authorities to work more intensively together.

The Commission encourages cooperation under the MoU, which remains open for other stakeholders to join.

More information

Background: Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the sale of counterfeit goods on the internet

Text of the MoU on the sale of counterfeit goods on the internet

Full list of signatories of the MoU (PDF, 25kb)