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Ukraine and Russia land on top of list of countries violating EU IP rights
 14 Jan 2020
"India, Indonesia, Russia, Turkey and Ukraine remain Priority 2 countries. Serious systemic problems have been identified in the area of IP protection and enforcement in these countries, causing significant harm to EU businesses. Compared to the previous report, these countries have made no progress or only limited progress in addressing these concerns," according to the European Commission's report on the protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights in third countries.

The Commission notes Ukraine has problems with the legislative protection of intellectual law, trademark registration mechanisms, as well as the transit of counterfeit and pirated products to the EU markets. However, the EU said a positive development had been the adoption by the Ukrainian parliament of Law No 2415 "On Collective Management Organizations" in May 2018.

Commissioner for Trade Phil Hogan said: “Protecting intellectual property such as trademarks, patents, or geographical indications is critical for the EU's economic growth and our ability to encourage innovation and stay competitive globally. As much as 82% of all EU exports is generated by sectors which depend on intellectual property. Infringements of intellectual property, including forced technology transfer, intellectual property theft, counterfeiting and piracy threaten hundreds of thousands of jobs in the EU every year. The information gathered in the report will enable us to become even more efficient in protecting EU firms and workers against intellectual property infringements like counterfeiting or copyright piracy.”

The geographical and thematic priorities for the EU action to protect intellectual property rights are based on the level of economic harm to EU companies. The report will help to further focus and target efforts. The updated list of priority countries in the report remains split in three categories reflecting the scale and persistence of problems: 1) China; 2) India, Indonesia, Russia, Turkey, Ukraine; 3) Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador, Malaysia, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia and Thailand.

China is at the origin of a dominant share of counterfeit and pirated goods arriving in the EU, in terms of both value and volume. More than 80% of counterfeit and pirated goods seized by EU customs authorities come from China and Hong Kong.

Industries that use intellectual property intensively accounted for some 84 million European jobs and 45% of the total EU GDP in the period 2014-2016. 82% of EU exports were generated by the industries intensively using intellectual property. In these sectors, the EU has a trade surplus of around 182 billion euros. Also, an estimated 121 billion euros or 6.8% of all imports into the EU, are counterfeit or pirated.

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