Intellectual property rights enforcement is an important part of IP protection. The maintenance and acquisition of IP is worthless if those rights are not enforced within the marketplace. Also, the enforcement threat allows an IP right to be exploited as a commercial gain. The mere existence of a satisfactory enforcement mechanism is a central component of an efficient IP system.

When a person or organization does not pay for work completed and uses it for their own gain, it is called thievery. When it comes to the Internet, copyright violations and IP theft occurs regularly. IP gives owners exclusive rights and can restrict others from using their IP without permission. When such IPs are violated, the holders can take the necessary legal action. In addition, you may seek compensation from the damages caused by copyright infringement.

IP Protections

The main goal of securing IP safeguards is to allow your SME to reap the gains of such creations and inventions of works that resulted in the IP for your SME. The SME’s IP assets can benefit you when the IP rights are enforced. Otherwise, violators can take advantage if enforcement fails to protect your hard work.

IP’s must be enforced to make sure that innovation and investment flourishes on a commercial scale and does not result in the stifling of economic growth.

IP right enforcement is crucial for your SME to:

  1. Preserve your IP rights before the appropriate authorities
  2. Stop infringement in its tracks to avoid damage to good will or your reputation
  3. Get compensation for any profit losses or damages from the infringement

Enforcement Directives

Enforcement directives exist within the EU to stop IP violations. Moreover, the European Commission has searched for stronger agreements between officials regarding the fight against IP infringements, and authorities are looking to stop the infringement from hindering the economic growth of the EU. EU enforcement directives pertain to:

  1. Trademarks
  2. Designs
  3. Patents
  4. Copyright

It is also called the Directive on the Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights (IPRED), and it was created in 2004. The directive mandates that all EU nations enforce the appropriate penalties and remedies against those in violation of copyright laws, and to foster an equal atmosphere within the marketplace.

This also means that all nations within the EU have similar standards reserved for rights holders to defend their IP rights. After an IPRED evaluation in 2017, the Commission created provisions further clarifying IPRED after some debate regarding various provisions. Such provisions included:

  1. Parameters regarding the preservation of evidence
  2. Damage calculations
  3. Injunctions

EU Implementation Strategies

The Commission also commenced an evaluation on IPRED to enhance enforcement and application. Moreover, the evaluation results determined that enforcement and procedures outlined in the directive have already helped IP rights within the EU. Also, the IPRED has also led to the formation of a legal parameter where the same standards are applied throughout the EU.

With that, such provisions are not enforced in the same manner in all EU nations. Therefore, the EU framework regarding enforcement could also use additional clarification regarding certain parts of the directive, which could allow for greater efficiency in application and interpretation.

Such clarification was given via the Guidance Communication and was later adopted. In December 2015, the Commission started a consultation regarding the violation and modernization of IP laws. Such consultations allowed other interested parties to give their input into how the system can be better utilized. The following parties determined how legal enforcement could be strengthened:

  1. Legal and judicial professions
  2. Public authorities
  3. Consumers
  4. Civil society
  5. Intermediaries

In 2014, the Commission instilled an action plan that sought to recalibrate policy regarding IP enforcement. Such enhancements included tools to allow for more compliance on all economic fronts. Instead of penalizing citizens for violating IP rights (usually unknowingly), such measures have led to following money trails that deprive money from violators engaging in criminal behavior. Also, the public and private sector comprised of stakeholders to conduct the necessary due diligence in regards to corporate behavior and risk management on IP theft and infringements.

The Commission also held a conference in 2016 where important decision makers throughout the world attended to review all progress regarding the disruption of IP infringements at the source. Also, companies were encouraged to develop monitoring strategies to reduce the risk of IP violations.

To get more information on intellectual property rights enforcement, submit your legal inquiry to our UpCounsel marketplace. UpCounsel’s attorneys will give you additional information on your rights as an owner, including your rights within the EU. Moreover, they will help you enforce your rights as an owner/creator and will defend you in a court of law if necessary.