The Directive on the enforcement of intellectual property rights (IPRED) requires all Member States to apply effective, dissuasive and proportionate remedies and penalties against those engaged in counterfeiting and piracy and so create a level playing field for rightholders in the EU. Implementation was due in all Member States by 29th April 2006 and even though the Directive did not entail important changes in national legislation the implementation process took a long time.
Still, some difficulties in the implementation remain in some Member States, in particular as some provisions are seen as conflicting with data protection law, and also due to a diverging interpretations. For this reason, the Commission in April 2010 announced it would issue an implementation report on the Enforcement Directive, to assess its transposition in Member States and analyse potential problems. The report was published in December 2010; the analysis showed that certain provisions of the Directive, including the relationship with other Directives, were understood in different ways in the different Member States and had given rise to different interpretations and applications in practice, and also addressed the extra, challenging dimension to enforcing intellectual property rights that the Internet and digital technologies present. These provisions could warrant further clarifications to make the Directive fully effective. The Commission therefore started a process which could set out possible legislative amendments to the IPRED, starting with the launch of a public consultation, in January 2011, to feed into the Commission’s evaluation on whether a review of the IPRED is needed. A public hearing took place on 7 June 2011 and a report on the results of the public consultation was published in June 2011.
The Commission has started to review the IPRED. A conference entitled “Enforcement of IPR: the review of Directive 2004/48/EC" was organised with stakeholders on 26 April, followed by a report. The Commission will continue its review and welcomes feedback from stakeholders. They will issue targeted questions for stakeholders in June 2012 to nourish their review. After an Impact Assessment they will decide whether or not they will re-open the Directive.