IPRED 2 - criminal measures aimed at ensuring the enforcement of intellectual property rights
The European Commission has proposed a directive to combat piracy and other infringements of "intellectual property rights" (IP-rights), such as patents, copyright and trade marks. While it does make sense to combat clear cases of piracy, it is nonsense to combat other infringements than such clear cases, with criminal measures. These other infringements occur during normal commercial business conduct, civil courts decide on them. The Commission criminalises the industry, inhibits the desired freedom to act in the market.
News & Chronology
2006-11-14 Patent Lives blog: The Criminal Enforcement Directive - A Trojan Horse? (workshop report)
2006-11-15 Europarl: Proposta modificata di direttiva del Parlamento europeo e del Consiglio relativa alle misure penali finalizzate ad assicurare il rispetto dei diritti di proprietà intellettuale (Zingaretti report only available in Italian)
2006-11-15 Europarl: IPRED2 at the agenda of the ITRE committee meeting of 22 november 2006 (Considerations of amendments)
2006-11-15 Europarl: IPRED2 at the agenda of the JURI committee meeting of 20 november 2006 (The Rapporter Zingaretti will present his report)
2006-10-06 Council: Council October 5 and 6, 2006 (page 22)
2005-11-27 FFII: Letter to the Rapporteur
2005-11-23 IPRED2 derailed due to ECJ court rule
2004-04-26 Commission announced IPRED2 when IPRED1 was adopted
Title of the directive proposal
Amended proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on criminal measures aimed at ensuring the enforcement of intellectual property rights, 2005/0127 (COD)
Official texts of the directive proposal
voodoo legislation: no real impact study (despite French apologetic paper)
E.g. TRIPs 61 quote related to copyright piracy and willful trademark infringement only, see also TRIPs 41
Iacta Alea Est: European Court of Justice crosses the Rubicon On case C-176/03, the basis of IPRED 2
Commissions statement at the adoption of IPRED1
"The Commission considers that effective action against counterfeit and piracy requires criminal sanctions for serious infringements which are intentional and committed for commercial purposes. It also considers, in line with Article 20 of its original proposal, that where necessary to achieve a Community objective, such measures may be adopted under the powers conferred for the purposes of achieving the aims set out in Article 95 of the Treaty establishing the European Community. Consequently, the Commission will examine the possibility to propose in due course further measures providing for criminal sanctions in this field."
Criminal Sanctions in member state laws
- Article 61
Members shall provide for criminal procedures and penalties to be applied at least in cases of wilful trademark counterfeiting or copyright piracy on a commercial scale. Remedies available shall include imprisonment and/or monetary fines sufficient to provide a deterrent, consistently with the level of penalties applied for crimes of a corresponding gravity. In appropriate cases, remedies available shall also include the seizure, forfeiture and destruction of the infringing goods and of any materials and implements the predominant use of which has been in the commission of the offence. Members may provide for criminal procedures and penalties to be applied in other cases of infringement of intellectual property rights, in particular where they are committed wilfully and on a commercial scale.
- shall provide: Copyright piracy and trademark counterfeiting (wilful, commercial scale)
- optional: Criminal sanctions against other copyright, trademark etc. infringements are possible
max 2 years jail for "grave" (uppsåtligen eller av grov oaktsamhet) copyright infringement:
- 53 § Den som beträffande ett litterärt eller konstnärligt verk vidtar åtgärder, som innebär intrång i den till verket enligt 1 och 2 kap. knutna upphovsrätten eller som strider mot föreskrift enligt 41 § andra stycket eller mot 50 §, döms, om det sker uppsåtligen eller av grov oaktsamhet, till böter eller fängelse i högst två år.
max 2 years jail for "grave" (uppsåtligen eller av grov oaktsamhet) patent infringement:
- 57 § Gör någon intrång i den ensamrätt som patent medför (patentintrång) och sker det uppsåtligen eller av grov oaktsamhet, skall han eller hon dömas till böter eller fängelse i högst två år.
max 2 years jail for "grave" (uppsåtligen eller av grov oaktsamhet) trade mark infringement:
- 37 § Gör någon intrång i rätten till ett varukännetecken enligt 4--10 §§ (varumärkesintrång) och sker det uppsåtligen eller av grov oaktsamhet, skall han eller hon dömas till böter eller fängelse i högst två år.
- | UK | attempting | aiding or abetting | inciting | | DE | Versuch | Beihilfe | Anstiftung | | SE | försök | medverkan | anstiftan |
open legal questions
- Willful (TRIPs 61) = "intentional" (Art 3)?
Freedom of Speech
- European Council (non EU) Convention
- Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. This right shall include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers. This Article shall not prevent States from requiring the licensing of broadcasting, television or cinema enterprises.
- The exercise of these freedoms, since it carries with it duties and responsibilities, may be subject to such formalities, conditions, restrictions or penalties as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society, in the interests of national security, territorial integrity or public safety, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of
- health or morals, for the protection of the reputation
- information received in confidence, or for maintaining
- see also European court of Human rights Nr. 43425/98 - Judgement vom 27-05-2003 (Skalka v. Polen)
- The problem of the prevention of monopoly and the prevention of competition is raised much more acutely in certain other fields to which the concept of property has been extended only in recent times. I am thinking here of the extension of the concept of property to such rights and privileges as patents for inventions, copyright, trade-marks, and the like. It seems to me beyond doubt that in these fields a slavish application of the concept of property as it has been developed for material things has done a great deal to foster the growth of monopoly and that here drastic reforms may be required if competition is to be made to work.
- .. Patents, in particular, are specially interesting from our point of view because they provide so clear an illustration
- of how it is necessary in all such instances not to apply a
- system and to decide for each class what the precise rights are
F. A. von Hayek, "'Free' Enterprise and Competitive Order". In Individualism and Economic Order, Chicago: U. of Chicago Press. 1948. 113-114.