Past Event


13 May 2008
Brussels, Charlemagne


The High Level Conference on Counterfeiting and Piracy was organised by the European Commission’s Internal Market and Services Directorate General together with Members of the European Parliament.

The Conference was intended to address the serious threats posed by counterfeiting and piracy which are - like a virus - eating into European businesses


  • the risk to health and safety of Europe’s citizens
  • the threat to employment
  • the implications for competitiveness
  • the undermining of innovations


The event which was chaired by Commissioner Charlie McCreevy was also exploring new measures which might be used to enhance the fight against counterfeiting and piracy.

The theft of Europe’s intellectual property-a worldwide crime has reached epidemic proportions on an industrial scale, it has become not only a problem of businesses but also a problem of the society (Arlene McCarthy, MEP). Marc-Antoine Jamet from UNIFAB added: Counterfeiting and piracy is a form of “out-sourcing of know how”.

Contrary to how counterfeiting and piracy is perceived by the public, it is not limited to luxury goods. It affects all sectors of the economy and has reached an enormous economic dimension.
It has dramatic implications for European competitiveness, innovation, taxes, economic growth and job losses (Lisbon Agenda).

Apart from the industry - only a few take this big money, big scale crime really serious: The fight against counterfeiting and piracy is most effectively spearheaded by the World Customs Organisation (WCO) while the Commission and the Member States have been repeating themselves in a sustainable way stressing the necessity of raising the awareness of the society closely adhering to a suicide liberal economic ideology in a “laissez faire, laissez passé “ mood.

The European Parliament might be an other ally of the industry it its fight against the theft of Europe’s intellectual property. Erika Mann and her panellists Christophe Zimmermann, Joerg Zintzmeyer and Thomas Spiller were highlighting the need to better control international trade flows by means of new technologies which allow tracking and tracing of products or authentication of original goods and certificates.

European IP legislation is in a disastrous state, far away from the goals set in Lisbon, and as a consequence IPR enforcement is very poor. More efficient legal instruments should be available to


  • stop the products at the borders
  • stop the producers in their countries
  • stop the brokers/dealers to knowingly import faked products
  • re-call faked products from the market


High Level Conference on Conterfeiting and Piracy
May 13, 2008

Richard D. Heath, International Trademark Association

Arlene Mc Carthy, Member of the European Parliament
Charlie Mc Creevy, Commissioner, Internal Market

Richard D. Heath, International Trademark Association
Arlene Mc Carthy, Member of the European Parliament
Charlie Mc Creevy, Commissioner, Internal Market
Edith Herzog, Member of the European Parliament
Philippe Lacoste
Leonardo Ferragamo

Charlie Mc Creevy, Commissioner, Internal Market

Thomas Spiller, SAS
Joerg Zintzmeyer, Originize
Erika Mann, Member of the European Parliament
Christophe Zimmermann, World Customs Organisation