On 1 July 2014, the European Commission adopted two Communications aimed at improving the enforcement of intellectual property rights internationally.
The first of these Communications is an Action Plan (which can be accessed here aimed at a renewed consensus on the enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights within the European Union. This Action Plan sets out a list of ten action points (which can be viewed in fullhere) which are ultimately aimed at fighting commercial scale infringing activity. Michel Barnier, EU Commissioner for Internal Market and Services explains that "Rather than penalising the individual for infringing intellectual property rights, often unknowingly, the actions set out here pave the way towards a 'follow the money' approach, with the aim of depriving commercial-scale infringers of their revenue flows."
The Actions include engaging in a dialogue with stakeholders, such as payment service providers, to reduce the profits from commercial-scale infringements on the internet. There will also be increased focus EU-wide on training enforcement authorities, and scrutiny of access to justice across the EU for SME's that are trying to protect their intellectual property rights.
Outside the European Union
The second Communication adopted is a Strategy for the protection and enforcement of intellectual property outside of the European Union. The Strategy can be seen here
Key strategies in this respect will include (i) focussing on the intellectual property rights chapters in bilateral trade agreements; (ii) engaging in dialogue with "partner countries" to explore weaknesses in their intellectual property rights systems; and (iii) assist SMEs and rights-holders 'on the ground' through setting up projects such as intellectual property right helpdesks.
The Commission has indicated that the actions set out in these Communications will be launched and carried out in 2014 and 2015. Delivery of these initiative will be monitored by the Commission, which will also consider if any legislative measures are necessary in the future.