One month on

Having been few and far between, like the No 344 bus, European meetings on our favourite subject of counterfeiting are now coming in threes!

On the 17th of April, a Stakeholder Briefing from the EU-China Project on the Protection of IP Rights (IPR) will be Chaired by Mr Luc Devigne, Head of Intellectual Property & Public Procurement at DG Trade. This briefing will report on the progress in the EU/China co-operation on the enforcement of IPR in China.

You may be aware that the EU has allocated €12m to improve the Chinese courts and train more IPR judges etc. The briefing, which will include a presentation from the boss of DG Trade, Ewa Synowiec, will also explain the programme for the year ahead. Let us hope that the project will help push the Chinese authorities both in the market, and in the ports, to become more pro-active and enable rights holders to take actions in the courts, which have more than a 7% chance of success.

BEAMA will be there, and as usual, we won’t shrink from asking the awkward questions. For more details see http://ipr2.org

On the 18th of April, Commissioners Meglena Kuneva (Consumer Affairs) and Laszlo Kovacs (Taxation and Customs) will host an Exhibition on Safety and Counterfeiting in partnership with AIM the European Brands Association. The exhibition will present unsafe products that were withdrawn from the market by the authorities, as well as some counterfeit products that have the potential to cause significant danger to consumers. The message is that Governments, citizens and industry have no option but to work together to prevent unsafe and counterfeit products harming citizens – economically or physically.

Is our message of the last ten years really beginning to get through? BEAMAis supplying some examples of counterfeit circuit breakers and accessories for the exhibition.

On the 13th of May, the European Parliament is supporting a high level conference on counterfeiting. Speakers, including British MEP Malcolm Harbour, will present a range of issues, including the effect of counterfeiting on the European economy, (competitiveness, innovation, growth and jobs), the health and safety of citizens and international trade flows, how to deal with internet sales of counterfeit products, and illegal downloads.

Once again, BEAMA will be there representing the views and experience of the UK electrical installation sector. We will be offering our advice on what needs to be done to protect citizens from the twin dangers of electrocution and fire, and to protect companies, especially the SMEs’ who cannot afford fancy lawyers and expensive investigators, against the criminals who copy their products with no thought for safety or IP rights.

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