Digital Services Act should help fight counterfeiting, loopholes remain
Berlin, July 5, 2022 The Internet is now the main distribution channel for counterfeit products. Three out of four counterfeit goods found by customs come from postal traffic – mostly goods from online trade. Without a physical product of whose quality one can convince oneself, potential buyers are particularly easy to deceive in online retail. In addition, criminal traders unfortunately continue to have numerous opportunities to disguise their identity and thus evade responsibility.
“The business community affected by product and brand piracy welcomes the fact that EU lawmakers want to make it more difficult to sell counterfeit products online with the Digital Services Act passed by the European Parliament today. A good start, but unfortunately only a start,” says Volker Bartels, Chairman of Aktionskreis gegen Produkt- und Markenpiraterie.
The DSA provides, for example, that Internet trading platforms that allow merchants to sell goods to consumers must establish the identity of consumers before they begin doing business. Bartels comments: “Unfortunately, this has not been common practice everywhere. From that perspective, the new regulation is a clear step forward, though a broader scope beyond platforms would have been useful.”
In addition, the DSA is intended to ensure greater transparency and consumer protection. In future, platforms will have to inform their customers and explain their rights if a purchased product is subsequently found to be a counterfeit.
Bartels sums up: “The Digital Services Act brings important progress in some areas, but there will continue to be problems in particular with the measures taken by the platforms to prevent obvious infringements. Going forward, the key will be how compliance with the new obligations is monitored.”
About the APM
The Aktionskreis gegen Produkt- und Markenpiraterie e.V. (APM) has been working as a cross-industry association for the protection of intellectual property since 1997. The APM is a joint initiative of the Association of German Chambers of Industry and Commerce (DIHK), the Federation of German Industries (BDI) and the Markenverband. At APM, renowned companies from various industries are committed to creating an environment in which innovative activity can flourish and build on effective protection.
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