Elgar Commentaries series
Edited by Irini A. Stamatoudi and Paul Torremans
Chapter 12: THE ENFORCEMENT DIRECTIVE
Directive 2004/48 on enforcement (hereinafter the 'Enforcement Directive' or the 'Directive') (which came into force on 20 May 2004) (although a compromise as are most EU Directives) is the most comprehensive piece of EU legislation when it comes to counterfeiting and piracy. It harmonises the minimum means available to right holders and public authorities for fighting infringements of intellectual property (IP) rights and establishes a general framework for exchanging information and administrative cooperation between national authorities and with the Commission. It is the only EU legal instrument, which deals with all IP rights (copyright and industrial property rights) without any distinction between them encompassing even those that have not been harmonised at EU level. It also sets the basis for EU harmonisation in an area that had not been touched upon before. It covers both substantive and procedural rules though mainly targeted to the latter. Issues that are not covered - although included in the initial proposal - are criminal sanctions and technical protection measures. Issues that are not covered (and for which there was no such intention fromthe start) are rules applicable to judicial cooperation, judicial powers, the recognition and enforcement of decisions in civil and commercial matters and applicable national law. The enactment of the Directive came as a response to the problem of counterfeiting and piracy that tormented the EU as well as its Member States and other countries for decades.
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