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China still leads in infringement

EU commission published today an annual report on EU customs action to enforce intellectual property rights (IPR). According to a press release, EU customs took action in 43.500 cases in 2009 involving several millions products suspected of being counterfeited or pirated.

“The role of EU customs is to protect our citizens and businesses. Fake products can pose a serious health and safety risk for consumers and cheat legitimate businesses,” said Algirdas Šemeta, commissioner for taxation, customs, anti-fraud and audit. “The commission and the member states will continue to work with international trading partners and industry to ensure the highest level of protection for intellectual property rights in the EU,” he added.

According to the report, while in past days only luxury goods were the most hit by IPR infringements, more and more items for daily use such as shampoos, medicines and toys are now affected.

China continued to be the main source of IPR infringing products while Egypt and United Arab Emirates accounted for the majority in certain product categories.

Commissioner Šemeta will travel to official visit in Shanghai in September and will discuss ways to ensure IPR protection with his Chinese counterparts.