December 3, 2015
Allegro has been always committed to the fight against counterfeit goods online. Every year the Allegro Intellectual Property Team organises a conference of the Rights Protection Cooperation Programme in order to spread and share knowledge about the protection of intellectual property rights (IPR) concerning tangible goods. This year the 6th Conference took place on 2nd October 2015 in Warsaw under the Honorary Patronage of the Polish National Patent Office.
In the age of the Internet, a vast volume of goods and services are purchased through online intermediaries (in 2014, 270bn EUR). Allegro is the most popular marketplace in Poland and the trust of its customers and merchants is pivotal to its success.
Enforcing IPR is of great importance. On the one hand it’s essential for fostering innovation and competitiveness; on the other hand it ensures consumers are purchasing safe products. Besides, IPR protection constantly faces new challenges and risks, such as those related to 3D printing or spatial trademarks, as highlighted during the conference by Maciej Szczepański, Senior In-house Lawyer at Allegro. Of course it’s important to remember that in debates on European policy, tackling IPR infringements is only one part of the broader legal framework on illegal content, which also includes hate speech, child abuse, the fight against organised crime, and many other things.
Since 2004 Allegro has been successfully running the Rights Protection Cooperation Programme called WOP (Współpraca w Ochronie Praw) in Poland. There are over 1500 Polish and Global brand owners registered in this programme, which focusses mainly on the protection of trademarks and copyright. Allegro’s activities were even strengthened by joining forces with the Polish Society for Nature Protection ‘Salamandra’, the Office of Electronic Communication, the National Heritage Board of Poland and lastly the Wisława Szymborska Foundation.
Allegro’s commitment to deliver the highest quality and safety standards has led over the past years to a further successful and productive cooperation with brand owners based on the Memorandum of Understanding on the Sale of Counterfeit Goods via the Internet (MoU), which was signed by major online marketplace platforms and brand owners on 4th May 2011 in Brussels. The MoU enables voluntary collaboration between the platforms and brand owners to find practical and workable solutions for IPR enforcement.
Our Intellectual Property Team has been doing a lot in order to maintain Allegro’s high and trusted reputation among its customers and merchants. As an initiator of the WOP programme and conferences as well as the signatory of the MoU, it shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone that Allegro aims to be a leader in the current debates on online platforms regulation at European level in relation to the Digital Single Market Strategy. We believe, for example, that the imposition of a ‘duty of care’ on online intermediaries would not only hinder innovation and undermine fundamental rights, but does not correspond at all with the ambitions of the Digital Single Market strategy.
Watch this space for more thought leadership on IPR protection and enforcement in the coming months!Dagmar Bartels