EUR-Lex Access to European Union law
This document is an excerpt from the EUR-Lex website
Directive 2004/48/EC — enforcement of intellectual property rights
This directive provides a minimum set of measures, procedures and remedies allowing effective civil enforcement of intellectual property rights (IPR) across the EU, ensuring standardised level of protection throughout the internal market.
In 2017, the European Commission adopted a package of measures to further improve the application and enforcement of IPR and the fight against counterfeiting and piracy. In particular, it published a Guidance Communication clarifying the rules set out in this directive where there have been differing interpretations in EU countries. The measures follow an 10-point action plan for enforcing IPR in the EU set out by the Commission in 2014.
The directive’s main objective is to ensure that the same tools are available throughout the EU for creators and innovators to be able to exercise their intellectual property rights. However, in addition to tackling counterfeiting and piracy, it also helps to achieve other objectives which include:
The directive applies to any infringement of IPRs provided for by EU law and/or by the national law of the EU country concerned.
This directive does not affect:
Application for protection
A request to apply intellectual property protection measures may be submitted by:
Right of information
At the request of the claimant, a court may order information to be provided on the origin of the goods or services that are thought to infringe an IPR and on the networks for their distribution or supply, by the infringer or any other person, if that person:
Rules on obtaining and preserving the evidence
At the request of the applicant, a court may order the opposing party to present evidence which lies in its control, subject to the protection of confidential information. The court may also issue measures allowing relevant evidence to be preserved in respect of the alleged infringement.
Provisional and precautionary measures
At the request of the applicant, a court may issue an interlocutory injunction* intended to:
In certain cases, the judicial authorities may authorise the precautionary seizure of the movable and immovable property of the alleged infringer, including the blocking of his/her bank accounts and other assets.
Measures resulting from a decision on the case
At the request of the applicant, a court may order corrective measures allowing the recall or removal of the infringing goods from the market or their destruction.
A court may also issue a permanent injunction preventing the infringement from continuing or award damages to the injured party.
It has applied since 20 May 2004 and had to become law in the EU countries by 29 April 2006.
Directive 2004/48/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2004 on the enforcement of intellectual property rights (OJ L 157, 30.4.2004, pp. 45-86). Text republished in corrigendum (OJ L 195, 2.6.2004, pp. 16–25)
Successive amendments to Directive 2004/48/EC have been incorporated into the original document. This consolidated version is of documentary value only.
Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council and the European Economic and Social Committee — Guidance on certain aspects of Directive 2004/48/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on the enforcement of intellectual property rights (COM(2017) 708 final, 29.11.2017)
last update 11.06.2018