Protection of Intellectual Property Rights in the European Union: the Role of Customs Authorities on the Example of Poland
Objective: The aim of the article is to measure and analyze the scale of trade in counterfeit and pirated goods in the European Union in order to provide decision-makers with solid empirical evidence about this threat. The specific objective is to show the role of customs authorities in preventing infringements of intellectual property rights. Research Design & Methods: The research methods include the critical review of existing literature, analysis of relevant legal and official documents of the European Union and the case study of the role of the Polish customs authorities in preventing infringements of intellectual property rights. Findings: The infringement of IPR is no longer limited to branded products such as clothes, luxurious watches, brand-name sunglasses, handbags, but it also concerns more and more popular foodstuffs, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, electronic items and household appliances. Contribution & Value Added: This paper provides a description of copyright protection, counterfeiting and piracy, but also contains a reference to legal regulations applicable within the European Union and relating to this area, changes to such regulations, as well as the scope of activity, working procedures (and their consequences) of EU Member States' customs authorities, with special attention given to Polish customs. (original abstract)
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