International trade in counterfeit and pirated goods is estimated to $250 billion a year. With a view to encourage SMEs to break into foreign markets and avoid risks in terms of the violation of their intellectual property rights (IPR), the US and Europe are joining forces. On the occasion of the Transatlantic Economic Council in Washington of 17 December, a new website will be launched, the TransAtlantic IPR Portal, offering guidance to enterprises in the EU and the US that wish to successfully do business in other countries. The portal is part of the mission to strengthen cooperation between the EU and the USA.
European Commission Vice-President Antonio Tajani, Commissioner for Industry and Entrepreneurship said: "Improved IPR protection and enforcement will result in greater employment prospects and economic growth. Counterfeiting and piracy cause great damage to businesses, not least to small and medium size enterprises. Both the EU and US are committed to helping companies compete fairly on both sides of the Atlantic."
The goal of the joint website is to help EU and US companies fully utilize all the intellectual property rights (IPR) related resources and tools developed on both sides of the Atlantic. It will enable SMEs to protect their intangible assets - brands, trademarks and patents - before entering foreign markets and to take preventive action. It will offer advice, 'country toolkits' on IPR protection in more than 20 markets around the world and tailor-made guides for various sectors including textiles, leather, footwear, and furniture.