European Union Scales Back Penalties In Proposed IPR Directive

Law360, New York (March 4, 2004, 12:00 AM EST) -- The European Parliament has given into demands by European Union members states to soften proposed penalties for infringement of intellectual property rights in order to ensure passage of the controversial Intellectual Property Rights Directive.

The bill, which would replace a patchwork of regulations in the union's 15 member countries, originally went far beyond existing laws in Europe and the United States by classifying copyright violations and patent infringements as crimes punishable by prison terms.

Critics said the proposal would criminalize innocent conduct in a number of...
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