The European Commission (EC), with the help of US regulators, has launched a web site that aims to help small software and hardware developers protect their intellectual property from counterfeiters.
The EC said the Transatlantic IPR Portal offers support, resources and guidance to small firms looking to protect their products from piracy.
Launching the site at the Transatlantic Economic Council in Washington, the EC said that international trade in counterfeit and pirated products is on course to reach $250bn a year and as such needed urgent attention.
In a statement, the EC said that the site was designed to educate businesses, as well as boost and strengthen co-operation between it and the US.
"Improved IPR [intellectual property rights] protection and enforcement will result in greater employment prospects and economic growth," said European Commission vice-president responsible for industry and entrepreneurship, Antonio Tajani.
"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.”
Users of the site will be given advice on their intellectual property rights on both sides of the Atlantic, and guidance on how to protect their assets, such as trademarks and patents, before they enter into foreign markets.
The EC said the site also contains country-specific toolkits covering a range of industry needs.
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