15 Apr 2016

DIGITALEUROPE’s comments – Directive on certain aspects concerning contracts for the online and other distance sales of goods

DIGITALEUROPE’s comments – Directive on certain aspects concerning contracts for the online and other distance sales of goods

While DIGITALEUROPE welcomes the full harmonisation approach proposed by the Directive, the current proposal requires some more work to increase trust for businesses to provide sales services – incl. cross-border.

In particular, DIGITALEUROPE calls on:

Extending the scope of the Directive to all sales contracts:

In its current form, the Directive introduces a competing regime for online sales (as opposed to offline sales).

This would provide a competitive advantage to the sales channel, which is the most favourable to the consumer – to the detriment of the other sales channel. This is not the role of the European Commission to promote specific business models.

Delivering on full harmonisation:

Co-legislators must ensure that the full harmonisation approach is maintained throughout the legislative process – as this enhances legal certainty for consumer rights, encourages eCommerce and strengthens the internal market for goods and services.

Ensuring the new rules do not create unrealistic and/or unbearable obligations on businesses:

Article 7 must be amended as it is technically and legally impossible to ensure that high-tech products are cleared from all IPRs – inter alia because of the complexity and breadth of all IPR involved (as an example, technology embedded in a Smart TV-set would typically be covered by at least 10,000 patents). The proposal to extend from 6 months to 24 months the period where the burden of proof lies on the manufacturer carries cost implications and changes should be made to limit such costs.

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