Electronic Evidence in Intellectual Property Disputes under the Council of Europe’s Guidelines

Marek Swierczynski, Remigijus Jokubauskas


On 30 January 2019 the Council of Europe adopted guidelines on electronic evidence in civil and administrative law accompanied by the Explanatory Memorandum. The authors summarize and analyse this soft law instrument with respect to intellectual property (hereinafter “IP”) disputes. They explain why its creation is important for the proper administration of justice and how it addresses and reflects technological developments, new business models and evolving case-law. Several conclusions have been identified regarding how use of the Guidelines will address current practical problems for courts in IP disputes. Both authors took active part in the preparatory works and believe it is in the interest of justice and effective IP protection that these guidelines are publicly available in the member states and widely disseminated among professionals dealing with electronic evidence.


Council of Europe; Electronic Evidence; Intellectual Property Enforcement; Metadata

Full Text:


Show references Hide references

[1] Blakeney, M. (2004) International intellectual property jurisprudence after TRIPS. In: Vaver, D., Bently, L. (eds.). Intellectual Property in the New Millenium. Cambridge. https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511735042.003

[2] Van Rhee, C. H. et al. (2018) Transformation of Civil Justice, Ius Gentium: Comparative Perspectives on Law and Justice. Springer.

[3] Code of Civil Procedure of the Republic of Lithuania.

[4] Cornish, W. R. et al. (2003) Procedures and Remedies for Enforcing IPRS: The European Commission’s Proposed Directive. European Intellectual Property Review, 25 (10).

[5] Council of Europe. (2019) The Explanatory Memorandum to the Guidelines. [online] Available from: https://search.coe.int/cm/Pages/result_details.aspx?ObjectId=0900001680902e0e [Accessed 3 April 2020].

[6] Council Regulation (EC) No 1206/2001 of 28 May 2001 on cooperation between the courts of the Member States in the taking of evidence in civil or commercial matters. Official Journal of the European Union (L 174). Available from: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/ALL/?uri=CELEX%3A32001R1206 [Accessed 3 February 2020].

[7] Court of Appeal of Lithuania. (2018) e2A-226-516/2018.

[8] Cumming, G. et al. (2008) Enforcement of intellectual property rights in Dutch, English and German civil courts. Wolters Kluwer.

[9] Directive (EU) 2019/790 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 April 2019 on copyright and related rights in the Digital Single Market and amending Directives 96/9/EC and 2001/29/EC. Official Journal of the European Union (L 130/92). Available from: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX%3A32019L0790 [Accessed 3 February 2020].

[10] Guidance on certain aspects of Directive 2004/48/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on the enforcement of intellectual property rights COM (2017) 708 final. Official Journal of the European Union (COM(2017)708). Available from: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX%3A52017DC0708 [Accessed 7 February 2020].

[11] Ito, K. et al. (2019) A Critical Examination of the Application of Blockchain Technology to Intellectual Property Management. Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-99058-3_12

[12] Judgment of 2010 November 24. Scarlet Extended SA v Société belge des auteurs, compositeurs et éditeurs SCRL (SABAM), C-70/10, ECLI:EU:C:2011:771.

[13] Kur, A. et al. (2013) European Intellectual Property Law: Text, Cases and Materials. Edward Elgar.

[14] Mason, S. et al. (2017) Electronic evidence. Institute of Advanced Legal Studies.

[15] Micklitz, H. et al. (2012) The European Court of Justice and the autonomy of the Member States. Intersentia.

[16] Michael, W. (2010) European Copyright Law: A Commentary. Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press.

[17] Ohly, A. (2009) Three Principles of European IP Enforcement Law: Effectiveness, Proportionality, Dissuasiveness. Larcier.

[18] Pila, J. et al. (2019) European Intellectual Property Law. Second Edition. Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.1093/he/9780198831280.001.0001

[19] Practice direction 31b relating to disclosure of electronic documents in civil proceedings prepared for UK courts. [online] Available from: https://www.justice.gov.uk/courts/procedure-rules/civil/rules/part31/pd_part31b) [Accessed 7 February 2020].

[20] Regional Court in Szczecin, VIII GC 509/14.

[21] Regulation (EU) No 910/2014 of the European Parliament and Council of 23 July 2014. Official Journal of the European Union (L 257). Available from: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/eli/reg/2014/910/oj [Accessed 3 March 2020].

[22] Sciaudone, R. (2013) Dealing with IP Matters in Cross-Border Cases. Journal of Intellectual Property Law & Practice, 8 (4). https://doi.org/10.1093/jiplp/jpt017

[23] Shackelford, S. and Raymond, A. (2014) Building the Virtual Courthouse: Ethical Considerations for Design, Implementation, and Regulation in the World of ODR. Wisconsin Law Review, 3.

[24] Stamatoudi, I. et al. (2014) EU Copyright Law: A Commentary. Edward Elgar Publishing. https://doi.org/10.4337/9781781952436

[25] Support study for the ex-post evaluation and ex-ante impact analysis of the IPR enforcement Directive (IPRED). Publications Office of the EU. [online] Available from: https://op.europa.eu/en/publication-detail/-/publication/1e3b2f41-d4ba-11e7-a5b9-01aa75ed71a1 [Accessed 23 January 2020].

[26] The Computer Dictionary. [online] Available from: https://techterms.com/definition/p2p [Accessed 23 February 2020].

[27] The Supreme Court of Poland. (2008) I CSK 138/08, LEX No. 548795.

[28] Vaver, D. et al. (2010) Intellectual Property in the New Millenium. Cambridge.

[29] Vică, C., Socaciu, E. (2019) Mind the Gap! How the Digital Turn Upsets Intellectual Property. Science and Engineering Ethics, 25. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11948-017-9996-x


Copyright (c) 2020 Masaryk University Journal of Law and Technology