On World Anti-Counterfeiting Day, Europol’s Intellectual Property Crime Unit – Focal Point (FP) COPY, was declared the winner of the 2015 Global Anti-Counterfeiting Group Awards – International Public Body Category, for the outstanding results achieved in combating counterfeiting and piracy. The Global Anti-counterfeiting Group (GACG) is a network of national and regional IP protection and enforcement organisations gathering 21 members covering 40 countries.
This year, the award presentations was held in Paris at the Musée de la Contrefaçon, housed at the Headquarters of the Union des Fabricants (Unifab), the largest French association for the protection of IPR. Europol was represented by Chris Vansteenkiste, the Project Manager of FP COPY, who received the award.
Europol’s Intellectual Property Crime Unit – FP COPY, was established in 2008. It supports and strengthens cooperation of the Member States in the fight against intellectual property crimes (IPC), especially when it affects health and safety. Its main tasks involve supporting operational activities of live investigations, raising the awareness of the law enforcement community on the threat posed by IPC, and liaising with the industry to monitor new trends.
Recent significant operations launched, coordinated or supported by FP Copy include the operation OPSON, a joint INTERPOL Europol operation against counterfeit food and beverages, and the Operation In Our Sites, tackling the online sales of counterfeit goods, and Operation PANGEA , an Interpol led operation against counterfeit medicines on the internet. FP Copy regularly organises awareness seminars or conferences related to the fight against IP Crimes, especially in partnership with OHIM, the European trademark office. A joint report on IPR Infringements in the EU has been recently published. The report stems from cooperation with the EU Observatory on Infringements of IPRs.
Counterfeit and pirated goods could cost the global economy up to €1 trillion per year according to some estimates, and this translates into loss of legal employment, lack of investment in new jobs and increased prices of legal goods. It also means less public funding for services such as health, education and social welfare. Cases supported by FP Copy show the involvement of organised crime groups, often carrying other types of criminal activities such as trafficking in human being or money laundering.
Europol works closely with right holders in order to gather intelligence and support the MS in their investigations. This award expresses the appreciation of the private sector for the work of FP Copy done since 2008.
World Anti-Counterfeiting Day also now in its seventeenth year, was established by the GACG Network members to enable the organisation of local, national and regional events under the umbrella of an international campaign which could focus on the particular problems of counterfeiting and piracy in the countries or regions involved.
More info on the GACG:
Joint report Europol/OHIM: