In this perspective, OHIM, through the European Observatory on Infringements of Intellectual Property Rights, Europol and Eurojust, are pursuing their regular series of exchanges together with experienced investigators from customs and police, public prosecutors, private stakeholders - such as brand protection managers from industry – and policy makers, to discuss best practice and new cooperation opportunities to tackle IP crime.
Today’s event is focused on counterfeit designs protected by design law and copyright and completes a series of similar events which previously targeted fake pesticides, medicines, automotive parts & household appliances, cosmetics as well as online infringements. Co-hosted by these three EU agencies in Alicante, from 18 to 20 November 2015, this gathering provides an opportunity to reinforce operational ties between enforcement authorities and businesses, to identify trends and bottlenecks and highlight possible effective techniques worth sharing, while addressing specific issues such as the implications of 3D printing.
António Campinos, President of OHIM, commented: “OHIM is increasingly committed to joining forces with Europol and Eurojust to help police forces, prosecutors as well as customs authorities develop and strengthen relevant operational links to fight efficiently these illegal activities, which are highly damaging for European consumers and businesses, especially small businesses. In the framework of the EU Observatory’s mandate to provide objective data, raise awareness of the damages caused by counterfeiting and piracy as well as develop best practices and cross-border cooperation, we are considering further leveraging our contribution in the area of online infringements”.
Rob Wainwright, Director of Europol, said: “Counterfeiting is a multifaceted phenomenon, especially in light of the different characteristics of intellectual property (IP) rights. Imitations and replicas constitute a serious commercial threat to business and consequently cause considerable damage to the EU economy and a loss of trust in trade by consumers. Nowadays, no type of product is immune from the risk of an IP infringement. This illegal business generates high profits for criminal groups, who are utilising methods and instruments common to other serious criminal contexts, such as smuggling and drug trafficking. The synergies among our agencies, and engagement with the private sector, to better understand the phenomenon and tackle it by joining forces are therefore essential”.
The Hungarian National Member and Contact Point of Eurojust for Intellectual Property issues, Mr László Venczl said, 'We know that criminals take advantage of the different judicial systems and national borders. This means that the response to cross-border crime is cross-border solutions and seamless cooperation between the judicial and police authorities while maintaining effective contact with the private sector. Our discussions are fundamental to ensuring smooth and swift cross-border cooperation and judicial cooperation in the fight against organised crime, including the production and sale of counterfeitproducts.’