Some of the most dangerous counterfeits for consumers, such as home electrical appliances, toys, body care products and even food, beverages and alcohol are increasingly being detected by enforcement authorities.
Fake auto parts, including counterfeit brake pads, tyres, suspension components, steering linkages and other accessories are also universally being distributed and sold to consumers in greater volumes.
In response to this, private sector experts from major household and automotive brands, police, customs and other enforcement related institutions from across the EU, as well as major European and international authorities, including the European Commission, OHIM, Europol, OLAF, INTERPOL and the World Customs Organisation, will gather together in Alicante, from 4 to 6 November 2013, for a major conference.
The event, co-organised by the European Observatory on Infringements of Intellectual Property Rights, which is part of the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM), and Europol, seeks to help Member States to develop practical ways to deal with this major concern for the health and security of shoppers which is also threatening legitimate suppliers, to which damages have recently been estimated, by the European Commission, to be between five and ten billion euro every year.
At this occasion, a strategic cooperation agreement between Europol and the OHIM will also be signed, to further expand the fruitful collaboration which is already taking place to mutually protect businesses and consumers against counterfeiting and piracy.
Paul Maier, Director of the Observatory commented: “We are determined to capitalise on the Observatory’s unique collaborative platform in order to further mutualise efforts between agencies and cross-border, to help Member States in their fight against all types of counterfeiting activities. After fake pesticides or pharmaceutical products already targeted, we now focus, with the support of the European Commission and US Customs and Immigration, on domestic appliances and automotive sectors, bearing also particular dangerous consequences for the general public and for our European industry, obliged to support additional costs and being deprived of significant legitimate revenues”.
The Director of Europol, Rob Wainwright said: ”Those behind this serious organised crime are unscrupulous and show a complete lack of concern for the health and safety of citizens. These criminals are only interested in their illegal profits, while totally oblivious to the potential injuries or risk to life that can come from sub-standard illicit car spare parts or, for example, kitchen tools that have not undergone health and safety checks. With our improved cooperation arrangements, I expect that Europol, OHIM and the EU Observatory will be better equipped to minimise the production of counterfeit products.”
NOTE TO EDITORS
The European Observatory on Infringements of Intellectual Property Rights was established in 2009 to support the protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights and help combat the growing threat of IP infringements in Europe. It was transferred by Regulation on June 5, 2012, to the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM), which is the official trademarks and designs office of the European Union, headquartered in Alicante, Spain since 1994.
European Observatory on Infringements of intellectual property rights (OHIM)
Tel. +34 96 513 9735
Laura Casado Fernandez
Oficina de Armonización del Mercado Interior (OAMI)
Tel. +34 96 513 8934
Tel : +34 96 513 7676
Europol is the European Law enforcement Agency of the European Union.
Søren Kragh Pedersen
Chief of Media and Public Relations
Tel: +31 70 302 5001