Intellectual property crime is extensive in the EU and continues to represent a cause for concern. Criminal activity in this area can cause harm to the health and safety of EU citizens, as well as the environment. It also affects national economies, contributing to reduced revenues for the affected businesses, decreased sales volume and job losses.
Europol, together with the Hungarian National Tax and Customs Administration (NTCA), UL (Underwriters Laboratories) and the International AntiCounterfeiting Coalition (IACC), is hosting its second annual Intellectual Property Crime Conference on 26 and 27 June 2018 in Budapest, Hungary. The theme of this year’s two-day event is the "blueprint for accurate and functional enforcement."
Almost 400 representatives from law enforcement authorities, rights holders, industry organisations and academia from more than 46 countries will come together to exchange knowledge and best practices regarding enforcement solutions for intellectual property rights. How to leverage collaboration and technology to successfully combat counterfeiters, IPTV and audio-visual piracy, pharmaceutical crime, EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and online investigations, will be among the main topics discussed.
Fighting intellectual property crime is a key priority for law enforcement authorities in safeguarding consumers against dangerous and substandard products and tackling the criminal networks involved in these low risk/high revenue illegal activities. The damage these sales do to brands, businesses and economies goes beyond revenues: profits from counterfeiting fund other forms of serious organised crime like drug trafficking, human trafficking or money laundering.
''Intellectual property crime is a highly lucrative criminal business. Europol, through its Intellectual Property Crime Coordinated Coalition Centre (IPC³), strengthens partnerships with all stakeholders involved to effectively combat this crime, both online and offline. This conference offers the opportunity to reinforce existing synergies, further exchange information and expertise, and work on a joint cross-border response to tackle this problem", said Catherine De Bolle, Europol's Executive Director.
''It is a great honour for our Administration to welcome so many participants to this conference in Budapest this year'', says Mr. László Vankó, Director General for Criminal Affairs of the Hungarian National Tax and Customs Administration (NTCA). ''The topic of fighting intellectual property crime is gaining significance. For example, infringements of intellectual property rights account for about 8% of the crimes detected by NTCA. Authorities worldwide need to pay attention to new phenomena of cybercrime, like the effect of new technologies and social media. Authorities need to support each other's work, we need to cooperate and learn from each other. I hope that this conference will serve as a forum that offers us the opportunity to have constructive discussion and to enhance collaboration at international level in the current issues of fighting intellectual property crime''.
"Collaboration is a key element of the IACC’s strategic approach to mitigating the insidious threat of global counterfeiting," said Bob Barchiesi, President of the IACC. "Now, more than ever, it is critical for stakeholders to come together to advance our shared goal of combating counterfeiting and piracy. I’m confident that this year’s conference will provide attendees with the tools needed to battle these dangerous crimes."
"Last year, we assisted in the seizures of more than 2.2 million products bearing a counterfeit UL Mark, from life jackets to hoverboards," says Brian Monks, UL's Chief Security Officer. "We know from experience that successful partnerships with global customs and law enforcement organisations, help stem the tide of counterfeit products entering the stream of commerce."
For more information on the conference and the latest agenda, please visit the event’s website.