Tackling fake foodstuff, beverages and agricultural products

15 March 2016
Press Release
Press Release/News

This News/Press release is about Intellectual property crime

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In that perspective, OHIM, through the European Observatory on Infringements of Intellectual Property Rights, Europol and Eurojust, gathered investigators from customs and police, public prosecutors, private sector - and policy makers, to exchange experiences and best practices in relation to IP crime in the sector of foodstuff, beverages and agricultural products. The event, part of a series of similar events organised since 2013, is being co-hosted by these three EU bodies in Alicante, from 16 to 18 March, providing an opportunity to reinforce operational ties between enforcement authorities and businesses and identify new challenges in the fight against counterfeiting in these sectors.

These discussions built upon the expertise of the EU network of IP prosecutors, composed now of some 60 prosecutors from 20 Member States and 7 non EU Member States who met on 14 and 15 March to discuss the challenges to prosecute those facilitating or financing IPR offenses online. The objective of this network is to share knowledge and leverage expertise in order to better fight cross-border violations of IPR.

António Campinos, President of OHIM, commented: ‘thanks to the Observatory’s unique platform, OHIM can support operational efforts from  police forces, prosecutors, customs authorities and raise awareness of the damages of IPR infringements for both consumers and businesses.. Integrated  cooperation with Eurojust and Europol offers an added value to deliver objective data, raise awareness of the damage caused by counterfeiting and piracy as well as develop best practice and cross-border cooperation, in line with our mandate’.

The Hungarian national member and Contact Point of Eurojust, László Venczl said: I express Eurojust’s appreciation for the continued efforts by OHIM to sustain the collaboration between our respective organizations, fostering partnership and synergies. A multi-disciplinary approach is needed in the fight against infringements of intellectual property rights, especially in the ever-changing digital environment.’

Wil van Gemert, Deputy Director of Operations at Europol, said: "Sophisticated counterfeiters are increasingly able to produce products that are hard to distinguish from the genuine ones, and the best way to tackle those criminals is via an effective exchange of intelligence with our partners. Close cooperation between business and law enforcement is needed to challenge the criminal organisations that are exploiting the intellectual property of others, and this coalition of three parties combining efforts is a great example of the type of strategic alliance required."

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) to be renamed as of 23 March the European Intellectual Property Office, headquartered in Alicante, Spain, since 1994.

Europol is the European law enforcement agency of the European Union.

Eurojust is the European Union’s Judicial Cooperation Unit. Based in The Hague, it is a body of the European Union established in 2002 with the goal of stimulating and improving the coordination of investigations and prosecutions and cooperation between the Member States’ competent national authorities in relation to serious cross-border (organised) crime.

Press contacts:

Eurojust
Ulf Bergström
Head of Communications and External Relations 
2500 BD The Hague
Netherlands
Tel: +31 70 4125508
media@eurojust.europa.eu

Europol 
Jan Op Gen Oorth
Senior Specialist Corporate Communications
Eisenhowerlaan, 73 2517 KK
The Hague, the Netherlands
Phone: +31 (0) 70 353 1131 
jan.op-gen-oorth@europol.europa.eu
      

OHIM
Luis Berenguer Gimenez 
Head of Communication Service
President's Cabinet 
Tel: +34 965 13 9325 
Mobile: +34 680 493 669 
Luis.BERENGUER@oami.europa.eu 
twitter: #OAMITWEETS