06 | 07 | 2017

Situation Report on Counterfeiting and Piracy in the European Union Published

The European Observatory on Infringements of Intellectual Property Rights of the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) published the report titled “2017 Situation Report on Counterfeiting and Piracy in the European Union”. The report resulted from the EUIPO’s and the EUROPOL’s working on a joint project, containing numerous information and case studies, and the last such report having been drawn up for 2015.

The report shows that almost all kinds of counterfeit products can be found on the EU market, and there are ever more of those ones being in the everyday use such as cosmetics, toys, medicines, foodstuffs and beverages, which poses particular risk to the health of people.

The report analyses how organised criminal groups are involved in committing crimes related to infringements of intellectual property rights, mentioning also how low penalties imposed in the EU countries for crimes committed in relation to infringements of intellectual property rights render this kind of crime attractive to criminals. Although this kind of infringements in the EU countries relies mainly on the production of counterfeit goods outside of the EU borders, this report demonstrates how the production of such goods is recorded within the EU as well, where fake labels and packaging imported from outside the EU play a significant role and such criminality is on the rise. There has been noted the growing role of technologies, and online marketplaces have become key distribution channels for counterfeit goods.

In the digital world, the illegal online use and dissemination of protected content have been identified as a particular issue, with illegal television broadcasts and digital piracy posing a further challenge for enforcement authorities.

In addition, the research results indicate that the production and distribution of counterfeit products are often related to other, also very serious forms of crime, such as drug trafficking and human trafficking, money laundering, document fraud and the like. Furthermore, the report provides an insight into how enforcement authorities are faced in their work with many constraints and challenges, such as the need to coordinate cross-border investigations and tackle new technologies that criminals are using to hide their illegal activities and locations to perform these illegal activities.

The published report is available at the following link.


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