10 | 06 | 2020

Two Reports Published by EUIPO on the Occasion of the World Anti-Counterfeiting Day

Photo: Customs of the RC

On the occasion of the World Anti-Counterfeiting Day, celebrated on 10 June this year, the European Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) published two new reports related to the fight against counterfeiting and crime in the field of intellectual property.

The World Anti-Counterfeiting Day has been celebrated in June every year, ever since 1998.

The EUIPO’s report titled “Status Report on Intellectual Property Rights Infringement in 2020 – Why Intellectual Property Rights Are Important, Intellectual Property Rights Infringement and the Fight against Counterfeiting and Piracy“ indicates that the European Union Member States lose EUR 15 billion per year due to the presence of counterfeits in the market, due to losses of direct and indirect taxes as well as contributions not paid by producers of counterfeit goods, given that these are generally illegal activities.

As serious as these economic damages are, the harm caused to public health, consumer safety and the environment is an even more serious consequence, so that important aspects of public health protection come to the fore here. The study on counterfeit drugs, published by the EUIPO and the OECD in March this year, suggests that the subject of counterfeiting is not only drugs that are related to people’s lifestyles but also medicines to treat serious diseases, with potentially deadly consequences for the patients who consume them. The subject of counterfeiting were antibiotics, drugs used in the treatment of cancer, drugs for heart disease, and after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, it was found that counterfeiters immediately focused their activities on the production of counterfeit tests to diagnose this disease, counterfeit protective equipment (protective masks, etc.) and counterfeit drugs.

Of the other dangerous counterfeit products, counterfeit toys, electrical appliances and even clothing should be highlighted, as consumers can be exposed to dangerous chemicals, children can be exposed to small parts of toys that can pose a danger to them, up to the risk of electric shock or fire that may occur when using counterfeit electrical products. We also classify counterfeit pesticides as very dangerous products, which are dangerous for people as well as for the environment and agricultural land.

According to the report, in response to the problems of counterfeiting and piracy, EUIPO is taking a number of activities and measures to address and combat these problems, in cooperation with the competent authorities and public and private sector organizations. Activities related to strengthening the public awareness of European citizens on these issues are extremely important, of which initiatives aimed at educating children and young people about the importance of protection and respect for intellectual property are particularly important.

The coordination of the fight against intellectual property rights infringement involves Europol, OLAF (European Anti-Fraud Office) and INTERPOL, and operational activities to prevent and combat these negative phenomena are carried out in cooperation with the competent authorities of the Member States of the European Union.

Informative abstract of the Report in Croatian is available here.

Another report was prepared in cooperation between the EUIPO and Europol and published under the title “Intellectual Property Crime and Its Link to Other Serious Crimes“, with a view to informing the authorities responsible for the enforcement of intellectual property rights and other competent institutions of the various ways in which intellectual property crime is linked to other forms of criminality. The report shows that there are two basic forms of such a connection - the first, which has the characteristics that one criminal activity supports another (for example, a certain organised crime group produces fraudulent documents to allow the sale of counterfeit goods as if they were legally produced) and the second form where various criminal activities of criminal groups take place in parallel and relatively independently of each other.

The report provides an analysis of case examples that clearly show a wide range of illegal activities related to intellectual property crime, including money laundering, various document frauds, cybercrime and other forms of serious crime.

Informative abstract of the Report in Croatian is available here.

 

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