The Observatory produces a quarterly newsletter with information on its latest activities and enforcement tools, as well as news about its stakeholders from all around Europe.
International IP Enforcement Summit 2021
The 4th International IP Enforcement Summit was held online on 22 and 23 June. It gathered information from key actors on the ways to improve the protection and enforcement of IP rights, notably in the online environment and worldwide.
The summit highlighted strategic and practical guidance and shared good practices as well as showed how the fight against counterfeiting and piracy could contribute to a healthier society, a more sustainable environment and a stronger economy.
Exchanges focused on IP infringement online and how to facilitate cooperation with intermediaries, including the use of new technology in the fight against IP crime and the importance of collaboration and sharing of data.
Several sessions also concentrated on the misuse of online intermediary services and how this can be addressed.
The 3rd edition of a study to analyse trends in the global trade of fakes, carried out by the EUIPO in cooperation with the OECD, was also released.
If you want to read more about the summit or watch the different discussions you can do so from the summit’s web page.
IP in the Digital World and Awareness
The Out-Of-Commerce Works Portal goes live
‘Forgotten stories can once again become our shared history’
In order to help cultural heritage institutions fulfil their mission to benefit European culture, Directive (EU) 2019/790 introduces a legal framework to support cultural heritage institutions in the digitisation and cross-border dissemination of out-of-commerce works. Out-of-commerce works are works, such as books, films, or visual works that are still protected by copyright but are no longer or have never been commercially available.
Following a series of user tests between 18 and 21 May 2021, the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) and the Observatory have officially announced the launch of a new Out-Of-Commerce Works portal on 7 June 2021. You can read more here.
World Anti-Counterfeiting Day: launch of Pan-European media campaign
On the occasion of the World Anti-Counterfeiting Day on 8 June, the EUIPO launched its 2021 Pan-European Awareness campaign Risk and damages posed by IPR Infringement in Europe.
The campaign implemented in collaboration with stakeholders and notably consumer associations, focuses on online infringement of IPR and the risks for consumers. Coverage achieved in all media (print, audiovisual and online) and across all Members States has been extensive with 1 472 clippings and a total of EUR 10,877,375 of AVE (advertising value equivalent). Most of the coverage has been in οnline media (80 %) followed by print media (11 %), radio (8 %) and TV (1 %).The top 5 countries with the highest coverage are Germany, Spain, Poland, Bulgaria and Portugal. Over 85 articles have appeared in the non-European press.
You can read more here.
The EUIPO Observatory launched a call for proposals Grants 2021 – Closing date 08 June 2021
On 13 May the EUIPO Observatory held an information session and launched the fourth call for proposals to support awareness raising activities on the value of Intellectual Property and the damage caused by counterfeiting and piracy. The submissions are currently under evaluation and successful projects can expect to be notified in July.
Following previous editions in 2015, 2017 and 2019, the EUIPO has launched its fourth call for proposals to raise awareness on the benefits of protecting intellectual property rights (IPR) and on the damage caused by the infringement of these rights, while highlighting the importance of IP in supporting creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship. You can read more here.
New web page with information on e-commerce marketplaces IP protection tools
E-commerce keeps growing and plays an important role for many businesses. But what can you do if you discover a potentially infringing or counterfeit version of your product for sale on an e-commerce marketplace? Or what to do if somebody is using your trade mark in an e-commerce listing to mislead consumers?
To protect your business and customers the very first step is to get the listings removed. The EUIPO has been working with a number of e commerce marketplaces to gather information on their IP protection tools to make it easier for you to take action and use the resources they make available.
You will find the new web page here with information about notification systems, IP protection programs and contact points for the e-commerce marketplaces that have provided the EUIPO with this information.
If you have any questions please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Promote creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship with IdeasPowered@school resources
The IP in Education project has a very clear mission to promote creativity, innovation, entrepreneurship and responsible digital engagement among young Europeans. We collaborate with all the 27 EU education ministries, national IP offices, other EU institutions and several umbrella organisations in the field of education.
On 6 May 2021, IP in Education Network representatives from education ministries, IP offices and other relevant bodies met virtually to exchange views and participate in discussions on IP in education across Europe. You can read more here.
Together with our stakeholders, the IP in Education team has created plenty of resources and materials that promote IP. Have you ever visited IdeasPowered@school resources? There, you will find plenty of interesting games and activities. The Creativity Diary in all the EU languages is well worth checking out! You can read more here.
Estonia joins agorateka
Estonia is the latest country to join agorateka, linking 5 portals (Jupiter, Estonian shorts, Pro-music, Just Watch and SROC) that guide users to legal Series & Films, Music and Sports events. With this new addition, the initiative now covers 23 countries and over 2800 Legal Offer Sites. Work developed to explore how to facilitate updates of legal offer sites in national aggregators, notably the possibility to channel information from users via a mailbox.
Enforcement and SMEs
IP crime among the 10 priorities in the fight against organised crime
The Council adopted on 26 May the conclusions setting the 2022-2025 EU priorities for the fight against serious and organised crime through the European multi-disciplinary platform against criminal threats (EMPACT). This includes a new priority on economic crime that covers among other things ‘IP crime, Counterfeiting of goods and currencies’. Reflections are on-going on how the Observatory can best support the implementation of this priority. You can read more here.
EIPPN Workshop 2021
On 20 May 2021, the EUIPO and the European Union Agency for Criminal Justice Cooperation (EUROJUST) held the seventh annual workshop of the European Intellectual Property Prosecutors Network (EIPPN), again by videoconference. The network brings together prosecutors for IP and related serious crimes who deal with criminal investigations and prosecutions in the EU and beyond. The workshop let them share experiences and best practices. Themes discussed this year were ‘Artificial Intelligence and Copyright Crime’, ‘Illegal IPTV Streaming and Video-on-Demand’ and ‘Domain Name Abuse’. More than 60 prosecutors from the EU and neighbouring countries participated in this half-day videoconference.
Virtual IP Seminar on Enforcement with the Republic of Serbia
A virtual Intellectual Property (IP) Seminar on Enforcement was held by the EUIPO in cooperation with the Intellectual Property Office of the Republic of Serbia (IPORS) on 12 May 2021.
During the seminar, the latest developments in EU customs regulation and the recent study on IP infringement and its links with criminality were discussed by the EUIPO’s Observatory speakers. You can read more here.
Coordinated Activities on the Safety of Products (CASP 2021)
The EUIPO Observatory is assisting the EU Commission DG JUST in the implementation of the “Hybrid Activity” on counterfeit dangerous products within their Coordinated Activities on the Safety of Products (CASP 2021).
In the CASP activities market surveillance authorities (MSA) focus of safety aspects of products. Counterfeiting is a domain for which MSA usually do not have legal competence to intervene. However, from the angle “product safety” they can.
In the current project EUIPO put customs and MSA together. Customs will assist in identifying counterfeits at the border that then will be tested on safety aspects by MSA.
We are hoping to get data from this project that underpins the assumption that counterfeits are potentially also a danger for the safety of consumers. We are following up to our study “Qualitative Study on Risks Posed by Counterfeits to Consumers” published in June 2019. A training activity was scheduled for Thursday 1 July.
EUIPO Enforcement Online Seminar. IP crime: a current threat to consumers and EU member states
Over 26-27 April the EUIPO (Observatory) and the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Training (CEPOL) held an online event on the enforcement of IP rights.
The seminar addresses challenges related to the enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs), focusing on the current threat of IP Crime to consumers, and the EU Member States more generally. You can read more here.
Reports and Studies
Global Trade in Fakes – A Worrying Threat
The European Observatory on Infringements of Intellectual Property Rights, based at the EUIPO, and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) work together to publish studies and research on global trade in counterfeit and pirated products. The reports analyse the impact on the economy and the share of international trade affected by the phenomenon.
The latest study in the series, Global Trade in Fakes: A Worrying Threat, analyses the scale of the worldwide trade in counterfeit goods. It is an update of two previous studies on this subject, published in 2016 and 2019, respectively. You can read more here.
The report is available here.
Social Media — Discussion Paper: New and existing trends in using social media for IP infringement activities and good practices to address them
This discussion paper explores new and existing trends whereby social media functionalities are misused to infringe IP rights directly, to support IP-infringing activities happening through other channels, or to provide information on such activities. It identifies some of the challenges faced by IP owners, law enforcement authorities and social media companies in addressing these trends. Most importantly, it lists the preventive and reactive good practices developed by social media services to counteract these trends.
The discussion paper is available here.
Monitoring and analysing social media in relation to IPR Infringement report
The growth of e-commerce has been well documented, but how the rise of different technologies and consumer habits has affected IPR infringement on the internet and, in particular, on social media platforms, is not clear. Therefore, EUIPO decided to conduct a study to better understand the volume and frequency of IPR infringement on social media. You can read more here.
The report is available here.
Economic impact of COVID-19 crisis in IPR-intensive industries
This study analyses the economic impact of the COVID-19 crisis on industries that use intellectual property rights (IPRs) including trade marks, designs, patents and copyright, intensively. The analysis is based on the Short-Term business Statistics (STS) from Eurostat, and on previous research carried out jointly by the EUIPO and the European Patent Office (EPO). You can read the study here.
Following the publication of the study, the Observatory has updated the quarterly IPR indicators to monitor the recovery phase during 2021 and beyond, for the European Union and the four largest Member States.
You can read the first update with data up to March 2021 here.
Report on the EU Enforcement of intellectual property rights: overall results of detentions, 2019
Following the publication, in December 2020, of the reports of Directorate-General for Taxation and Customs Union (DG TAXUD) and the EUIPO on the detention of goods infringing IP rights at the EU border and in the EU internal market respectively, this report allows an overarching view of the overall detentions of fake products in 2019 as reported by EU Member States. You can read more here.
The report is available here.
Interagency Cooperation at National and International Level: an assessment of good practices aimed at improving IPR enforcement
The Observatory has published the updated version of the 2014 report on ‘Inter-Agency Cooperation at National and International Level’. The updated report has been prepared on the basis of data provided by the Observatory public sector stakeholder representatives in 2020.
You can find the report here.
Focus on Cybersquatting: monitoring and analysis
Cybersquatting involves bad faith registration and/or use of another company’s trade mark or other distinctive sign in a domain name, without having any legal rights or legitimate interests in that domain name. Rights owners have often expressed their concern over cybersquatting, particularly since the expansion of the generic top-level domains (gTLDs) begun in 2012. The purpose of this study was to quantify the phenomenon of cybersquatting and to describe the methods and the business models employed by cybersquatters, thus providing a basis for fighting the phenomenon more effectively.
The study is available here.
European Commission — Report on the protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights in third countries
The European Commission has published its Report on the protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights in third countries (Third Country Report).
The Third Country Report identifies countries outside of the European Union in which the state of intellectual property protection and enforcement gives rise to the greatest concern and provides an update of the existing Commission’s list of priority countries. You can read more here.
Recent European case-law on the infringement and enforcement of intellectual property rights
The Observatory published a new report of important and recent decisions relating to the infringement and enforcement of IPRs.
The new edition contains more than 170 summaries of key judgements from the national courts and the preliminary rulings from the Court of Justice of the EU. The most recent from May 2021 are listed in the first part. The second part covers previous decisions issued from 2018 until April 2021.
The document includes summaries produced internally by the EUIPO but also selected contributions from national Intellectual Property Offices.
On 25 March 2021, the Observatory participated in a ‘Workshop on Intellectual Property in Performing Arts’ in Bangkok, Thailand. The workshop was organised by the Bangkok International Performing Arts Meeting (BIPAM) and the Creative Economy Agency (CEA), in partnership with IP Key South-East Asia (SEA).
The workshop’s aim was to provide a platform for exchanges from performing art practitioners, varying from directors and playwrights to university students. The sessions provided detailed information and insights on copyright and related rights from the perspective of both the EU and Thailand.
In mid-May, the Observatory together with the European Agency for Judicial Cooperation EUROJUST participated in a ‘Colloquium on Effective Legal Remedies for the Enforcement of IP rights in South-East Asia’ for judges and prosecutors. The event was organised by IP Key South-East Asia. The colloquium addressed issues around civil and criminal enforcement of IP rights. It permitted the European experience to be shared with representatives of the region.
At the end of May, the Observatory shared findings from recent Observatory studies and other activities at an IP Key South-East Asia organised event entitled ‘Conference on Combating Counterfeiting and Piracy in South-East Asia’. During the two-day event, the focus was on identifying effective means of combating counterfeiting and piracy in the region. Beside Observatory and other European speakers, representatives from Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam contributed with in-depth knowledge and shared best practices.
From 31 May to 11 June, the Observatory participated in the ‘1st Regional Seminar on Cultural Industries and Intellectual Property as a factor for economic growth’ organised by the Spanish Ministry of Culture and Sport in collaboration with the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID). The seminar covered a range of subjects, namely raising public awareness, examples of anti-piracy and anti-counterfeiting campaigns in the European Union and intellectual property in education, including frequently asked questions and practical examples.
The seminar’s aim was to generate specialised knowledge on copyright as a key factor in strengthening cultural industries and the socio-economic development of the Latin American region (Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela). The seminar targeted employees of public or private organisations working in Latin America in the fields of copyright, the cultural and creative industries, or in the education sector.
80 million seized – Europol fights counterfeit pesticides
1 203 tonnes of illegal pesticides were taken off the market and criminal profits worth up to €80 million were seized during Europol’s recent operation against counterfeit and illicit pesticides. Between 13 January and 25 April 2021, Europol coordinated operation Silver Axe VI. It targeted the trade in counterfeit and illegal pesticides. The operation involved law enforcement authorities from 35 countries, and was supported by the EUIPO under the 2020-2023 SLA with Europol. You can read more here.
Update of the 2019 grant beneficiaries
The IPPI project has entered its long-awaited final phase. The final event and competition between the participating classes from Italy and Spain took place on 28 May. The competitors have prepared videos responding to challenging tasks related to social media. The competition included a quiz roulette and a case study.
Moreover, CC Umbria has recently upgraded the IPPI webpage. It is now hosted on the new website of the Chamber of Commerce of Umbria.
Brain Ideas 2.0 is successfully raising students’ awareness of intellectual property.
DECO just finished implementing a set of online awareness sessions at schools, reaching more than 2 000 students so far, and a set of online conferences in universities for future teachers, reaching 805 participants.
To celebrate World IP day, DECO promoted the Brain IDeas 2.0 Game Week, starting with an Open Class, for all interested schools. They also challenged schools, students and teachers to play an Interactive Board Game. The main goal was to raise IP awareness through a fun educational activity.
We had more than 1 000 students and teachers joining in with this activity, and they played more than 2 000 games!
Legalna Kultura organised #Jatorozumiem (#Igetit) workshops in the Catholic Primary School St. Padre Pio in Zamość on the occasion of the National Week of Libraries, in which the pupils in years 1 to 3 participated.
Who creates culture? And to whom do cultural goods belong? How can cultural goods be stolen? What can we do for our favourite creators? What are legal sources of culture? What does it mean to be fair to others? And why is intellectual property important? These are the questions that the children received answers to during the workshops. To explain the concept of IP, the trainers used helpful exercises, discussions and an engaging presentation.
Also, ‘I get it!’, a project even coordinated by Legalna Kultura, aims to educate people on the use of cultural resources that are useful in science, teaching and creative work. You can read more here.
The year-long Music Moves Hungary project by ProArt closed with the grand finale of the Big Student Music Test on 14 May. The event was held online with 11 finalists who did the best on the music test and at the invitation-only semi-finals.
The goal of the edutaining quiz, that was done by over 17 thousand students, was to:
- educate the target audience about copyright and piracy issues in the music industry;
- encourage students to participate in the creative process with a better understanding of copyright-related legalities and respect for creativity.
The quiz was promoted and supported by a series of videos of the ‘Zeneguruképző’ with exciting topics related to the secrets of the music industry.
The different branches of the year-long programme were designed with a three-fold purpose:
- to present the abstract legal concepts of copyright in a real-life context;
- to get students to see the real the damages that piracy does to the creative process;
- to encourage them to pursue a creative career in the music industry.
Update on Observatory Expert Groups
The Impact of Technology EG held an online technology workshop on 6 May. The meeting gathered experts in new technologies that might affect intellectual property infringement and enforcement. Participants were introduced to Digital Mobile Networking (GSM-6G) and the Internet of Things (IoT) technologies. They discussed their impact on intellectual property related infringement, enforcement, criminal investigation and evidentiary matters. The outcome of the meeting will be reflected in the 2021 edition of the Intellectual Property Infringement and Enforcement Tech Watch Discussion Paper .
The next workshop is scheduled for the end of 2021 and will focus on Blockchain trends, IT forensic tools to analyse cryptocurrency transactions and non-fungible tokens (NFT). The EG also contributed to developing the methodology of the current study on the impact of artificial intelligence on infringement and enforcement of copyright and designs. In the near future, all of the members of the EG as well as other experts will be interviewed by researchers from the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute that has been entrusted with doing the research. The report should be finalised by the end of the year.
The Cooperation with Intermediaries EG held its most recent online meeting on 29 April. The meeting covered: the status of the group’s work in relation to social media, payment, logistics and transport; an update on the EUIPO’s strategic project, ‘Enhancing IP protection in e-commerce marketplaces’, which was initiated based on the work of the Expert Group in online platforms; an update from the European Commission (DG GROW) on the implementation of its IP Action Plan and its ongoing work on the EU Toolbox against counterfeiting.
For the next steps, the EG will finalise the discussion paper on Payment as well as the scoping document on transport and logistics. A new drafting group on transport and logistics will also be set up. The EG will also be consulted on the Automated Content Recognition Paper before its publication scheduled in Quarter 3 2021.
On 15 June, the discussion paper ‘New and existing trends in using social media for IP infringement activities and good practices to address them‘ was published. After having looked at domain names (discussion paper released in March 2021), the EG examined how social media are misused to infringe IP directly, support IP infringing activities happening through other channels or to provide information on such activities. It identified some of the challenges faced by IP owners, law enforcement authorities and social media services in addressing those trends. Most importantly, it identified preventive and reactive good practices developed by social media services to undermine these trends.
The Outreach EG has advised on the implementation of the Pan-European Campaign, launched on the World anti-counterfeiting day. The Outreach EG has also suggested topics for panel discussions and breakout sessions, as well as relevant speakers for the International IP Enforcement Summit on 22-23 June. The next meeting is expected to be in the autumn.
The Legal EG contributed to the methodology for the artificial intelligence report mentioned above. It will also be contributing to the Green Trade Mark Study. The Legal EG is expected to meet during the third quarter of this year. On 25 May, a webinar was organised to present the ‘International judicial cooperation in intellectual property cases – Study on legislative measures related to online intellectual property infringements: phase 2‘. Members of this expert group contributed to that study.
The International Cooperation EG hosted an online meeting on 27 May on the subject of IP Enforcement in Africa. The participants were given a case study and tips on protecting intellectual property rights in Africa. They were also given an update on the AfrIPI project. On 7 July this EG will hold its next online meeting. The agenda includes discussions on implementing action points agreed in 2020, as well as updates on enforcement activities and the EU Funded projects
The Observatory Expert Groups guide the implementation of Observatory projects in specialist areas. Experts give their own personal opinions – they do not represent any organisation or institution.