The European Observatory for the Infringement of Industrial and Intellectual Property Rights turns a decade old
The functions related to the respect of industrial property rights were entrusted to the current EUIPO through the Regulation (EU) 386/2012, celebrating this year the tenth anniversary of the European Observatory on Infringements of Intellectual Property Rights.
The operation of the Observatory is included in the EUIPO's 2025 Strategic Plan, with 2021 being the first full year for its application.
The 3 main objectives of the Observatory, established by Regulation 386/2012, are:
- provide facts and evidence for the formulation of effective industrial property policies
- create tools and resources to step up the fight against industrial property rights (IPR) infringement
- raise awareness of the negative effects of counterfeiting and piracy
In 2021, the balance of the Observatory's work can be summarized as follows:
- The contribution to the EPO (European Patent Office) has continued for the publication of studies that indicate the economic importance of respecting IPRs on employment, the Gross Domestic Product and trade. These studies try to shed light on this thematic trilogy: quantifying the importance of IPRs in the economy; assess the knowledge of European citizens and SMEs about IPRs; and quantify the extent of IPR infringement and its consequences for the economy and society.
- With the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development), and mainly through its official section TF-CIT (Task Force on Countering Illicit Trade), 3 new studies have been published on international trade in counterfeit products: misuse of transport in containers, role of online trade, and an update quantifying the counterfeit trade.
- In total the Observatory published 24 reports/studies in 2021, with summaries available in all EU languages. They are disseminated via the internet, social networks, the press, and through institutional representatives.
- In addition, the investigations carried out jointly with EUROPOL show that we are all victims of IPR infringement crimes, as it seriously damages the EU's economy and social interests. An effort has been made to demonstrate the connection between IPR crimes and organized crime groups. These efforts have led to the inclusion of IPR infringement offenses as a priority in EMPACT 2022-2025 (European Multidisciplinary Platform Against Criminal Threat).
The Observatory continues to focus on public awareness activities. Last June, on the occasion of World Anti-Counterfeiting Day, an awareness campaign was published in all oficial languages of the EU.
In the 2021 Anual Report you will find all the details of the work of the Observatory and the complete list of the reports and studies published in that period.