Significant increase in police interventions related to industrial property rights in 2013


In June the Spanish Home Office published two reports concerning police interventions relating to the infringement of IP rights in 2013.

First, it is necessary to note that both reports refer only to interventions by the National Police (Cuerpo Nacional de Policía and Guardia Civil) and complemented by interventions carried out by some local police forces. In Spain, there are other police forces pursuing this type of crime, such as the regional police (policías autonómicas), which were not included in the reports. Second, it is necessary to mention that, in Spain, copyright differs from trademarks, patents, models and designs, which are called propiedad industrial (industrial property).

The reports on the interventions regarding copyright shows that there were 240,589 seized objects in 2013 and 700 interventions, in line with the figures from 2012.

However, the report shows a significant increase in interventions related to industrial property rights in 2013:

  • 2,434 punishable acts were detected, an increase of more than 25% compared to 2012;
  • 2,155 people were arrested or accused of these crimes, an increase of more than 22% on the previous year; and
  • 5,049,879 items were seized, which constituted an increase on the previous year.

The sectors that were the most affected by the infringement of industrial property rights in 2013 were:

  1. the toy industry, with 20% of the seizures;
  2. the leather goods sector, with 17%;
  3. the textile sector, with 11%;
  4. the jewellery and watch sector, with 5%;
  5. the electronics sector, with 4%; and
  6. the perfumery sector, with 1%.

Significantly, the most common points of seizure of infringing goods were:

  1. industrial units (factories or warehouses), which accounted for 62% of the seizures;
  2. commercial establishments open to the public, with 13% of the seizures; and
  3. customs areas (ports and airports), which accounted for 9% of the total seizures.  

Dalia Ferrando, Grau & Angulo, Barcelona

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