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09 December 2015

New report on counterfeits in China and Southeast Asia finds "scale of the problem is not diminishing"

A new study submitted to the UK government by IP firm Rouse traces the trade in counterfeit goods between China and Southeast Asia and provides recommendations for UK brand owners. However, the report makes it clear that this is a complex issue with no easy fixes.

04 November 2015

EU customs report shows two-fold increase in detained goods being released due to brand owner inaction

New data from the European Commission has found that the number of goods seized by customs authorities across the EU that were subsequently released due to brand owner inaction doubled in 2014, highlighting the urgent need for rights holders to respond to customs notifications in a timely manner.

02 November 2015

European Commission publishes report on customs enforcement of IP rights in 2014

The European Commission has published a report on customs enforcement of IP rights in 2014. Among other things, the report reveals that the total number of customs detentions rose to 95,194 in 2014, an increase of 10% compared to 2013; however, the value of the seized goods amounted to €617,046,337, which represented a 19.6% drop compared to the previous year. These are the first statistics to be released following the entry into force of Regulation 608/2013.

11 September 2015

The true cost of counterfeiting in the EU: an infographic

OHIM has released its latest study into the economic cost of IP infringement in various sectors, this time focused on sports goods. To mark this, World Trademark Review has reviewed the studies published to date and compiled an infographic that highlights the combined cost of counterfeiting in the EU.

31 July 2015

Coty is major step for IP rights protection - but IP owners should not get 'over-excited'

In Coty Germany v Stadtsparkasse Magdeburg, the ECJ has held that national banking secrecy laws that allowed banks, in an unlimited and unconditional manner, to refuse to provide information which a rights owner required to protect its IP rights, were precluded by Article 8(3)(e) of the IP Rights Enforcement Directive. However, it is important to note that the decision does not rank IP rights above data protection and banking secrecy laws in general.

21 July 2015

New study outlines the billions lost by industry and governments to illicit trade

The European Observatory on Infringements of Intellectual Property Rights has released its latest study into the economic cost of IP rights infringement, revealing that the clothing, footwear and accessories sector loses approximately €26.3 billion of revenue annually due to the presence of counterfeit products in the EU market. It is the related finding that government revenues are being hit to the tune of €8.1 billion annually that will resonate with law and policy makers.

17 July 2015

ECJ ruling on banking secrecy is good news - but not a ground-breaking victory

In a decision that will be welcomed by brand owners struggling to find the source of counterfeit products, the ECJ has ruled that Article 8(3)(e) of the IP Rights Enforcement Directive precluded a national rule that allowed banks to invoke banking secrecy unconditionally to reject requests for information. However, as one commentator observes, this does not mean that rights holders’ interests trump data protection or banking secrecy laws per se.

10 March 2015

Study reveals the financial toll of counterfeiting in the cosmetics and personal care sector

New research has found that nearly 10% of total sales of cosmetics and personal care products in the European Union are falling into the hands of counterfeiters.

24 February 2014

ECJ clarifies scope of Customs Regulation

In Blomqvist v Rolex SA, the ECJ has considered a request for a preliminary ruling by the Danish Supreme Court concerning the interpretation of the Customs Regulation (1383/2003). The ECJ’s ruling makes it clear that the seizure of counterfeit goods pursuant to the regulation is permitted merely by virtue of the acquisition of the goods through an online sales website in a non-member country.

06 February 2014

ECJ decision 'extends brand owners' right to seize goods'

The decision of the ECJ in Blomqvist v Rolex SA (Case C-98/13), issued this morning, could significantly enhance the rights of trademark owners to seize goods. However, its true impact will only become apparent when national courts apply the theory to the facts.

02 December 2013

OHIM Observatory's Enforcement Database now available

The long-awaited Enforcement Database, launched by the European Observatory on Infringements of IP Rights, is now available. The Enforcement Database has been specifically created in a bid to assist brand owners and customs and police officers in the detection, monitoring and control of counterfeit goods across the European Union.

17 May 2013

MoU on sale of counterfeits online works, but constant vigilance is needed

The European Commission has issued its report on the functioning of the MoU on the Sale of Counterfeit Goods via the Internet. Signed in 2011, the purpose of the MoU is to establish a code of practice in the fight against the sale of counterfeit goods online and to enhance collaboration among its signatories. The report shows that the approach adopted by the MoU works, but highlights the need for internet platforms and rights holders to remain alert.

18 January 2013

New Customs and IP enforcement regulation provides major benefits to rights holders

The proposed text of a new regulation dealing with Customs and intellectual property enforcement has been published by the European Council and Parliament. It brings in an important new procedure in relation to small consignments, which will be of great benefit to rights holders. However, the lack of meaningful progress in relation to goods in transit and costs is disappointing.

13 September 2012

All change at OHIM as restructure and appointment of Observatory head are announced

OHIM has announced an organisational shake-up which brings its Academy under the Observatory’s umbrella, with Paul Maier heading up the new section. The move comes as plans continue apace for the Observatory’s first work programme.

27 July 2012

EU Customs’ counterfeit seizures rise, but do they present the full picture?

The volume and value of counterfeit goods seized by EU Customs continues to rise, according to figures released by the European Commission this week. 115 million products were seized in 2011 (up from 103 million in 2010) and the value of the goods increased from €1.1 billion in 2010 to €1.3 billion last year. However, discrepancies in accounting methods and differing levels of seizures mean that it can only give a snapshot of the problem of worldwide counterfeiting.