Europol Intellectual Property Crime Conference hosts 250 experts fighting counterfeit goods that pose threat to health, safety, and the environment.
The conference, themed "Tackling counterfeit goods posing a threat to health, safety, and the environment," delved deep into the critical issues surrounding intellectual property (IP) crime, with a particular focus on the role of advanced technology. Within a busy agenda of conference activities, a diverse group of experts and stakeholders from around the world came together for the discussion.
Key topics at the conference included:
Catherine De Bolle, Executive Director of Europol, said:
This conference and the recent renewal of the Service Level Agreement between Europol and EUIPO demonstrate our relentless commitment to combatting intellectual property crime. The financial and economic crimes afflicting the EU and its Member States amount to billions of euros in damages, and the criminals behind intellectual property crime infiltrate every aspect of the legal supply chain, threatening public health and safety. Initiatives like this conference are vital in uniting law enforcement experts and industry specialists to respond effectively to this substantial threat. This event emphasises the importance of international cooperation and the role of women in the fight against intellectual property crime, ensuring that gender equality remains a priority at every level.
João Negrão, Executive Director of the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) said:
Ensuring the rigorous enforcement of intellectual property law is a priority for our institution. Criminal infringement of intellectual property is not just an attack on individual innovation; it is an attack on our collective progress and security. In an increasingly interconnected world, safeguarding these rights is not merely a legal necessity but a moral imperative. Our commitment to this issue is unwavering, as we aim to protect creativity, drive economic growth, and secure the integrity of markets for both consumers and producers alike.
Pedro Portugal Gaspar, Inspector General of the Portuguese Economic and Food Safety Authority, said:
Ensuring economic safety in the Portuguese market is one of the main drives of ASAE’s action. To ensure the fulfilment of our mission, cooperation among law enforcement authorities, both national and international, and the private sector is crucial to ensure this fight against illegal activity. Intellectual property crime poses a global threat to the consumer’s health, enterprises, fair competition and competitiveness for which international cooperation between public and private sector is crucial. Events such as this Conference, in which ASAE has the pleasure to cohost, represent a decisive opportunity to bring us all closer in finding solutions and new tools to combat intellectual property crime.
José Barros Correia, National Director of the Portuguese Polícia de Segurança Pública, said:
Ensuring the rigorous enforcement of intellectual property laws is a priority for our institution. Criminal infringement of intellectual property is not just an attack on individual innovation; it is an attack on our collective progress and security. In an increasingly interconnected world, safeguarding these rights is not merely a legal necessity but a moral imperative. Our commitment to this issue is unwavering, as we aim to protect creativity, drive economic growth, and secure the integrity of markets for both consumers and producers alike.
Platform for sharing expertise in combatting IP crime
Since its inception in 2017, the Europol Intellectual Property Crime Conference has proven to be an invaluable platform for law enforcement authorities and the private sector. The conference provides an opportunity for participants to strengthen cooperation, share experiences, and identify new trends in intellectual property crimes.
The conference embodies the spirit of the amended Europol Strategy, emphasising engagement with relevant private parties and recognising the crucial role played by the industry community in addressing intellectual property and counterfeiting issues.
The fight against intellectual property crime is a top priority for Europol and a key focus in the EU's efforts to combat serious and organised crime. Recent data and analysis indicate a significant increase in intellectual property crimes, underlining the need for the close collaboration between law enforcement, EU institutions, third countries, and private sector entities.
Close and continuous cooperation at EU level
The recent renewal of the Service Level Agreement between Europol and EUIPO for the period of 2024-2027 demonstrates the close and continuous cooperation between the two organisations in the fight against intellectual property crime. Last year, the European Financial and Economic Crime Centre (EFECC), home to the Intellectual Property Crime Coordinated Coalition (IPC3), provided support to over 400 financial investigations.
In September 2023, Europol unveiled its assessment of the threats originating from financial and economic crimes at EU level. A section of this report is dedicated to intellectual property crime, drawing from a blend of operational insights and strategic intelligence contributed by law enforcement agencies to Europol.
For more information about the 2023 Europol Intellectual Property Crime Conference, visit the event page.
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