Impact of intellectual property infringements

gerbIntellectual property (IP) infringements, including counterfeiting and piracy:

  • damage the economy of a country;
  • threaten the health and safety of consumers; and
  • attract organised crime.

Consequently, it is the responsibility of Governments and law enforcement agencies, whose primary role is to protect society, to prevent IP infringements.

The international police organisation, Interpol, states ”Trademark counterfeiting and copyright piracy are serious intellectual property crimes that defraud consumers, threaten health and safety, cost society billions of dollars in lost government revenues, foreign investments or business profits and violate the rights of trademark, patent and copyright owners”.

A study by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) estimated that, the international counterfeit and pirate trade was worth up to USD$ 250 billion, which is larger than the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Armenia (USD$10.5 billion) and 150 other countries.

The OECD Study highlights the scale of funding Governments and legitimate businesses are losing to the counterfeit and pirate trade. Funding which could be used to improve society (e.g. build schools and hospitals) and create jobs.

IP crimes impact upon virtually every product category. Today, counterfeiters are producing fake foods and beverages, agrochemicals, electronics and electrical supplies, auto parts, construction material and everyday household products along with luxury goods, unauthorized music and DVDs (Digital Versatile Discs).


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    The new EU trade mark Regulation enters into force on March 23rd. As a result, the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM) will change its name to the European Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO).

    The amending Regulation also revises the fees payable to the Office, including an overall reduction in their amounts, particularly in the case of trade mark renewal fees. On 23.3. 2016, the Office’s online application forms and fee calculator will be automatically updated to reflect the new system.
    From its base in Alicante, Spain, OHIM has processed more than 1.3 million Community trade mark applications in 23 EU languages, from nearly every country and region in the world, since 1996.

    The Amending Regulation was published on 24 December 2015 and is part of the EU trade mark reform legislative package that also includes the replacement of the existing EU Trade Mark Directive (Directive 2008/95/EC of the European Parliament and the Council).

    OHIM is the EU’s largest decentralised agency. It is entirely self-financed, receiving no funding from the EU Budget. As well as managing the Community trade mark and the registered Community design (RCD), it works in collaboration with the EU national and regional IP offices to build a stronger IP system across the EU for the benefit of users.

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