Since its creation, INTA has been supportive of the European Observatory on Infringements of Intellectual Property Rights (Observatory), which was entrusted to OHIM in Alicante (Spain) in 2012 following EU Regulation 386/2012. The Observatory consists of a network of experts and specialists from public bodies and private stakeholders—including INTA. Its activities include raising public awareness of IP, carrying out studies and reports on IP, developing tools and databases for public authorities and rights holders, and so on.
Working Group Meetings
The Observatory Working Groups were created following proposals received from stakeholders and are used extensively by the Observatory in guiding the conception and implementation of projects included in their work program. Brussels during the last week of September, INTA participated in the five Observatory Working Group stakeholders meetings: Enforcement, IP in Digital World, Legal and International, Public Awareness, and Statistics & Economics. Representing INTA at these meetings were INTA Observatory Task Force Leader Elio De Tullio (De Tullio Partners, Italy), María González Gordon (Gómez-Acebo & Pombo Abogados, S.L.P.; Spain), Jeremy Newman (Rouse, United Kingdom), David Gill (DaWei-IP, United Kingdom), and Christina Sleszynska (INTA staff from the Europe Representative Office in Brussels). The working groups meet twice a year in Brussels and Alicante and collaborate on a vast number of projects across the five groups.
The INTA team, from left to right: Christina, David, Jeremy, Maria and Elio
Part of the Observatory mandate is to provide studies and reports with evidence-based data on the impact, role and public perception of intellectual property in the economy of the European Union. Two new studies were published to this effect.
Study of the Economic Impact of Infringement in Sports Goods
On September 10, 2015, the Observatory continued its publication of sectorial reports on the economic cost of IPR infringement. The third installment focused on the economic detriment experienced by the sports goods sector, while the previous two were focused on cosmetics and personal care sector and clothing, footwear and accessories sector. In line with its mandate, the Observatory continues to evaluate the negative impact of counterfeiting and its consequences for legitimate businesses, governments and consumers, and ultimately society as a whole. Results from this third study pave the way toward quantification of the scope, scale and impact of IPR infringements in the European Union, and will be followed by a dozen further sectorial studies.
Some highlights of this study include:
• 6.5% of sales lost by the sector as a result of counterfeiting
• €500 million of revenue lost annually by the sector
• €300 million of sales lost in related sectors
• 2,800 direct jobs lost
• 5,800 direct and indirect jobs lost
• €150 million of government revenue lost (social contributions and taxes)
The link to the full study is available here.
Study on Intellectual Property and Education in Europe
On October 6, the Observatory published its study on IP education in school curriculums in primary and secondary schools in the European Union, with additional international comparisons (these third countries are Switzerland, Singapore, the United States and Hong Kong).
• There is no stand-alone IP subject or program at schools. IP and IP-related themes are integrated in one or a variety of subjects as a cross-curricular topic.
• The ratio of teaching IP rights at primary level is higher in non-EU countries than in the EU countries/regions, where they are taught mostly at upper secondary vocational level.
• The issue of infringement is covered more frequently in non-EU countries/regions than in the European Union.
The report identified good practices on IP education, which include public-private partnerships. As a next step, OHIM will focus on creating a specialized network between educational institutions and stakeholders of the Observatory, with the aim of developing dedicated teaching programs for teachers and students, and designing and coordinating appropriate educational activities and support.
The link to the full study is available here.
In terms of the Observatory’s activities, further studies on infringements will be carried out that cover other sectors known to be impacted by counterfeiting; these sectors include watches and jewelry, luggage and handbags, games and toys, medicines, computers and automotive parts, as well as tobacco and alcoholic drinks.
In terms of INTA’s involvement, the Association will participate in the 2015 Observatory Plenary meeting, which will be held on October 21 through October 22 at OHIM in Alicante. INTA looks forward to reporting on the updates on the various projects and discussing the 2016 Work Program. INTA will be diligently giving input on the Work Program before and after the Plenary.
For more information about the Observatory and INTA’s participation in its activities, please contact Maysa Razavi, INTA Anticounterfeiting Advisor, at firstname.lastname@example.org.