OHIM’s fight against pirated and counterfeit goods

The European Observatory on Infringement of Intellectual Property rights has in conjunction with the OHIM launched a trial website on the 18/11/13 in response to an overbearing influx of pirated and counterfeit goods in the E.U. market.

The concept is simple, companies register at no cost, information such as distribution channels regarding their goods through a secure and confidential database. The information is then translated into all official participating E.U. languages and sent to the relevant authorities. As IP Kat has stated through their sources at OHIM “that in case of pan-European enforcement actions, the coordination will be faster and will be expanded to law enforcement agencies via EUROPOL”.

The advantages of this system include:

• The tool guides the rights holders in the process of filing an application for action and helps overcome some of the translation issues that they currently have.

• The tool is connected with several intellectual property databases (TMView, geographical indications, DesignView, etc) where updated information about the validity of the different rights can be found.

• The tool provides the user with an alert module.

• The tool has a repository of enforcement authorities that can be used by the different users.

This will benefit companies that have registered national or community designs or trade marks which allow the companies owning those rights a more efficient and active role in defending their rights through effective communication between national and European authorities. Small to medium enterprise businesses which may not necessarily have the same resources as a large enterprise will most likely find this an effective tool in the battle against counterfeit and pirated goods.

The timely introduction of the new E.U. Regulation 608/2013 concerning customs enforcement of intellectual property rights and repealing Council Regulation (EC) No 1383/2003 will only compliment the growing concern for businesses tackling their IP rights being infringed and counterfeited.

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