International cooperation is an integral part of the core business of the EUIPO and part of its Strategic Plan. We cooperate with the European Commission, EU agencies and international organisations to facilitate and support law enforcement action in the Member States. To help enforcement authorities develop their understanding and to assist them in their investigative work, we also provide IP training, best practice exchange activities, a series of guides and access to key resources.
The European Observatory on Infringements on Intellectual Property Rights (the Observatory) works together with other EU institutions, EU agencies and international organisations involved in the fight against IP crime. The European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation (Europol) is one of the Observatory’s main cooperation partners through the work of the Intellectual Property Crime Coordinated Coalition (IPC3).
The Observatory collaborates closely with different Directorate-Generals (DGs) of the EU Commission (e.g. the DG for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (DG GROW), the DG for Taxation and Customs Union (DG TAXUD), the DG for Justice and Consumers (DG JUST) and the DG for Trade (DG TRADE). The indications provided by DG TAXUD can help enforcers in the EU identify fakes and other IPR-infringing goods.
Further cooperation exists with the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF), the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Training (CEPOL), the European Union Agency for Criminal Justice Cooperation (EUROJUST) in the context of a newly created prosecutor’s network (EIPPN) and the European Patent Office. Espacenet, the European Patent Office’s database, offers free access to more than 70 million patent documents worldwide, containing information about inventions and technical developments from 1836 to the present.
The Observatory also provides support to DG TRADE in the preparation and dissemination of the Third Country and the Counterfeit and Piracy Watch List reports.
In addition, the Observatory organises a high-level meeting with representatives from the European Commission’s Directorates-General and the EU agencies to discuss and align strategies in the fight against IP crime, and the Coordination Group on IP Rights meetings (with representatives from the European Commission, EU agencies and international organisations) to coordinate activities, enhance cooperation between stakeholders and adopt a harmonised approach towards IP issues.
At international level, the Observatory contributes to the fight against the international trade of IPR‑infringing goods by providing support in the implementation of EU‑funded programmes. This cooperation takes a variety of forms, for example, assistance with studies, exchanges with market surveillance authorities (MSA) and enforcement authorities, as well as seminars and other knowledge-sharing activities.
Furthermore, the Observatory participates in the OECD’s Task Force on Countering Illicit Trade, under whose auspices the joint EUIPO-OECD studies are carried out, to discuss future areas of work, as well as to contribute to the implementation of the Code of Conduct for Clean Free Trade Zones following the adoption of a recommendation by the OECD Council in 2019.
In addition, the Observatory cooperates with the World Intellectual Property Organization notably by participating in the Advisory Committee on Enforcement to promote good practices in enforcement.
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