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March 15, 2021 News
EUIPO and Eurojust step up cooperation to tackle IP crime
The EUIPO and the European Union Agency for Criminal Justice Cooperation (Eurojust) are stepping up their cooperation to more effectively tackle criminal abuse of intellectual property rights in the field of counterfeiting and online piracy. A Service Level Agreement (SLA) was signed to boost Eurojust’s capacity and expand its expertise to support complex investigations in this field.
As IP crime is increasingly considered linked to organised crime and part of other serious criminal offences, it has become essential to intensify the fight against IP infringements, notably in the online environment.
In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, in which the problem of counterfeiting and piracy has gained new momentum with the illegal production and distribution of fake protective equipment and face masks, tackling IP crime is key to protect consumers and preserve a healthy economy and support the recovery of legitimate businesses, notably creative and innovative ones.
The Agreement, which provides for EUR 750 000 in extra funding for Eurojust until the end of 2024, will contribute to building up additional expertise capacity to combat this kind of criminal activity.
The strengthened cooperation between the EUIPO and Eurojust will also give strong impetus to the European Intellectual Property Prosecutors Network (EIPPN), in particular to improve the knowledge, experience and research on the business models behind the infringements of intellectual property rights. It will also help raise awareness among prosecutors and judges and is of great importance to develop and identify up-to-date materials to answer recurring questions on intellectual property crime investigations and prosecutions.
In addition to the agreement, the EUIPO has also published a report on international judicial cooperation in online IP infringement cases. The report highlights the variety of legal remedies available and presents a series of examples of successful judicial cooperation, including the key role of Eurojust in facilitating effective cooperation in the fight against IP crime.