The fight against fakes - CEPOL and international experts join forces

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23 May 2014

On 25 to 28 March 2014, CEPOL, and specifically the Italian unit, delivered a Goods and Intellectual Properties Counterfeiting course (04/2014) in Rome. The course was attended by 29 Senior Police Officers and Customs Officers from 18 EU Member States, Iceland and Switzerland.

The course was delivered in cooperation with the Guardia di Finanza Corps(1) and with the support of France, United Kingdom, OHIM (the European Office for the Harmonisation of the Internal Market), Europol, Interpol and the Joint International Research Centre on Transnational Crime at the Catholic University of Milan and the University of Trento (Transcrime).

The aims of the course were to enhance participants’ knowledge on:

  • EU Policy Cycle - Multi-Annual Strategic Plans (MASPs) - particularly on counterfeit goods priorities;
  • Current structures of international cooperation in light of activities conducted in pursuance of the Counterfeit Goods MASP; and,
  • Awareness of the national legislations against counterfeiting in Europe and the police techniques applicable.

Goods and Intellectual Properties Counterfeiting course

All participants gave a presentation about their own national strategies. The French expert focused on the competencies of the Central Office for the fight against the Environment and the Public Health Crimes and provided case studies about counterfeiting of foods and medicines.

The British expert focused on the tackling of online intellectual property infringements and on the UK Intellectual Property Office (UK IPO), the UK agency which registers and grants IP rights in patents, designs and trademarks.

The representative of OHIM spoke about the main tasks of the EU Observatory on Infringements of Intellectual Property Rights underlining its three main aims: to provide facts and evidence for use in the formulation of effective IP policies by policymakers, to create tools and resources to sharpen the fight against IP infringements, and to raise awareness of IP and the negative effects of counterfeiting and piracy.

The Interpol expert delivered a presentation on its Programme to Combat Trafficking in Illicit Goods and on, Black Poseidon, an operation that in 2013 led to more than 1,400 individuals being arrested or placed under investigation for counterfeiting.

The course also included a visit to the command and control room of the Italian Customs Agency.

Participants agreed that further training activities in this field, to include workshops and discussion based on actual cases, would be beneficial.

(1) The Guardia di Finanza Corps plays a major role in the fight against counterfeiting and in conjunction with Europol, is an EU Policy Cycle driver.

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