Journal Article

IP crime: the new face of organized crime

Benoit Godart

in Journal of Intellectual Property Law & Practice

Volume 5, issue 5, pages 378-385
Published in print May 2010 | ISSN: 1747-1532
Published online May 2010 | e-ISSN: 1747-1540 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jiplp/jpq025
IP crime: the new face of organized crime

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Legal context

The Council of the European Union, backed by the findings of a Europol report, has placed commodity counterfeiting and IP theft in a position of high priority within the EU, alongside drug trafficking, smuggling, trafficking in human beings, fraud, Euro counterfeiting, and money laundering. Taking into account the expectations of the Member States and Europol's partners, Europol has set up appropriate projects to develop strategic and operational co-operation in the fight against these forms of criminality.

Key points

IP rights stimulate creation, innovation, and inventiveness. The protection of IPR contributes to economic growth. Conversely, IP-right violations, including counterfeiting and piracy, adversely affect the economy, society, its citizens and its consumers. Counterfeiting, increasingly widespread, is no longer limited to luxury products or so-called ‘designer’ clothing—it is a global problem affecting all types of goods, ranging from books, shoes, and computers to CDs, DVDs, games and products which could affect health and safety, eg electrical equipment, chemicals, tools, mobile phone batteries, spare parts, toys, beverages, foodstuffs, and counterfeit medicines. Furthermore, the globalization of economies and the more widespread use of the internet have benefited not only legitimate business but also the expansion of IP crime.

Practical significance

Despite genuine progress regarding co-operation between law enforcement bodies to combat IP crime at EU level, we are not yet out of the woods. Differences between IP legislation at the EU level, coupled with the multiplicity of stakeholders, are still an obstacle to more effective co-operation in IP crime. However, on the other hand, new initiatives, such as the implementation of new legal provisions, will help the enforcement community face the manifold challenges.

Journal Article.  5211 words. 

Subjects: Arbitration ; Intellectual Property Law

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