Over the last decade, the counterfeiting and piracy phenomenon has risen to very dangerous dimensions and has become one of the most devastating problems facing world business.
With direct links to organised crime, counterfeiters have become extremely skilled entrepreneurs operating on a global scale. Counterfeiters make expert use of current technology and trade and succeed in producing every imaginable type of fake. Where previously only luxury goods, fashion and music and film products fell victim, nowadays, counterfeiting affects foodstuffs, cosmetics, hygiene products, medicine and spare parts of cars, toys and various types of technical and electronic equipment.
As a result, the danger to our health and safety increases, while at the same time consumers are often not aware that when they buy a fake product there is a good chance that at least part of the money will go to organised crime or child labour.
Within the EU there are already a number of legal instruments in place, such as the Enforcement Directive, but in order to make them more effective the EU is seeking stronger administrative cooperation between authorities at all levels in the fight against piracy and counterfeiting.
On September 2008 the Council adopted a Resolution on a comprehensive EU anti-counterfeiting and anti-piracy plan. This Resolution endorsed the need to step up the fight against fake goods and called for the creation of a European Observatory on Counterfeiting and Piracy.