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The European Observatory

The European Observatory on Counterfeiting and Piracy To properly combat counterfeiting and piracy no one can work in isolation. As a result, consumers, public administrations and industry need to work together more closely to set up more creative and effective methods of fighting the problem.

To encourage greater collaboration the European Commission has created the European Observatory on Counterfeiting and Piracy which serves as a platform to join forces, to exchange experiences and information and to share best practices on enforcement.

The Observatory also functions as a central resource for gathering, monitoring and reporting crucial information that will improve our knowledge about the dangerous phenomenon of counterfeiting and piracy, and will allow us to target our enforcement resources.



First Joint Plenary meeting of National Representatives and private stakeholders

The first meeting of National representatives from Member Sates and private sector stakeholders of the European Observatory for Counterfeiting and Piracy took place in Madrid on 10th June 2010.

Participants worked in close partnership to review the ongoing work of the Observatory, to discuss how key pillars of work should be taken forward and to offer suggestions on how best build on the progress made in the first year.

The next meeting of private stakeholders will be in autumn 2010.

Conference documents

Studies of the Legal Sub-group

In the context of the European Observatory on Counterfeiting and Piracy, the private sector members called for the establishment of a professional and technical group of legal practitioners, to horizontally assess intellectual property rights legal framework.

'REAL fake' Competition

The European Commission and Members of the European Parliament organized a competition for schools on counterfeiting and piracy.

Call for tenders

In March 2010 the Directorate General for the Internal Market launched a tender for a contract for a com­pre­hen­sive study that, through defining a methodology, would quantify the scope, scale and impact of counterfeiting and piracy on European economy in the Internal Market. This contract will be the first stage in an aim to continuously assess the problem and to develop evidence based policies in the area of intellectual property rights.

This invitation to tender is open to bidders from the Member States of the European Union and the European Economic Area, as well as States covered by the Public Procurement Agreement concluded within the World Trade Organisation, in accordance with the principle of reciprocity.

Further details can be accessed here.

Second meeting of private stakeholders

The second meeting of private stakeholders of the European Observatory for Counterfeiting and Piracy took place in Brussels in February 2010. Amongst a range of topics, participants will be looking at structures and strategies in place across the EU, systems for exchanging information and public awareness. Please follow the information on this website for more details.

First meeting of national representatives

The first Member States’ meeting of the European Observatory on Counterfeiting and Piracy was hosted by the Swedish Presidency on the 14th of December 2009, in Stockholm. The meeting was held to exchange views with the national experts, nominated by public authorities, about the overall mission, objectives, governance and future structure of the Observatory. The participants expressed their views on how the Observatory should function and its main objectives. This led to a broad consensus on its aims and governance and an agreement that the Observatory will require the active long-term engagement and support of Member States.

First meeting of private stakeholders

The first meeting of the private stakeholders of the European Observatory on Counterfeiting and Piracy took place on the 4th of September 2009. The main goal of the meeting was to exchange views with stakeholders about the overall mission, objectives, governance and future structure of the Observatory. The discussions during the meeting were successful, and led to a general agreement on the aims and strategy of the Observatory.

What is the European Observatory on Counterfeiting and Piracy?

The Observatory has been launched to:

  • improve the quality of information and statistics related to counterfeiting and piracy on the Internal Market of the EU
  • identify and spread national best practice strategies and enforcement techniques from both the public as well as the private sector
  • help raise public awareness.

The Observatory is focused on active delivery and as such, it has already commenced work in a number of key areas. As an example, the Commission has carried out an exercise to identify structures and frameworks currently in place to combat IP infringements, within Member States. Private stakeholders have been keen to offer advice and assistance on developing the study work.

Three initial subgroups have been created within the Observatory. The topics of the subgroups are surrounding data gathering, existing legal frameworks and public awareness. Subgroup participants are already providing reports and studies to help in the functioning of the Observatory, and have committed to do so in the future.

How is the Observatory structured?

The Observatory is based on existing Commission structures and will also make use of external expertise. External experts will be chosen through open public tenders. If you are interested in getting involved, please look regularly at this web site.

Who is participating in the work of the Observatory?

The Observatory is composed of members from both the private and public sectors.

Private industry representatives from a broad range of European and national associations, regularly engaged and experienced in fighting counterfeiting and piracy, were invited to represent a wide diversity of sectors and geographical areas. These participants have also been invited to contribute to specialised working groups.

In respect of public sector representatives, Member States have designated national representatives to take part. Member States were asked to nominate representatives who have established relations with private industry and share a common know-how in fighting counterfeiting and piracy. The national representatives also have broad experience in internal and external coordination and are familiar with the design of consumer awareness-raising activities.

How is the work delivered?

The day-to-day work is coordinated and driven by the European Commission and appointed external contractors.

Regular meetings involving private sector participants, national representatives and external experts are taking place. Alongside these meetings, technical working groups are set up to work on specific issues and deliver practical results.

An annual Observatory report will also be published.

Who to contact if you have questions concerning the Observatory?

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at the following email address: markt-iprobservatory´╝á

Useful links

Policy Background

  • On 11 September 2009 the Commission adopted a Communicationpdf Choose translations of the previous link  on Enhancing the enforcement of intellectual property rights in the internal market (see in particular chapter 2 on the creation of the Observatory)
  • On 2 April 2009 the Commission launched the European Observatory on Counterfeiting and Piracy.
  • On 25 September 2008 the Council adopted a Resolutionpdf on a Comprehensive European Anti-counterfeiting and Anti-piracy Plan, where the Commission was asked to set up a European Observatory on Counterfeiting and Piracy.