ONLINE COUNTERFEITING AND PIRACY

Whether it’s from a mobile phone, tablet or smart TV, online digital consumption is increasing and becoming the default choice for accessing film, TV, music, books, software and games. However, with this increase and demand comes piracy and as broadband speeds become faster and more affordable, businesses from across the creative industries are seeing more content being pirated and illegally accessed online.

U.S. SANCTIONS

Source: Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC)

Sanctions and Export Control Restrictions for Entities and Individuals

Under U.S. sanctions laws and export control regulations, certain entities and individuals (both foreign and domestic) may be subject to trade sanctions, embargoes, and other restrictions on exports, re-exports, or transfers of U.S.-origin items.  In addition, certain countries may be subject to either comprehensive or targeted sanctions or export restrictions.

ECONOMIC OULOOK FOR EUROPE

  1. Higher energy prices and trade disruptions could destabilise EU firms already weakened by the pandemic.
  2. Rising inflation could push more Europeans under the poverty line. Households will be hit differently across and within countries?
  3. Real economic growth in the European Union is now expected to fall below 3% in 2022, down from the 4% estimated by the European Commission before the war. A recession could happen, and further trade disruptions or increased economic sanctions would increase the risk for the European economy. 

DEALING WITH COUNTERFEITING REQUIRES AN INTERNATIONAL APPROACH

In 1988 I was the Secretary General of the Geneva-based International Committee Against Counterfeiting (COLC) headed by the former President of the Swiss Confederation to fight on an international level against all attacks on intellectual property rights, namely counterfeiting and unfair competition as well as influence international, intergovernmental or supranational organizations as well as government leaders on the need for increased protection and law enforcement. We did call on many governments in Europe and around the world.

AUTHORITARIAN REGIMES OF THE WORLD

Authoritarian regimes are nations where political pluralism is nonexistent or severely limited. These nations are often absolute monarchies or dictatorships may have some conventional institutions of democracy but with meagre significance, infringements and abuses of civil liberties are commonplace, elections (if they take place) are not fair or free (including sham elections), the media is often state-owned or controlled by groups associated with the ruling regime, the judiciary is not independent, and censorship and suppression of governmental criticism are commonplace.

COMPANIES MEMBERS OF TOGETHER AGAINST COUNTERFEITING

  1. Adama (one of the world’s leading crop protection companies providing solutions to control weeds, insects and disease and improve yields). 
  2. Adidas Group (global leader in the sporting-goods industry offering a broad portfolio of footwear,apparel and hardware for sport and lifestyle under the brands adidas, Reebok, Taylor Made and CCMHockey).
  3. Storck (One of the world’s leading confectionary producers with well-known brands such as merci, Werther’s Original and Toffifee).

25 INDUSTRIES TARGETED BY COUNTERFEITERS

  1. Perfumery and Cosmetics
  2. Articles of leather, handbags
  3. Clothing, knitted or crocheted
  4. Clothing accessories, not knitted or crocheted
  5. Knitted or crocheted fabrics
  6. Footwear
  7. Watches
  8. Toys and Games
  9. Jewellery
  10. Made up textile articles
  11. Arms and Ammunitions
  12. Pharmaceutical products
  13. Electrical Machinery and Electronics
  14. Optical, Photographic and Medical Apparatus
  15. Plastic and Plastic Articles
  16. Musical instruments
  17. Machinery and Mechanical Appliances

COUNTERFEIT PACKAGING MATERIALS

In 2019, packaging materials were the third most frequently encountered counterfeit articles seized at the EU’s external border, continuing the trend from 2018 . In 2020, it was the top category . In 2020, packaging materials were also among the five most frequently encountered categories of counterfeit articles seized in the internal market, together with the category of labels, tags and stickers. The most commonly infringed IP violation in relation to packaging materials detained in 2020 were ‘trade marks’ (53 %) and ‘designs’ (46 %).

PIRACY

Piracy is the sale of goods that infringe copyright or design rights. It concerns both physical and digital goods. Piracy entails illegally copying and selling physical goods such as copies of copyright content in the form of CDs and DVDs; replica design objects; Technological Protection Measures (TPM) circumvention devices; TV decoder smartcards; fully loaded set-top boxes or sticks; digital content, such as copied software, activation keys for software, video games or databases; hacked accounts for streaming services; Computer-Aided Design (CAD) files; and e-books .

COUNTERFEIT PHARMACEUTICAL PRODUCTS

Pharmaceutical goods infringing IP rights are a substantial threat to the EU and affect most, if not all, Member States. The trade in counterfeit pharmaceutical products in the EU has been increasing over recent years. The number of counterfeit medicines and other goods seized by EU customs authorities reached 1 172 076 units in 2019, entering the top 10 list of seized products by number of articles. The trend was confirmed in 2020, with medicines appearing as the seventh most-seized products at the EU’s external border.

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