ECTA TAKES A STAND - POSITION PAPER ON THE INTERPRETATION OF TECHNICAL FUNCTIONALITY UNDER ART. (8)1 CDR
ECTA Members’ Voice: The fight against counterfeit cannot be only legal. Technological solutions are essential to increase the effectiveness of anti-counterfeiting strategies - The Observatory publishes an Anti-Counterfeiting Technology Guide.
Sign up for the ECTA virtual Round Table - Influencers, super brands and celebs: just fame or a brand with a repute? - 11 February 2021
European Commission: Consultation on the revision of the EU GIs systems in agricultural products and foodstuffs, wines and spirit drinks
ECTA TAKES A STAND - POSITION PAPER ON THE CONCEPT OF “REPUTATION” IN GEOGRAPHICAL INDICATIONS BY ECTA GI COMMITTEE
ECTA Member’s Voice: Benelux IPO abolishes paper applications and changes Rules on evidence submission
COMMISSION PUBLISHED THE INCEPTION IMPACT ASSESSMENT ON GI PROTECTION AT EU LEVEL FOR NON-AGRI PRODUCTS
EUROPEAN COMMISSION (DG AGRI) AND EUIPO - DIGITAL CONFERENCE ‘STRENGTHENING GEOGRAPHICAL INDICATIONS’
ECTA MEMBERS’ VOICE: The Dark Knight rises above…again. WIPO reveals Batman was the most used Franchise Character in Movies and Games throughout the years.
ECTA MEMBERS’ VOICE: Do You Like “Anji Bai Cha”? EU-China Agreement on Geographical Indications is Signed!
EUIPO Observatory: Intellectual Property Infringement and Enforcement Tech Watch Discussion Paper 2020
ECTA MEMBERS’ VOICE - WIPO new free database of judicial decisions on intellectual property from around the world has been launched
EUROPEAN COMMISSION STUDY ON EVALUATION OF PRACTICES FOR COMBATING SPECULATIVE AND ABUSIVE .EU DOMAIN NAME REGISTRATIONS
EUROPEAN COMMISSION: NEW REPORTS DEMONSTRATING THE IMPACT OF MoU ON FIGHTING ONLINE COUNTERFEITING AND PIRACY
ECTA WEBINAR 'PARALLEL IMPORTS: HOW IMPORTANT IS A TRADE MARK? A LIMITLESS SEA? (PHARMA PERSPECTIVE)' - 11 JUNE 2020!
INFORMATION EXCHANGE ON COVID-19 PROTECTION PRODUCTS VIA THE EUIPO OBSERVATORY IP ENFORCEMENT PORTAL
Publication: WIPO Collection of Leading Judgments on Intellectual Property Rights People’s Republic of China (2011–2018)
The WIPO Mediation Pledge for IP and Technology Disputes: Why consider mediation for IP- and tech-related disputes?
Withdrawal of the notification made under Rule 20bis(6)(a) of the Common Regulations under the Madrid Agreement and the Madrid Protocol: Germany
EUIPO Observatory Publications: Case-law Collection on the Liability and Obligations of Intermediary Service Providers
ECTA 39TH ANNUAL CONFERENCE – REGISTRATION NOW OPEN FOR NON-MEMBERS AND MEMBERS ALIKE!
All IP colleagues can now register for the ECTA 39th Annual Conference ‘Waltzing with IP’ on 21/22 October, either in Vienna and online! If you register as a non-member to attend the event on-site, you will also get the opportunity to join ECTA free of charge for the rest of 2021. If you are a member who has not signed up yet, secure your place fast at a reduced fee: on-site places will be allocated on a first come-first served basis until capacity is reached. Hurry up and REGISTER HERE! This year we have worked even harder to ensure a captivating programme! Thursday, 21 October will be fully dedicated to ECTA Supervisory Board and Committee meetings, whereas Friday, 22 October will be an immersive educational and networking day with most distinguished guests and speakers such as WIPO Director General Daren Tang. Besides, to evoke the original format of the ECTA’s Annual Conference, our usual Wednesday workshops will be offered exclusively online one week before the event on 13 October, as part of the ‘Conference package’. To find out more about what we have planned for you, check out the Programme! The health and safety of our Conference participants is ECTA’s main concern, therefore, our attendees will be required to strictly comply with all Austrian COVID-19 regulations (Austrian State, Federal Government or City of Vienna) at the time of registration and at the time of travelling and participating in the event. Austrian COVID-19 regulations are regularly updated here and here. In addition, participants may be required to provide proof of their Covid eligibility to enter Austria and to participate in the event, if requested on-site. We are looking forward to welcoming many IP colleagues either in Vienna or online!
EUIPO ACADEMY'S LEARNING AND TRAINING IN SEPTEMBER
The EUIPO’s Academy offers webinar courses every Tuesday. These sessions are open to all and a live chat with the speakers will be made available. Please note that the recorded webinars are available on the EUIPO learning portal after the broadcast. The September schedule of the webinars is as follows: Tuesday 14 September, 10:00-11:30 (CET): Success factors for internationalisation - Basic Tuesday 21 September, 10:00-11:00 (CET): Certification and Collective marks - Intermediate Tuesday 28 September, 10:00-11:00 (CET): Track on case Law: Decisions of the trimester of the EUIPO Boards of Appeal - Decisions of the trimester of the GC and CJEU (Q3) - Advanced Visit the Academy's Calendar to access the webinars and see the latest updates for the upcoming months. On the EUIPO Learning Portal you can also find the following eLearning courses: - Promote creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship with IdeasPowered@school resources! - Basic - Link - Storytelling for impact - Basic - Link - IP Mediation at the EUIPO: the mediators' perspective and experience - Basic - Link - IP behind and inside movies – a practical analysis of today's movie industry. Webinar organised in collaboration with the EPO - Intermediate - Link For further information please visit the Academy's Learning Portal.
WIPO: VIRTUAL EXHIBITION AND WORLDWIDE SYMPOSIUM ON GIs
As of today until 6 March 2022, WIPO hosts a Virtual Exhibition on Geographical Indications. The exhibition offers visitors the opportunity to learn more about geographical indications, including the Lisbon System for the International Registration of Appellations of Origin and Geographical Indications, as well as examples of geographical indications from numerous countries around the world for different types of products. The initiative is organised on the occasion of the Worldwide Symposium on Geographical Indications (6-8 September 2021), which brings together representatives of national administrations, GI producers and specialists to exchange ideas on issues relating to the topic as well as offers technical insights and information on recent developments in the field. ECTA Data Committee Chair Delia Belciu has the pleasure to intervene as a speaker in the panel ‘Challenges for Geographical Indications and the Internet Domain Name System’ (Wednesday, 8 September), while ECTA Geographical Indications Chair Paola Ruggiero will attend the event on behalf of our Association. To find out more about the Symposium and follow the discussions via webcasting, please click here. The Virtual Exhibition is also open to the public on WIPO’s website in six languages: English, Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian and Spanish.
SMEs fund - fifth and last application window open until 30 September
SMEs can apply for financing support under the new Ideas Powered for Business SME Fund until 30 September. This is the fifth and last windows for applications. The Fund is a € 20 million grant scheme to help enterprises in the EU, that fit the official definition of a SME, access their IP rights. Applications can be made for financial support in the form of reimbursements for trade mark and design application and for IP pre-diagnostic services (IP scan) available at participating national and regional IP offices*. Each SME that applies can be reimbursed up to a maximum amount of € 1.500. Thanks to the efforts of some User Associations, including ECTA, professional IP representatives can now assist SMEs in deciding about the services offered through the SME Fund as well as requesting the funding in their name. This is a change in comparison to January window 1. Full information about the requirements and how to apply for financing support can be consulted on the EUIPO website here. Grants are awarded on a first come, first served basis. *Before applying, you should check the list to ensure that the IP office in your Member State offers this service.
EUIPO IP Course for Paralegals (14-15 September)
This year’s EUIPO IP Course for Paralegals will be held online on 14 and 15 September 2021. The course will give participants in-depth knowledge of the updates made to the EUIPO’s practice with practical examples and exercises. The programme will also include two panel discussions covering brand protection in the online environment and the EUIPO initiatives to support SMEs (ADR, pro bono services, easy e-filing, SME corner). As an ECTA, you are entitled to attend this course free of charge by registering HERE before 9 September.
EUIPO TMD Webinar series - including ECTA and BMM joint webinar
The EUIPO ECP7 TMD Implementation Training project has organised, in collaboration with National IPOs and User Associations, including ECTA, a series of live webinars which will cover topics related to the changes brought about by the transposition of the Trade Mark Directive in each country. This first set of webinars will be broadcasted via Zoom every Thursday, from 16 September until 9 December, and will be done in the respective national language (as appropriate) and English. Each presentation will take approximately 20 minutes plus 10 extra minutes for Q&A. In particular, ECTA and BMM will run a joint webinar on 9 December (10.00-12.00 CET). Both Associations representatives will speak about what has changed in the trade mark opposition procedure as well as in the cancellation, invalidity, revocation procedure from the Benelux, Romania, Italy and other EU jurisdictions perspectives. To find out more about the scheduled webinars and register for those you are interested in, please click here.
EUIPO LEARNING AND TRAINING IN AUGUST
On the EUIPO Learning Portal you can find the following recently published eLearning courses: - New Forms of Trade Marks in the European Union - Basic - Link - Amendment and restriction of lists of goods and services: practice, tricks and tips - Basic - Link -Generating income and impact with IP licensing - Basic - Link - IP behind and inside movies – a practical analysis of today's movie industry. Webinar organised in collaboration with the EPO - Intermediate - Link For further information please visit the Academy's Learning Portal. To find out more about the upcoming EUIPO Tuesday webinars viisit the Academy's Calendar.
New Decision of the Executive Director on the payment of fees and charges
The EUIPO Executive Director signed a new Decision (No EX-21-5) on 21 July concerning methods of payment of fees and charges. This decision repeals previous decision No EX-17-7. This new decision expressly allows those defined as ‘authorised persons’ in renewal proceedings (pursuant to Article 53(1) EUTMR and Article 13(1) CDR respectively) to now hold a current account with the Office so they can process and pay their renewals for both EUTMs and RCDs, pursuant to Article 3(d. The change has been implemented to enhance the efficiency of the renewal payments process and to remove any discrimination in the payment methods made available to authorised persons compared to other types of user.
ECTA CREATES THE SME TASK FORCE
As the SME topic is very high on the agenda of the EUIPO, WIPO and European Commission, ECTA decided to create an ad hoc Task Force to better follow the developments in this regard. The task force is Chaired by Past ECTA President Sozos-Christos Theodoulou (CY) and composed of other experienced members of the ECTA Advisory Board, Supervisory Board and Professional Affairs Committee. The task force, already involved in the ECP6 Working Group ‘Supporting SMEs’ and EUIPO Expert Group on ‘SMEs’, will also deal with other SME-related projects and initiatives to empower SMEs across and beyond the EU to protect and enforce their competitive advantage through IP rights.
WIPO RELEASED THE MADRID SYSTEM YEARLY REVIEW
WIPO has recently released the latest edition of the Madrid System Yearly Review, providing facts and figures as well as an analysis of international trade mark registrations in 2020. The report shows that the number of international applications filed fell by 0.6% in 2020, while international registrations fell by 3.2%. However, the overall number of active (in force) registrations increased by 4%, while renewals increased by 11.6%. Despite one-year declines, applicants based in the US (10.005) and Germany (7.334) continued to file the highest numbers of Madrid applications in 2020. From among the top 10 origins, China recorded the higher growth in 2020 (+16.4%). However, the UK (+5.1%) and Italy (+3.6%) also reported notable growth. On the other hand, Madrid applications from France (-16.3%), Switzerland (-5.4%) and Turkey (-15.4%) saw the biggest declines among the top 10 origins. The Review also includes a special theme, comparing the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and the global financial crisis of 2008-2009. Read the Executive Summary here.
ECTA-WIPO BILATERAL MEETING
On 28 June 2021, ECTA and WIPO held a virtual meeting to discuss topics of mutual interest and importance such as: • Consequences for the Madrid and Hague System after Brexit; • WIPO’s information and communication technology (ICT) strategy; • Next steps planned by WIPO in respect of the AI issues; • Issues and concerns regarding security on existence of rights in China. Newly elected WIPO Director General Daren Tang attended the Bilateral Meeting, along with other WIPO colleagues, ECTA President, Head of Legal Affairs and WIPO-Link Committee representatives. ECTA is extremely grateful to WIPO and ECTA members for the willingness to discuss ways to improve Global IP systems, especially during the many Bilateral Meetings we have held regularly over the past years. We look forward to further fruitful collaboration with WIPO and continuation of the open dialogue we have established together.
EUIPO TRADE MARK AND DESIGN EDUCATION PROGRAMME – REGISTRATION CLOSES ON 30 JUNE
Last days to register for the 4th edition of the EUIPO Trade Mark and Design Education Programme for Practitioners and the 1st edition of the Programme for Paralegals. The Education Programme, which is held annually, has been created to offer structured training to the community of intellectual property professionals, helping them to better support EU businesses and, in so doing, to strengthen the trade mark and design registration systems managed by the EUIPO. - 4th edition of the ETMD EP for Practitioners The EUIPO Trade Mark and Design Education Programme for Practitioners has been specially designed to accommodate the training needs of intellectual property practitioners dealing with the registration and prosecution of European Union trade marks and Community designs. This edition offers 60 places, starts in September 2021 and lasts until May 2022. - 1st edition of the ETMD EP for Paralegals This newly introduced programme is a custom-made training course mainly intended for professionals working as intellectual property administrators, legal assistants, company employees who deal with legal matters or similar. This edition offers 50 places, starts in September 2021 and lasts until February 2022. Registration for both programmes closes on 30 June 2021 and places will be allocated on a first come - first served basis. For more information about the programme, please visit the ETMD EP website. ECTA is honoured to continue to be closely involved in this initiative by participating actively on the Steering Committee and Examination Board as well as nominating speakers/teachers for the programme. ECTA has been advocating for the need of a special programme for paralegals and is looking forward with enthusiasm to the first edition of this important initiative. We encourage our members and paralegals in their firms to enrol and take part in the programmes.
EUIPO webpage on E-commerce marketplaces’ IP protection tools
The EUIPO has recently launched a new webpage that gathers useful information regarding e-commerce marketplaces’ IP protection tools. The purpose is to make it easier for businesses to take action against IP infringements and protect customers by using the resources made available by these marketplaces. In particular, the EUIPO platform provides guidance on notification systems, IP protection programmes and contact points for those e-commerce marketplaces that have provided the Office with such information (e.g. Ebay, Etsy, Amazon, Subito, Wish, Facebook, etc.). If you need any further information in this regard, please contact email@example.com.
ECTA JUNE BULLETIN IS OUT!
Many interesting updates in IP are waiting for you in the June edition of the ECTA Bulletin! You will find a report from our successful 2021 ECTA ®etreat and learn more about the work of our Committees. Among other interesting articles, flip through the review on the implementation into French Law of the Art. 45 of the Directive 2015/2436 (EU Trade Mark Reform Package) and the analysis of judgement C-833/18 (Brompton Bicycle v. Chedech/Get2Get), where the CJEU evaluated how appearance features of products with technical functions can benefit from copyright protection. You will also read about the Allatini Case (Decision No. 87/2020 Athens Court of First Instance), the protection against architectural plagiarism, the enforcement of well-known trade marks in Africa as well as the innovative solutions offered by IP service providers. Not to be missed: the review of the book for kids ‘How the World Really Works: Intellectual Property’ and our welcome to the new members of the ECTA family! For ECTA members, the print-friendly pdf version is available in the Library section of the ECTA Private Site. Enjoy reading it! If you would like to contribute to the next ECTA Bulletin or other ECTA publications, please contact our Publications Committee at firstname.lastname@example.org
ECTA MEETINGS START TODAY!
Starting from today to 25 June, ECTA will hold the Supervisory Board and Committee Meetings to discuss ECTA strategic and financial aspects, network with peers, advance projects as well as learn about recent case law, legislative and policy developments. Besides, all ECTA members are invited to join us at the Annual General Meeting on 25 June. Don’t forget that two other sessions of the ECTA Debate Club are taking place in the upcoming days: Friday, 25 June (14.00-15.30 CET): Proof of use of a trade mark. A very important factor for all countries? (Session Partner: Koushos Korfiotis Papacharalambous LLC) Tuesday, 29 June (11.00-12.30 CET): Are we in a new era in the fight against trade mark squatting in China? (Session Partner: AWA) The ECTA Debate Club June 2021 is organised with the support of Knowledge Partner Koushos Korfiotis Papacharalambous LLC. If you are a member interested to debate on these topics, pre-register free of charge via the ECTA Private Site/News Section. Hurry up, few places are still available! We wish good luck and very fruitful meetings and debates to our fellow ECTA members!
ECTA Members’ Voice: National implementation of the new Directive on copyright: the deadline has passed, but not much is happening. An update.
By Fabio Angelini, ECTA Copyright Committee Vice-Chair, Bugnion S.p.A. (IT) Despite much fanfare and somewhat wishful thinking headlines by the European Commission (cf. ‘New EU copyright rules that will benefit creators, businesses and consumers start to apply'), 7 June 2021 marked another disappointing step in the so far quite arduous path of the Directive (EU) 2019/790 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 April 2019 on copyright and related rights in the Digital Single Market and amending Directives 96/9/EC and 2001/29/EC (the ‘New Copyright Directive’). Indeed, while according to Art. 29 of the New Copyright Directive Member States were required to bring into force the laws, regulations and administrative provisions necessary to comply with this Directive by 7 June 2021, at this time, only a handful have done so. To the best of my knowledge, only Denmark and Germany have actually passed bills to implement the full text of the New Copyright Directive, (cf. here), while the European Commission website reports that only France, Hungary and Czech Republic have notified the Commission of having implemented some part of the New Copyright Directive (cf. here). Surely it did not help Member States that the European Commission waited until 4 June 2021 to publish its ‘Guidance on Article 17 of Directive 2019/790’ (possibly the most contested and controversial article of the New Copyright Directive), which is certainly an interesting document to read, but whose effectiveness at this time, when many Member States have already engaged in lengthy internal discussions and various draft bills are pending, is doubtful. Another factor in the delay of implementation could also be the challenge by Poland at the Court of Justice (cf. case C-401/19, action brought on 24 May 2019 — Republic of Poland v European Parliament and Council of the European Union) where Poland is seeking the annulment of Article 17(4)(b) and Article 17(4)(c), in fine (i.e. the part containing the following wording: ‘and made best efforts to prevent their future uploads in accordance with point (b)’) or in the alternative, should the Court find that the contested provisions cannot be deleted from Article 17 without substantively changing the rules contained in the remaining provisions of that article, that the Court annul Article 17 in its entirety. As widely reported, Poland alleged infringement of the right to freedom of expression and information guaranteed by Article 11 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, claiming specifically that the imposition on online content-sharing service providers of the obligation to make best efforts to ensure the unavailability of specific works and other subject-matter for which the right holders have provided the service providers with the relevant and necessary information and the imposition on online content-sharing service providers of the obligation to make best efforts to prevent the future uploads of protected works or other subject-matter for which the rightsholders have lodged a sufficiently substantiated notice, make it necessary for the service providers (in order to avoid liability) to carry out prior automatic verification (filtering) of content uploaded online by users, and therefore make it necessary to introduce preventive control mechanisms. Thus, according to Poland, such mechanisms undermine the essence of the right to freedom of expression and information and do not comply with the requirement that limitations imposed on that right be proportional and necessary. The Advocate General had said it would render his opinion in April 21, but then the Court of Justice announced that the opinion would be delayed until July 15 (cf. here). Thus, it is perhaps comprehensible that Member States are not rushing to implement the New Copyright Directive. The ECTA Copyright Committee is closely following the implementation of the New Copyright Directive and welcomes contributions and comments by all ECTA members. ---- The views expressed are those of our members and not necessarily of ECTA as an association. The content has not been subjected to a verification process, the accuracy of the information contained in the article is responsibility of the author.
EUIPO LAUNCHED A NEW OUT-OF-COMMERCE WORKS PORTAL
The EUIPO launched a new Out-Of-Commerce Works Portal, a platform where to access information about ongoing and future uses of out-of-commerce works: books, films, or visual works, that are still protected by copyright but are no longer or have never been commercially available. Cultural heritage institutions contain millions of out-of-commerce works in their collections, which still hold value for research or education purposes or are simply entertaining. Directive (EU) 2019/790 introduced a legal framework to support the digitisation and cross-border dissemination of out-of-commerce works. Information about these works has to be stored in a public single online portal, the creation and management of which has been entrusted to the EUIPO. The regime will complement the measures already in place for the use of orphan works at European level such as the Orphan Works Database.
WORLD ANTI-COUNTERFEITING DAY 2021: RISKS AND DAMAGES POSED BY IPR INFRINGEMENT IN EUROPE
Today is the World Anti-Counterfeiting Day and the EUIPO has launched a Pan-European Campaign to raise awareness of the risks and damages posed by IPR infringement in Europe. According to the EUIPO study European Citizens and Intellectual Property, consumers still find it difficult to distinguish between genuine and fake goods. Nearly one in ten Europeans (9%) claimed that they were misled into buying counterfeits, with significant differences among EU Countries: Member States with a higher proportion of misled consumers are Bulgaria (19%), Romania (16%) and Hungary (15%), while Sweden (2%) and Denmark (3%) have the lowest figures within the EU. In a context where e-commerce is booming (over 70% of Europeans shopped online in 2020, according to Eurostat) uncertainty regarding counterfeit products remains a concern among EU citizens. According to the study, a third of Europeans (33%) wondered whether a product they had bought was original. A joint study by the EUIPO and the OECD shows that counterfeits represent 6.8% of EU imports worth EUR 121 billion and they impact every sector: cosmetics, toys, wine and beverages, electronics, clothing and even pesticides. During the COVID-19 pandemic, concern over counterfeit products has risen with a sensitive increase of counterfeit medicines and other medical products (e.g. antibiotics, painkillers, personal protective equipment, face masks, etc.). In addition to the health and safety risks, counterfeits often lead to security breaches and financial losses. Digital piracy is another lucrative market for infringers, especially in the case of IPTV - televised content acquired through an internet connection. Providers of illegal IPTV gain almost EUR 1 billion euro every year in the EU, harming content creators and legitimate businesses. Besides, counterfeiting not only affects consumers but also entails significant damage to the EU economy and, in particular, to SMEs. According to the IP SME scoreboard published by the EUIPO, one out of four SMEs in Europe claims to have suffered from IP infringement. To find out more about risks and damages posed by IPR infringement in Europe, please read here and here. ----- ECTA is also actively contributing to the fight against counterfeiting by sharing professional experience and best practices at the EU level and beyond, inter alia in its Anti-Counterfeiting Committee. To learn more about our Anti-Counterfeiting Committee, please click here.
ECTA Debate Club and June Meetings
June has just arrived, and we are looking forward to having you on board for our upcoming initiatives and meetings! We are about to launch the registration for the new online ECTA Debate Club, a series of educational and networking IP sessions open to a maximum of 30 members. Here is what you can expect to debate on: Tuesday, 15 June (14.00-15.30 CET): Registrability of trade marks against public order or morality Thursday, 17 June (14.00-15.30 CET): NFTs – A brave new world, or the emperor’s new clothes? (Session Partner: Wiggin LLP) Friday, 25 June (14.00-15.30 CET): Proof of use of a trade mark. A very important factor for all countries? (Session Partner: Koushos Korfiotis Papacharalambous LLC) Tuesday, 29 June (11.00-12.30 CET): Are we in a new era in the fight against trade mark squatting in China? (Session Partner: AWA) All sessions are organised with the support of Knowledge Partner of the ECTA Debate Club June 2021 Koushos Korfiotis Papacharalambous LLC. Save the date and look out for ECTA emails announcing each session separately with the respective registration link or check the ECTA Private Site/News Section. Places will be assigned on a first come-first served basis, so make sure you apply quickly! Besides, from 21 to 25 June, we will hold online Supervisory Board and Committee Meetings. While the Supervisory Board will discuss ECTA strategic and financial aspects, Committee Meetings will be an invaluable opportunity to network with peers, advance projects and learn about recent case law, legislative and policy developments. All ECTA members are invited to join us at the Annual General Meeting on 25 June. To consult the schedule of June events, please click here.
ECTA MEMBER’S VOICE - AT LAST: COUNTERFEITING ON THE POLITICAL PRIORITY LIST IN BRUSSELS
By Gie van den Broek, ECTA Anti-Counterfeiting Committee, LXA The Law Firm (NL) and Bartosz Krakowiak, ECTA Anti-Counterfeiting Committee, POLSERVICE Patent and Trademark Attorneys Office (PL) Over the past years, various international institutions have hit the alarm regarding the undermining impact of counterfeit products on society as a whole. Counterfeiting costs jobs, it can endanger health, it can be interrelated with money laundering and funding of terrorism, in most cases, it is related to tax evasion. It hurts the economy and is theft of intellectual property in any case. Counterfeit products find their way to consumers in a few online clicks nowadays. This requires action and political courage to change the rules. With a set of conclusions under the name EMPACT (European multi-disciplinary platform against criminal threats administered by Europol), the Council of the European Union has now formally earmarked IP crime and counterfeiting as one of the priorities to be implemented in an operational action plan with an aim defined as follows: 'to combat and disrupt criminal networks and criminal individual entrepreneurs involved in IP crime and in the production, sale or distribution (physical and online) of counterfeit goods or currencies, with a specific focus on goods harmful to consumers’ health and safety, to the environment and to the EU economy.' To find out more, please read here and here. ---- ECTA is a recognised discussion partner for the most important public and political bodies such as EU Institutions, EUIPO, WIPO and other national and international organizations. Yearly official meetings with the European Commission, EUIPO and WIPO allow us to maintain a strong influence on the developments impacting our members as well as on future of intellectual property rights policy and regulation. ECTA was one of the associations which successfully joined their forces to convince the decision makers at the EU and national levels to list IP crime and counterfeiting as one of the priorities for Europol’s EMPACT.