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Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs

European Observatory on Infringements of Intellectual Property Rights

The European Observatory on Infringements of Intellectual Property Rights is a network of experts and specialist stakeholders that brings together representatives from EU bodies, authorities in EU countries, businesses and civil society. 

The aim of the observatory is to improve the fight against counterfeiting and piracy by sharing information and best practice, raising public awareness, strengthening cooperation, and developing better tools. It is managed by the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO). The EUIPO was created in 1994 to manage the EU’s trademark and design systems, and to offer businesses a one-stop shop to protect their rights throughout the EU.

In 2012, the EUIPO was given the additional tasks of hosting and managing the observatory and assisting national authorities, the private sector and EU institutions in the fight against infringements of intellectual property rights (Regulation No 386/2012).

Evaluation of the observatory

In November 2020, the European Commission published a report evaluating the observatory. The report found that thanks to the work carried out by the EUIPO from 2012 to 2019, with its observatory team, network of stakeholders and the departments of the Commission, the work of EU bodies, national authorities and right holders in IP enforcement has been made easier.

The report concludes that the 'EUIPO has become a hub of excellence on IP infringements, a central source of knowledge, development and sharing of best practice in the EU and internationally. The EUIPO acts as a facilitator and driver for cooperation between national authorities and right holders across the EU, and is an important contributor to the Commission’s initiatives in IP within the EU and further afield'.

To prepare the report, the Commission contracted and published an external study: Evaluation of the application of Regulation 386/2012.

It also launched a public consultation to hear the views of stakeholders and the general public. The contributions to the consultation and statistics on the responses are available on the consultation webpage.