Updated: June 4, 2012 (Initial publication: May 27, 2012)

Breaking news

The European Union regulation 19 April 2012 creates the European Observatory on Infringements of Intellectual Property Rights, established in May 2012.


In 2009, a European Observatory of counterfeiting and piracy was established. In May 2012, the European Observatory on Infringements of Intellectual Property Rights took its place, by the effect of a European Union regulation on 19 April 2012. This Observatory has the purpose to improve the understanding of the value of the rights of intellectual property, to measure their effectiveness and to promote the approximation of the laws of the Member States in this area. To do this, it organises meetings between administrations and the private sector and collects information about the laws and applicable case-law. States have to inform him.

© thejournalofregulation


The European Union regulations n°386/2012 of the EuropeanParliament and of the Council, on April 19, 2012, transforms the European counterfeiting and piracy Observatory, established in 2009, in European Observatory on Infringements of Intellectual Property Rights.

This Observatory is part of Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market (OHIM). It is surprising to see that the first task of this Observatory is educational nature, that is to say it is evaluating and understanding the value of intellectual property rights, including also their links with the innovation. Indeed, in an ideological view (the term is not pejorative), the very idea that, by law, is set to a value of intangible properties appears to some artificial, even illegitimate, and should in principle be combated.

The first function of the Observatory that operates from May 2012 is to demonstrate the value of intellectual property rights (patents, trademarks and designs). To this function, it can be articulate the mission to assess the effectiveness of intellectual property rights, because it is can be noticed that the Observatory is not specifically on the rights, but on the "abuses".

The second function is, in accordance with the more general purpose of the Agency in which the Observatory operates, to promote the approximation of national laws. Because it is an Observatory and not a formal standard-setting tool, the idea is to gather knowledge on laws and case-laws applied.

The means are meetings between representatives of the administrations and the private sector. In addition, States have obligations to transmit information to the Observatory. This initiative, under the highest, normative form that is regulation shows no doubt the insufficient effectiveness of the Observatory created earlier in 2009, but also the balancing in Europe more and more between competition and intellectual property, because it is encouraged innovation and it must be a balance between the two.

This explains that such a regulation is derived from the services of the internal market, more sensitive to this regulatory perspective, than the competition service.

your comment