European Commission publishes its annual report on EU customs enforcement of intellectual property rights

The European Commission has recently published its annual report on EU customs enforcement of intellectual property rights. This report reveals important information on the nature and evolution of intellectual property rights in Europe.

Overall, the number of customs seizures has increased 15% compared to 2010, partially due to the growth of e-commerce market, to reach a total of 115 million individual articles, whose equivalent genuine product value is estimated to be over 1.2 billion euros.

Medicines are among the most counterfeited articles (24%), followed by packaging materials and cigarettes. Products for daily use (i.e. body care articles, toys, electrical household, etc.) accounted for 28% of the total number of detained articles. China continues to be the main source country, accounting for 73% of detained articles.

In 90% of the cases, the articles detained by customs were either destroyed as a result of an agreement between the holder of the goods and the right-holder or the right holder initiated court proceedings to establish the infringement of their rights. In only 7.5% of the cases, the goods were released because they were either original goods (3%) or the right holder did not react to the notification by customs (4.5%). [Béatrice Martinet Farano]