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IP Crime and its Link to Other Serious Crimes

  • by EB 20 Sep, 2020
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Publication type Joint Report
Language English
Publication date 10.06.2020
Number of pages 89

European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) and the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation (Europol) published a report entitled Intellectual Property IP Crime and its Link to Other Serious Crimes, Focus on Poly-Criminality.

Executive Summary

The aim of this report is to inform law enforcement officials and policy makers about the various ways in which IP crime is linked to other forms of criminal activity. The report is in the form of a casebook, presenting case examples where IP crime is linked to other forms of criminality.

There are two ways IP crime can be linked to other criminal activities: with one criminal activity supporting the other, or as parallel activities.

In the case of supporting criminal activities, the relationship can go two ways. First, other forms of criminal behaviour can be used to facilitate IP crime. For example, some organised crime groups (OCGs) produce fraudulent documents in order to sell their counterfeit goods as legitimate ones. In that case, IP crime is the supported criminal activity. Alternatively, criminals might engage in counterfeiting to generate profit that is used for other types of serious and organised crime, such as drug trafficking or terrorism. In that case, IP crime is the supporting criminal activity.

In the case of parallel criminal activities, OCGs engage in different forms of criminal behaviour that are relatively independent of each other. They can either be entirely unconnected or interlinked, but without one activity clearly facilitating the other. An example of the latter is an OCG that uses the same route or transportation method for the trafficking of counterfeit goods and other illicit products.

The case examples in this report illustrate how a wide range of different crimes are linked to IP crime, including money laundering, document fraud, cybercrime, fraud, drug production and trafficking and terrorism. They illustrate that the idea of IP crime as a victimless crime is misguided and can result in a lack of attention for the harm resulting from these criminal activities. Awareness of the links between IP crime and other crime areas can help law enforcement officials to better recognise them in future cases, and support decision makers in addressing them ata policy level.

About Europol

Europol is the European Union’s law enforcement agency. Our main goal is to achieve a safer Europe for the benefit of all the EU citizens. Headquartered in The Hague, the Netherlands, we support the 27 EU Member States in their fight against terrorism, cybercrime and other serious and organised forms of crime. We also work with many non-EU partner states and international organisations. Large-scale criminal and terrorist networks pose a significant threat to the internal security of the EU and to the safety and livelihood of its people. The biggest security threats come from:
1) terrorism,
2) international drug trafficking and money laundering,
3) organised fraud,
4) the counterfeiting of euros,
5) trafficking in human beings.

The networks behind the crimes in each of these areas are quick to seize new opportunities, and they are resilient in the face of traditional law enforcement measures.

About EUIPO

EUIPO is the European Union Intellectual Property Office responsible for managing the EU trade mark and the registered Community design. We also work with the IP offices of the EU Member States and international partners to offer a similar registration experience for trade marks and designs across Europe and the world.


Read „IP Crime and its Link to Other Serious Crimes”

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Source:
1. European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) and the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation (Europol), IP Crime and its Link to Other Serious Crimes, Focus on Poly-Criminality (10.06.2020),
2. The European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation (Europol), About Europol,
3. The European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO), About EUIPO.

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