Council validates OHIM’s new tasks
By Sophie Mosca | Friday 23 March 2012
The EU Council adopted new rules, on 22 March, that give additional tasks to the Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market (OHIM). A first-reading agreement on the regulation was worked out in December 2011 with the European Parliament, which endorsed it on 14 February (see
The regulation aims to improve knowledge of counterfeiting prevention techniques, heighten public awareness of intellectual property rights, enhance cooperation with non-EU countries and facilitate and support action by national authorities, the private sector and EU institutions in combating infringements of intellectual property rights.
The text also brings under the OHIM umbrella the European Observatory on Infringements of Intellectual Property Rights (formerly called European Observatory on Counterfeiting and Piracy), charged with compiling data on infringements and disseminating best practice. Set up in 2009, the observatory has been limited in its functioning due to a lack of funding and staff. As part of the OHIM, it will benefit from synergies and be better able to rationalise the allocation of its financial and human resources. Internal Market Commissioner Michel Barnier welcomed the Council’s adoption of the regulation: “Because of its long experience in intellectual property, the OHIM is very well placed to be involved in the important work of developing the European observatory on intellectual property infringements”.