MONDAY, 7 APRIL 2008
IP Enforcement in Italy Enhanced through the Establishment of Specialised Bodies
In May 2006 a dedicated body was established within the Italian Fiscal Police, known as the Guardia di Finanza (‘GdF’). This body, entitled the ‘Group for the Protection of Trademarks, Patents and Intellectual Property’, was set up as a sub-group of the Special Police Section for Market Protection.
The body, now in operation for just under 2 years, has recently announced substantial effective results. According to available data more than 25,000 inspections have been carried out, leading to the seizure of more than 35,5 million items, including:
- 15,3 million consumer product items;
- 11,5 million fashion items, including shoes and sport apparel;
- 6 million high-tech electronics items; and
- 2,7 million toys.
These figures indicate that the GdF increasingly plays a key role in IP enforcement and anti-counterfeiting in Italy.
The creation of the new body also indicates that public entities involved in developing anti-counterfeiting strategies are increasingly becoming more specialised. The creation of two other special bodies within the Italian Police forces preceded the 2006 establishment of the IP protection group: these were the ‘Group Against Technological Crimes’, dedicated to fighting economic/financial crimes committed using the Internet, and the ‘Special Group for Radio and Press’, acting on copyright protection in co-operation with the Italian Authority operating in the media field.
The main tasks assigned to the GdF Group for the Protection of Trademarks, Patents and Intellectual Property are:
- strategic and market analysis of anti-counterfeiting activities;
- action against counterfeiters through ex-parte raids at the premises of suspected companies, and connected investigations;
- providing support to criminal courts in legal proceedings for trademark and patent infringement.
The new body also adds to the growing number of specialised sections within Italian Customs Authorities, active for some years now in the fight against counterfeiting at the Italian borders, and now reputed to be amongst the most efficient in Europe.
The GdF has far-reaching anti-counterfeiting plans for 2008. It intends to post police officers with specific IP experience at Italian embassies and assign them diplomatic missions around the world, particularly in high risk locations such as China. This, too, demonstrates the growing enhancement of anti-counterfeiting measures provided in the Italian jurisdiction.
Posted by: Julia Holden @ 09.22
Tags: Counterfeiting, Gdf, Italy,