Year 2012, a record year for the EPO

The number of patent filings at the European Patent Organization (EPO) reached a new peak in 2012. This was recognized as an indication that the industry is opting to innovate its way out of the economic crisis, according to EPO's President Benoît Battistelli, who presented EPO's 2012 annual results in Brussels. The EPO received 257 744 patent filings which represents a 5, 2% increase over 2011, wherewith the previous record from 2008 was beaten.

1,500 Fake Hermès Handbags Seized at Port of L.A.

Two shipments of counterfeit 1,500 Hermès handbags, one bound to Mexico and other to U.S.A, were seized at the Port of L.A. The counterfeit bags, which originated from China, have a combined estimated domestic value of $18,412. This value is an indicator of potentially high profit margins in the illegal trade of this type of counterfeit luxury product, U.S. CBP official Jaime Ruiz said in a statement. Had the handbags been the real Hermès, they would be worth an estimated $14.1 million.

The counterfeiting of handbags and small leather goods has been on the rise, with a 142% increase in the value of goods seized in 2012, compared to the previous year. The vast majority of it was made in China, the customs agency said. According to the Mr. Ruiz, the counterfeit manufacturers are increasingly turning towards the so-called "absolute luxury" brands to increase their profit margins.

Interpol Drug Anti-Counterfeiting Summary

Interpol and twenty-nine pharmaceutical companies announced that they are jointly establishing a new program to help combat counterfeit drugs. Among others, the initiative was supported by Amgen, Inc., AstraZeneca, Bayer AG, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Daiichi Sankyo, Eli Lilly & Co., GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson & Johnson, Merck & Co, Novartis, Pfizer Inc., Roche Group and Sanofi SA.

The companies have agreed to jointly provide €4.5 million (roughly $5.9 million) to create the Interpol Pharmaceutical Crime Program which will supplement Interpol's Medical Product Counterfeiting and Pharmaceutical Crime Unit with the aim to combat counterfeit drug rings at their points of origin. The funds will be used by Interpol to train local law enforcement officials on investigation procedures, evidence handling, and cross-border collaboration and will assist Interpol and each of its 190 member countries to more effectively tackle the problem of medical product counterfeiting. Counterfeit drugs, which sometimes comprise a majority of the pharmaceutical market share in developing countries, are now commonplace among more than fifty-percent of illegitimate online drug retailers. The World Health Organization estimates that counterfeit drug sales total an estimated $430 billion a year.


"Not At The Expense of Others" Campaign Completed

The "Not at the Expense of Others" campaign, launched by AmCham Serbia and the U.S. Embassy, was ceremonially completed by announcing the winner of the contest for the best amateur film on intellectual property rights protection. The award was presented to Isidora Popovic, a student of the Third Grammar School of Belgrade and the author of the winning film, which then had its premiere showing.

The "Not at the Expense of Others" campaign was launched with the aim of raising public awareness, with a focus on the youth, of the importance of respecting intellectual property rights (IPR) and the negative impact of IPR piracy on the economy of Serbia. "Enforcement of IPR laws is of vital importance for the Serbian economy, since piracy costs Serbia - and the world - billions of dollars", said HE Michael Kirby, U.S. Ambassador to Serbia.


Director General of the State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) Mrs. Kuterovac was appointed member of the Supervisory Board of the EPO Academy

Mrs. Ljiljana Kuterovac, Director General of the SIPO has been appointed to the position of member of the Supervisory Board of the Academy of the EPO by its Administrative Council at the 135th session. The appointment is for a three-year term starting on 20 March, 2013 and ending on 19 March 2016.

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