A Recap of the 20th European Intellectual Property Forum

The 20th European IP Forum took place in Paris on February 5 and 6, 2015. The theme was: “Intellectual property: An Essential Investment For Growth?” More than 300 professionals and law students attended the two-day conference. Six roundtables were organized to answer questions and hold discussions on the socio-economic role of intellectual property in a consumer’s life, new strategies for intellectual property (such as the emergence of 3D printers and regular attacks on car designs and models), the duty of care to strengthen the fight against counterfeiting, and cyber security (which is being seen as the new challenge of the online infringement).

The president of the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM), Antonio Campinos, recalled how the digital world transformed the fight against counterfeiting, citing an IP Perception Study led by the European Observatory that showed 42% of young people feel that illegal downloading is a legitimate act when done for private use.

The roundtable on cyber security made the public aware that the Internet is becoming one of the major sources of criminality. The Director of Microsoft Digital Crime Unit, Juan Hardoy, pointed out that we need to stay alert regarding the three kinds of cybercrimes: malware disruption, IP crimes (cyber privacy) and protection of vulnerable populations (telephone scams). Indeed, a cyber criminal, through one of these means, can obtain trade secrets, steal bank accounts and access private data. Mr. Hardoy recommended that companies move to the Cloud for better protection and security of their databases, stating, “Once you are protected through the Cloud, you don’t need to worry about the cybercrimes.”

Is this a way to promote the Microsoft Cloud server or does Cloud computing really prevent companies from cyber criminality? Companies seem to be pretty divided on this topic.