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Europol has announced that as part of a joint operation with US authorities it has seized over 20,000 domain names selling counterfeit goods in the last six months.
Along with the US National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center (IPR Center), Europol initiated the eighth edition of the operation, titled ‘In Our Sites’, seizing 20,520 domains, up from 7,700 in the last wave.
‘In Our Sites’ was launched in 2014 with the aim of combating counterfeiting online. Each edition of the operation lasts six months, with the latest running between April and November this year.
Europol, the IPR Center, law enforcement authorities from 27 EU member states and third parties were part of the latest operation.
“Targeting IP infringing websites that market dangerous counterfeit goods to consumers and engage in other forms of IP theft will continue to be a priority for law enforcement,” said acting IPR Center director Nick Annan.
He added: “Strengthening our collaboration with police authorities around the world and leaders of industry will reinforce the crackdown on IP crimes, and demonstrate that there is no safe haven for criminals committing these illicit activities.”
The domain seizures come on the back of other successes for Europol this year, including shutting down a criminal network specialising in the illegal distribution of internet protocol television technology.
Run by two internet service providers in Spain and Bulgaria, the network offered more than 1,000 TV channels to clients across Europe.
An investigation led by the Spanish police with the support of the Bulgarian authorities, Europol and EU agency Eurojust resulted in the arrest of eight suspects.
Europol, domain name, seizure, operation, NIPRCC, trademark, anti-counterfeiting, counterfeit websites, Operation In Our Sites