Pirate copying - protect your business

Pirate copying can affect any company that produces and sells products. The more successful you are as an entrepreneur, the greater the risk that someone will copy your products.

For you as an entrepreneur, it is important that you know what you can do to combat pirate copying together with Swedish Customs, the Police and other authorities. 

How can you protect yourself as an entrepreneur? 

Start by registering your intellectual property rights, e.g. your trademark,  patent or design. 

If you intend exporting or manufacturing your products abroad, you should register your intellectual property rights in the countries concerned. If you operate in a number of EU countries, a practical solution may be to apply for protection throughout the EU.

EU application trademark (external website)

EU application design (external website)

Application for action - taking action against suspected pirate copies 

If you have registered and applicable intellectual property rights as an entrepreneur, you should submit an “application for action” to Swedish Customs. With the aid of the information you provide as a rights holder, Swedish Customs will be better placed to identify and stop suspected infringing products which are being imported, exported or passing through the country. 

Application for action, European Commission (external website)

Submitting an application is free, but as a rights holder, you may need to pay for the storage and destruction of seized products. 

If you have submitted an application for action and Swedish Customs finds suspected goods, they may contact you for direct action to be taken. 

If no application has been submitted, Swedish Customs must first contact you so that you can submit one - complete with signature by a company signatory - before the matter can be dealt with. If it takes too long before all formalities have been completed, the suspected pirate copies may have to be released.

For more information, see Swedish Customs’ website (external website)

Usable databases 

There are a number of extensive databases which European authorities use in order to identify pirate-copied goods: 

When you submit an application for action to Swedish Customs, the European Commission’s database (COPIS) will be updated with your information. 

The Enforcement Database (EDB) is used by all customs authorities, Europol and most police authorities. In this database, you can register an account online free of charge and provide information on your products, e.g. logistics, photographs and contact details. This will make it easier for affiliated authorities to protect your products against pirate copying.

Via EBD, you can communicate with customs and police authorities in Swedish, and the material you upload will be translated into all the EU’s official languages. You can also choose exactly what information that you have provided will be made available to the various authorities.

You can apply for an account here, EUIPO (external website)

National and international collaboration

Pirate copying is an international phenomenon and PRV works actively with the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO), the European Commission and WIPO to help companies which operate globally. PRV is also involved in a national network with Swedish Customs, the Police, the Swedish Prosecution Authority, the Swedish Medical Products Agency and Konsument Europa which is aimed at combating pirate copying. Together, we work to disseminate information and help entrepreneurs.

The term ‘pirate copying’

Pirate copying (or piracy) is a simplification of the expression Counterfeiting and Piracy. Using the full term would be too long in many cases. PRV therefore uses the expression pirate copying as a collective term for all unlawful use of intellectual property rights (such as trademarks and copyrights). 

When we talk about pirate copying concerning physical products, we are talking about counterfeiting. In all other contexts, the term means the unlawful use of copyright-protected material.

Read about SKF’s unique approach to protecting itself against pirate copying.