Created as part of the European Commission in April 2009, the European Observatory on Infringements of Intellectual Property Rights (‘the Observatory’) aims to support the protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights and to combat the threat of IP infringements.

The Observatory is a network composed of public- and private-sector representatives, bringing together a wide range of expert and specialist stakeholders who use their technical skills, experience and knowledge to protect and promote IP rights and support those directly engaged in enforcement.

The European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) the EU's principal agency devoted exclusively to IP matters, began co-operating closely with the Observatory in 2011. The Observatory came fully under the auspices of EUIPO (formally OHIM) on 5 June 2012, enabling it to draw on EUIPO's expertise, experience and resources with a view to becoming an information centre par excellence.

The Observatory's objectives are to:

  • provide evidence-based contributions and data to enable EU policymakers to shape effective IP enforcement policies and to support innovation and creativity;
  • provide data, tools and databases to support the fight against IP infringement;
  • provide knowledge and learning programmes for IP and enforcement authorities as well as for businesses and IP practitioners;
  • develop initiatives to help innovators, creators and businesses (especially SMEs) protect their IP rights;
  • design campaigns to raise awareness of the value of IP and the negative consequences of IP infringement.

As part of this mandate, IDEAS POWERED is an initiative to raise awareness of the value of intellectual property and the importance of respecting it.

Innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship in Europe are powered and supported by intellectual property. Trade marks, designs, patents and copyright, as well as geographical indications and other IP rights, help individuals and businesses develop, grow and share their ideas, creations and products.

Even though we may not be aware of it, intellectual property is embedded in all the things we like, use or enjoy, such as the arts, gastronomy, fashion, technology, sport and many more.

It is everywhere and affects us all. Failure to respect IP also affects us all. Counterfeiting and piracy have consequences for everyone. They threaten the legitimate operations and reputation of businesses, the majority of which are small businesses, and therefore endanger jobs. They undermine all creativity and innovation. They have a damaging effect on economies and individual citizens and can even present critical health or security risks. This is a problem on a global scale.

The Ideas Powered website aims to support the Ideas Powered initiative, which is designed to educate young Europeans between 15 and 24 about Intellectual Property (IP) and inspire them to think about how IP works in practice, by highlighting the relevance of different IP rights, their economic and social value for young people and their daily lives and the impact of IP infringements. The Ideas Powered initiative also encourages youngsters to contribute to, share views and comment on these issues.

It aims to complement the dialogue launched on social media accounts, Facebook and Twitter by hosting dedicated contributions from active young artists, entrepreneurs, bloggers, creators, etc., from various European countries and by holding a video competition.