COFACE was invited to attend a working group on raising public awareness on Intellectual Property (IP) issues, organised by the EU Intellectual Property Observatory. It was a useful occasion to find out more about the initiatives of the EUIPO and its members (public authorities, private interests and civil society organisations representing consumer organisations). Families are consumers, and in the run-up to the holiday season they will buy various products, including toys. In some countries, counterfeit toys are a major issue hampering the formal economy and bringing health hazards directly into the home. Some COFACE members have actively campaigned on this.
IP is also linked to COFACE’s digital families agenda. Some members organise “web-ethics” programme, helping parents to advise their digitally-minded children to use the internet in a safe way. Youth are not only consumers but also increasingly producers of online content, and hence would benefit from greater knowledge and digital literacy to make appropriate choices about the use of their creations online (how to protect them, whether to use open licensing methods, creative commons, and more).