Useful tools for protection of intellectual property rights

This article will present several useful databases for owners of intellectual property in order to decrease the chance for infringements of their intellectual property rights.


The first database is called ACRIS, which is the abbreviation of the Anti-Counterfeiting Rapid Intelligence System. This is the newest database, that has been created in 2016 by the European Observatory in collaboration with the European Commission. The aim is uniting in one single database all data regarding cases of intellectual property rights’ infringement affecting EU companies in countries outside the EU. The web-based application also contains information on the follow-up of these cases, which provides an opportunity for EU companies to shape their business strategies in other countries and reduce the risk of suffering IP infringement.

The tool is free, available in all EU languages and can be accessed at Confidentiality is of crucial importance, therefore cases can be marked as “confidential” for avoiding their disclosure.


The second database, which will be described in this article is the Orphan Works Database. Before presenting the Orphan Works Database a definition of orphan works shall be provided.

What are orphan works?

Orphan works are works like books, newspaper and magazine articles, and films that are still protected by copyright but whose authors or other right holders are not known or cannot be located.

Orphan works are part of the collections currently held by European archives, museums, libraries, film, and audio heritage institutions. The lack of data on their ownership has been many times an obstacle to their digitization and making them available online.

The Orphan Works Database

The Orphan Works Database is a database, which provides information regarding orphan works contained in the collections of publicly accessible libraries, educational establishments, and museums, as well as archives, film or audio heritage institutions established in the Member States. The database allows the mentioned institutions to have access to information about orphan works. The institutions have the right to record works in the database that they have identified as an orphan during diligent searches.

Right holders have the right to search for orphan works in the database, obtain the contact information of the organizations using them as well as put an end to their orphan work status when they recognize their work in the database. It also provides competent national authorities and beneficiary institutions with statistical data and information on orphan works that have been recorded in the database.

The orphan works that can be searched are recorded at The database can be used free of charge by the general public, cultural institutions, and rights holders.

Europeana ( is a free internet portal, which acts as an interface to millions of books, paintings, films, museum objects and archival records that have been digitized throughout Europe. The digital content is from various types of heritage institutions – libraries, museums, archives, and audiovisual collections.


Forward ( aims to create an EU wide, standardized system for assessing and registering the rights status of audiovisual works with a focus on orphans.


Arrow ( is a tool to facilitate rights information management in digitization projects involving text and image-based works. Arrow allows the identification of authors, publishers and other right holders of work, including whether it is orphan, in or out of copyright or if it is still commercially available.


This database is very important and useful, therefore it will be presented in detail hereunder. The Enforcement Database is a secure system based on collaboration between IP rights holders, customs and police. The database, which is free of charge has been created by EUIPO to protect products against counterfeits. In order to help right holders (that have a valid registered trademark or a validly registered design within the European Union) protect their intellectual property rights, they are allowed to upload data on their IPRs with contact information and product details. This increases the chance for the Member State Enforcement authorities to identify counterfeit goods and take action. The right holders enter into the database the relevant information about the product such as packaging, identifiers, logistics, prior cases, contact information, etc. The right holder has the choice to choose to which enforcement authorities this information can be available. In order to use the database, the right holder shall create an account as well as learn how to use the tool. The right holder can authorize a legal representative to upload the data as well as perform all actions allowed. The intellectual property attorney in Bulgaria Krasimira Kadieva has acquainted herself with all the rules for using the Enforcement database tool and will gladly assist you with uploading the data about your products and performing all actions allowed.

The Enforcement Database has been created on existing registers such as TMview for trademark information and Designview for registered designs. Customs officials of the 28 Member States and police have the right to access the database to view information and product details, in order to identify counterfeits and take action. When the enforcement authorities find goods suspected of infringing intellectual property rights, they can alert the right holders.

Benefits for right holders:

– A great tool for protecting the intellectual property rights of right holders;
– A great opportunity for right holders to ask customs to detain goods found to be suspected of infringing intellectual property rights;
– The tool provides better protection of the products of right holders;
– Right holders can be informed about suspicious cases by the enforcement authorities;
– The tool is used free of charge;
– The tool guarantees the confidentiality of the data since the right holders can choose which enforcement authorities can view their data.

With the Enforcement Database right holders can:

– generate automatically a customs application for action (AFA) to protect products requesting customs to take action;
– alert the enforcement authorities about a potential infringement coming to EU;
– alert a potential infringement in the internal market when they have information about goods that are already in Europe in order for the enforcement authorities to try stopping the goods from being sold;
– ask customs to detain goods that are found to be suspected of infringing intellectual property rights.

The Enforcement Database is available in 23 official European languages and can be accessed at


Finally, the database ACIST, which is the abbreviation of the Anti-Counterfeiting Intelligence Support Tool is the European Union database that gathers statistics on detentions, at borders, and in the internal markets, of articles that are suspected of infringing intellectual property rights. Therefore, it provides information on the detained pirated and counterfeited goods. The data on detentions at borders has been entered into the database since 2012 from all 28 Member States. The database has been developed for use by enforcement authorities and policymakers.

The tool is free and multilingual and can be accessed at



Legal Disclaimer: This material prepared by Krasimira Kadieva aims to present several useful databases for owners of intellectual property in order to decrease the chance for infringements of their intellectual property rights. It does not constitute a legal opinion and cannot be interpreted as individual consultation on any concrete facts or circumstances. The advice of an intellectual property specialist should be obtained for specific questions and situations. For more information on the above-mentioned issues and individual consultations, please contact Krasimira Kadieva at 00359 882 308 670 or make an inquiry using the contact form of this website. Krasimira Kadieva is an Intellectual Property Attorney in Bulgaria.

error: Content is protected !!