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Interpol Headquarters
Lyon, France

 

The Second Global Congress to Combat Counterfeiting & Piracy was held adjacent to Interpol Headquarters in Lyon, France, 14 - 15 November, 2005.

More than 500 participants from 66 countries attended the Second Global Congress on Combating Counterfeiting and Piracy, which was co-hosted by Interpol and the World Customs Organization (WCO) and supported by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and a number of international business organizations – the Global Business Leaders Alliance Against Counterfeiting (GBLAAC), the International Trademarks Association (INTA), the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), and the International Security Management Association (ISMA).

Although the interim since the First Congress showed that the figures for international trade in counterfeit and pirated products had continued to rise alarmingly, the Congress highlighted a number of positive developments. The success of Interpol’s Operation Jupiter in Latin America, for example, had provided a model for transnational enforcement operations. A growing political commitment was evidenced by the G8 statement on counterfeiting and piracy at the July 2005 Gleneagles meeting; and by the support for the work of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) to produce a comprehensive global study on counterfeiting and piracy. Public awareness of the implications of buying fake or pirated goods was growing in many countries where governments and business organizations were running high profile campaigns. And a report released in 2005 by the music industry group IFPI showed sales of digital music from legal sites to be surging, while illegal downloading figures remained flat.

The Congress had emerged as an important and valuable opportunity for national, regional and global leaders from the public and private sectors to raise awareness, enhance cooperation and identify strategies to deal more effectively with the global problem of counterfeiting and piracy, however the Congress was under no illusion as to how much more must be done if the tide of counterfeiting and piracy activities was to be turned. The Second Congress focused on the four key areas identified in the preceding meetings. Within each Focus Area, participants identified specific policy initiatives and priority actions. These included the following:

  1. Cooperation. Cooperation, communication and commitment must be increased among international, regional and national agencies, in partnership with the private sector. Positive national examples demonstrating where increased resources have been effective should be showcased. The WCO’s review of legal mechanisms for sharing information between Customs Administrations should be exploited. A cross-industry clearinghouse for companies to share successful strategies and best practices should be established.
  2. Awareness. A coordinated global program should be developed to?. build greater awareness among policy-makers, opinion leaders and consumers of the full economic and social consequences of counterfeiting and piracy. Objectives should include encouraging business and enforcement agencies to publicize seizures; publicizing links with transnational organized crime; and encouraging the investment of increased resources in combating counterfeiting.
  3. Capacity building. Governments should be assisted – through activities such as WIPO’s tailored workshops – in formulating effective enforcement strategies and in training more specialized judges and prosecutors. Case law databases and reference works should be produced to facilitate access to precedents for judges and lawyers involved in intellectual property (IP) infringement cases, and exchange of information among the judiciary and law enforcement officials should be fostered. Cooperation should be intensified to extend the reach and efficiency of IP enforcement training programs. A study group should assess the growing problem of sales of counterfeit and pirated products over the Internet.
  4. Legislation and law enforcement. National government bodies should ensure that effective enforcement provisions and penalties – such as action against counterfeit shipments, serious jail terms and seizure of counterfeiters’ assets and profits – are introduced and carried through in order to deter counterfeiting and piracy.

Key Presentations

Ronald K. Noble, Secretary General, Interpol

Michel Danet, Secretary General, World Customs Organization

Rita Hayes, Deputy Director General, World Intellectual Property Organization

Anne Gundelfinger, President, International Trademark Association

Neil Withington, General Counsel, British American Tobacco on behalf of GBLAAC

Guy Sebban, Secretary General, International Chamber of Commerce (BASCAP)

Patrick De Smedt, Chairman, Microsoft Europe, Middle East and Africa

Datuk HJ. Mohd Shafie Bin HJ. Apdal, Minister of domestic trade and consumer affairs, Malyasia

Christopher James Shaw, Eli Lilly