For the half-year to 30 June 2014, the IPKat's regular team is supplemented by contributions from guest bloggers Alberto Bellan, Darren Meale and Nadia Zegze.

Two of our regular Kats are currently on blogging sabbaticals. They are David Brophy and Catherine Lee.

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Cancúnterfeit conference opens

Now's the time for all enterprising counterfeiters to get busy with their felonious craft, since so many of the world's experts in dealing with them are in Cancún, Mexico, for a midwinter break. According to the joint press release released by WIPO on behalf of IMPI, INTERPOL, WCO, WIPO, BASCAP and INTA:

"Senior decision makers from governments, law enforcement, customs and the private sector are gathering in Cancún for the Fifth Global Congress on Combating Counterfeiting and Piracy to identify solutions to the worldwide trade in fake products which pose a threat to health and the global economy.

More than 500 delegates from nearly 30 countries are attending the three-day meeting (1-3 December) hosted by INTERPOL and the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property (IMPI) to share proposals in reducing the impact of fake goods and identify and build upon successful strategies already in place.

Supported by the World Customs Organization (WCO) and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) with the co-operation of the world’s business community, represented by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) through its Business Action to Stop Counterfeiting and Piracy (BASCAP) initiative, the International Trademark Association (INTA) and the International Security Management Association, the Congress provides a unique international public-private sector partnership.

INTERPOL Secretary General Ronald K. Noble opened the Congress saying the threat posed to the health and safety of individuals and the potential damage to economies should not be underestimated [They're certainly not underestimated by IP rights owners, who are often accused of inflating the extent of their loss. The only people who underestimate it are the folk who allocate so little public funding for fighting counterfeits where they're made and sold, and so much funding for travel to Cancún], citing recent joint initiatives as evidence of the will and ability to take the fight to the criminals.

“Recent successful operations, such as Operation Pangea II [which is a small step in the right direction and a confidence-boost, here] tackling the online sale of counterfeit and illicit drugs, have shown that coordinated action between the public and private sectors does have results, but more importantly it shows that we are taking the fight to the counterfeiters,” said Secretary General Noble. ...

“The social and economic losses associated with these illegal activities, such as the loss of jobs and tax revenues, constitute a critical concern for governments across the globe,” said IMPI Director General Jorge Amigo Castaneda. [the loss of tax revenues is itself a justification for far greater investment in fake-fighting] ...

... WIPO Director General, Mr Yo Takagi, Assistant Director General said ...
“The tough economic conditions confronting governments, businesses and citizens around the world, at a time when the trade in fake goods continues to escalate, put into sharp relief the need to find practical, realistic and effective solutions to reduce the negative impact of counterfeiting and piracy and to promote greater respect for intellectual property rights around the world,” ...

Michael Schmitz, WCO Director of Compliance and Facilitation, added, "Tackling the trade in counterfeit and pirated products requires a multi-pronged approach by all stakeholders [Multi-pronged! Just watch those flashing forks ...]. Dangerous counterfeit goods and even more shockingly fake medicines cannot be allowed to continue flowing across borders unhindered. The health and safety of consumers around the world is paramount [The border issue raises a question that some countries seem reluctant to tackle: how much do border guards earn through regular salaries when compared with bribes? How well are they trained and supervised? What happens to goods detained at the border? And are the fake medicines given an unhindered passage because they are in transit and not deemed to be 'on the market'?].

“The WCO will be doing all it can in close co-operation with its international partners to stop this vile trade through enhanced Customs capacity building, an improved Customs-business dialogue, better co-ordinated border management, and rolling multi-agency enforcement operations," Schmitz stressed.
...

Leaders at the Congress are expected to present their views on strategies to deal with the increasing trade in counterfeit and pirated products. The OECD estimates that the trade in fakes crossing international borders alone is valued at more than US$200 billion annually [This isn't so much more than the total spent by the British government in subsidising the profligacy and/or negligence of its banks in the past year or so]. During the Congress, BASCAP will deliver a report to delegates presenting new economic data on the cost of counterfeiting, including the impact on jobs, reduced foreign investment, tax losses, and increased spending on health and law enforcement. BASCAP also will present new research on why consumers buy fake products and what it will take to change those purchase habits".
The Kat will be watching keenly for further developments.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Heavens to Betsy...whilst combining two words to make a catchy title is often very amusing I was a little taken aback by 'Cancunterfeit'...reminds me of a scene in 'The Sound of Music' in which the Mother Thereasa in a clipped accent asks, 'What is it you can't face' (Google it).

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