WIPO IP Enforcement News: January - March 2006
I. SELECTED WIPO ACTIVITIES
THIRD SESSION OF THE WIPO ADVISORY COMMITTEE ON ENFORCEMENT (ACE): MEETING DOCUMENTS
The third session of the ACE will be held from May 15 to 17, 2006, at WIPO's headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. As agreed at its second session, the Committee's work in this third session will focus on the issue of education and awareness building in all areas of intellectual property enforcement (see document ACE/2/13). Invitations to Members and accredited Observers of the ACE have been distributed together with the draft agenda for the meeting, prepared by the Secretariat. All meeting documents which are available prior to the session will be posted online.
COOPERATION WITH THE WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION (WHO): COMBATING COUNTERFEIT MEDICINES
WHO, further to its earlier work in the field of combating counterfeit medicines (see, for instance, information in newsletter July-September 2005, organized, from February 16 to 18, 2006, a conference which aimed at building stronger and more effective international cooperation for combating counterfeit medicines. WIPO participated in this conference along with representatives of national drug regulatory authorities, international organizations, industry, and other interested stakeholders. At the end of the conference, participants adopted a number of recommendations ("Rome Declaration"). On the institutional level, the declaration recommends the establishment of an International Medical Products Anti-Counterfeiting Taskforce (IMPACT). This taskforce would, subject to approval by the competent bodies, be organized under the auspices of WHO, and focus on the development of further mechanisms for strengthening international action against counterfeit medicines, including through legislation, regulation, enforcement, technology, and risk communication. With intellectual property issues being one of the underlying components of this work, WIPO offered its continued assistance in the new framework. The Rome Declaration as well as conference materials are available online.
COOPERATION WITH THE GROUP OF G8-COUNTRIES: SECOND EXPERT GROUP MEETING
On March 30, 2006, the second meeting of the G8 Expert Group focusing on action against IP piracy and counterfeiting was held in Moscow. The Expert Group had been convened following the respective Summit Declaration, adopted at Gleneagles in July 2005. As in the first meeting, WIPO, along with some other intergovernmental organizations, participated in an observer capacity.
WORK ON NEW WIPO PUBLICATION: GUIDE TO ANTICOUNTERFEITING PRACTICE IN AFRICA
In cooperation with Spoor and Fisher, an intellectual property law firm based in South Africa and Jersey, WIPO has started preparations for a new publication. Based on information from government authorities and legal counsel in a large number of African countries, the work aims to provide a broad picture of the current situation of anti-counterfeiting practice on the continent. The information will include, on a country-by-country basis, references to national intellectual property enforcement legislation, especially with a view to the many recent or ongoing developments in this field. The country profiles will also reflect, from a practitioner's perspective, procedural steps that can be taken, structures to facilitate cooperation, as well as strategic considerations. More information will be made available in due course.
In the first quarter of 2006, WIPO, in response to requests by Member States, organized the following two workshops focusing on intellectual property enforcement:
- Sudan: WIPO National Workshop on the Enforcement of Copyright, Related Rights and Collective Management, February 28 to March 2, 2006, Khartoum;
- Burkina Faso: Séminaire national de l'OMPI à l'intention des élèves magistrats et greffiers de l'Ecole d'administration et de la magistrature du Burkina Faso, Ouagadougou, March 7 to 10, 2006.
A regular update on WIPO's training and awareness-raising activities in the area of intellectual property enforcement is available on the WIPO enforcement website .
WIPO MAGAZINE: SERIES OF IP ENFORCEMENT ARTICLES
The March/April 2006 issue of the WIPO Magazine features a series of articles on intellectual property enforcement, including a copyright case study, a report on the role of authentication technologies in combating counterfeiting, and an update on WIPO's recent enforcement activities. It is planned to have a similar emphasis in the May/June 2006 issue which will reflect, inter alia, the outcome of the third session of the ACE. The WIPO Magazine issues are available online, in English, French and Spanish.
FORTHCOMING EVENT: THE GLOBAL CONGRESS ON COMBATING COUNTERFEITING AND PIRACY - REGIONAL FORUM IN BUCHAREST/ROMANIA
In addition to the regular Global Congress meetings (see Newsletter October-December 2005), the Global Congress Steering Committee, composed of representatives of WIPO, Interpol, the World Customs Organizations (WCO) and other NGOs, organizes regional forums under the Global Congress heading, focusing on the specific situation relating to counterfeiting and piracy in the region concerned. It has now been agreed that the next regional forum will be hosted by the government of Romania. The forum will concentrate on current efforts and potential next steps in combating counterfeiting and piracy in the Eastern Europe and Central Asia regions. The meeting will be held in Bucharest (Romania), the envisaged dates are July 11 and 12, 2006. Details will be made available shortly.
Past Global Congress regional forums were held in Rome (Italy), Shanghai (People's Republic of China), and Rio de Janeiro (Brazil). Information on these meetings, including with a view to the declarations adopted there, are available online.
CHINA: NATIONAL COPYRIGHT ADMINISTRATION BRIEFING ON INTERNET PIRACY
The Deputy Commissioner of the National Copyright Administration, in a press conference held on February 15, 2006, provided an update on recent government action to address Internet piracy. The speech, as well as a summary of recent major cases of action, are available online.
LEBANON: SPECIAL INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY POLICE UNIT
In order to strengthen enforcement action against counterfeiting and piracy at police level, the Lebanese government has, in early 2006, established a special IP unit within the Lebanese Judicial Police. The unit, comprised of some 25 officers, will focus on taking action such as market raids and the seizure of pirated materials, including on an ex officio basis, and follow up with prosecution. General information on intellectual property protection and enforcement in Lebanon is made available by the Ministry of Economy and Trade of Lebanon, in English and Arabic.
SPAIN: ANTIPIRACY CAMPAIGN " DEFIENDE TU CULTURA"
From December 2005 to March 2006, the Spanish Ministry of Culture has been running a nationwide anti-piracy campaign, focused on the message that copyright does not only protect creators and other right holders, but also the cultural framework of the society. The campaign reflected all sectors of the creative world, such as films, music, visual art, literature and software. It primarily targeted the young population through TV and radio ads, publicity in specialized youth magazines, the Internet, exhibitions, theatres and public transport. Its costs amount to some 1,200,000 euros. An important number of private entities which work in the field of copyright joined the campaign by distributing materials and the logo "Defend your culture" through their web pages and their products.
This initiative represents one of the activities set out in the Anti-piracy Plan approved by the Government on April, 8, 2005, and will be followed by other media strategies concerning the enforcement of copyright.
SWITZERLAND: RECENT STEPS IN THE LEGISLATIVE PROCESS FOR THE REVISION OF THE COPYRIGHT ACT
In connection with a legislative message to ratify the WIPO Copyright Treaty (WCT) and the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty (WPPT), the Federal Council, at its March 10, 2006 session, approved the partial revision of the Copyright Act. The revision aims at adapting the protection of copyright and related rights to the challenges of digital technologies, including the protection of technological protection measures and electronic rights management information. For more information see website of the Swiss Intellectual Property Office.
U.S. (I): NEW ANTICOUNTERFEITING LEGISLATION
On March 16, 2006, the " Stop Counterfeiting in Manufactured Goods Act", was signed into law. The new instrument, inter alia, intends to close a loophole by providing criminal penalties for trafficking in counterfeit labels and packaging which could then be attached to fake products. In addition, a set of stronger penalties is introduced.
U.S. (II): CHAMBER OF COMMERCE ANTI-PIRACY AWARENESS WEEK
In early March 2006, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce launched the so-called "Anticounterfeiting and Antipiracy Awareness Week", based on a multimedia advertisements campaign as well as some 50 meetings between members of the Coalition Against Counterfeiting and Piracy (CACP) and Congressional Staff, to further distribute information about the economic dangers resulting from counterfeiting and piracy. More information on the awareness campaign, as well as a number of the advertisements, are available online.
EU (I): COUNTERFEIT DRUGS ON THE INTERNET
In a press release issues on March 27, 2006, the European Commission expressed concerns about an ever increasing number of counterfeit and unlicensed medicines which are sold via the Internet. Reference is made to a recent survey in EU Member States according to which a substantive number of medicines have been identified to be counterfeit in illegal distribution channels, many of those being traded via the Internet. See press release.
EU (II): NEW ANTICOUNTERFEITING WEBSITE "4IPR"
Sponsored by the European Commission, this new website aims to assist brand owners, police and customs, security technology providers and the like, in effectively combating counterfeiting, by making available relevant data and information. The website contains a public part, setting out basic information on counterfeiting and piracy, the risks involved, affected industries and possible enforcement action. Moreover, a protected area provides access to information on authentication technology, as well as a platform to post and share data between brand owners and enforcement agencies. See public site and commercial site.
INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION OF THE PHONOGRAPHIC INDUSTRY (IFPI): 2006 DIGITAL MUSIC REPORT
In January 2006, IFPI issued its most recent digital music report, reflecting developments in 2005. The report provides an update on the legitimate distribution of digital music as well as on internet piracy and illegal file-sharing, including relevant court rulings in this area.