WIPO IP Enforcement News: October - December 2007
I. SELECTED WIPO ACTIVITIES
- Fourth Global Congress on Combating Counterfeiting and Piracy: The fourth Global Congress will be held from February 3 to 5, 2008, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The Congress will be hosted by the World Customs Organization (WCO) and Dubai Customs. Co-convenors are WIPO, Interpol, the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) through its BASCAP initiative, the International Trademark Association (INTA), and the International Security Management Association (ISMA). For information on the Global Congress initiative, as well as on agenda, reservation and logistics see http://www.ccapcongress.net/.
- Geneva University Anti-Piracy Conference: The faculty of law of the University of Geneva, in cooperation with the Swiss anti-piracy platform Stop à la piraterie, WIPO and other partners, will hold, on February 15, 2008, a one-day conference on current initiatives and trends in the fight against counterfeiting and piracy. For information on program and registration modalities see www.unige.ch/formcont/PI.
FOURTH SESSION OF THE WIPO ADVISORY COMMITTEE ON ENFORCEMENT (ACE)
The fourth session of the ACE was held on November 1 and 2, 2007, in Geneva. The session was attended by representatives from WIPO Member States and accredited observer organizations. As agreed at the third session of the ACE, the Committee focused its work on cooperation and coordination at the international, regional and national levels, and heard a series of presentations. Among the specific issues that were dealt with in the presentations were the importance of cooperation among law enforcement agencies at the various levels, and of right holder cooperation; the importance of information gathering and sharing in the effective enforcement of intellectual property rights; health and safety concerns related to counterfeiting in the area of medical products; cooperation and coordination to streamline the criminal enforcement of intellectual property rights; and the growing trade in infringing goods over the Internet. The Committee adopted a set of conclusions (document WIPO/ACE/4/10), and a number of proposals were made for a topic of the fifth session of the ACE. The Chair invited the groups to further consult, and to provide the Secretariat with a proposal by the end of February 2008.
Working documents and the conclusions by the chair are available at http://www.wipo.int/meetings/en/details.jsp?meeting_id=12802
See also press release at http://www.wipo.int/pressroom/en/articles/2007/article_0082.html
WIPO ENFORCEMENT WORKSHOPS AND TRAINING COURSES
Through the last quarter of 2007, WIPO continued to organize, or assist in, a series of workshops, training courses and conferences on intellectual property law enforcement, in line with requests from its Member States. As usual, those events were organized in close co-operation with Member States and partner organizations of WIPO, as follows:
- WIPO headquarters: WIPO Colloquium on the Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights for Romanian law enforcement officials, in cooperation with the Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property and the Swiss Customs Administration; Geneva/ Zurich, October 29 to November 2, 2007;
- Malawi: WIPO Workshop on Intellectual Property and Public Health, Lilongwe, November 7-8, 2007;
- Oman: WIPO National Seminar on Intellectual Property for Judges, organized in cooperation with the Ministry of Commerce and Industry and the Ministry of Justice of the Sultanate of Oman, Muscat, November 12 and 13, 2007
- South Africa: Regional Conference on Intellectual Property Law Enforcement, hosted by the Department of Trade & Industry (dti), Republic of South Africa, in collaboration with the Faculty of Law, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Howard College, Durban, November 20-22, 2007;
- Italy: Conference “Globalization and fakes: a challenge to be won”, organized by the Italian High Commissioner to Combat Counterfeiting and Piracy, Rome, December 3-4, 2007;
- Romania: WIPO National Seminar on the Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights for Romanian judges; Bucharest, December 3-4, 2007;
- Cameroon: WIPO Sub-regional Colloquium on the Enforcement of IP rights for judges from French-speaking African countries, Yaoundé, December 4-6, 2007;
- China: WIPO Asia and the Pacific Sub-regional Workshop on the Effective Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights, in cooperation with the State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) of the People’s Republic of China and with the assistance of the Japan Patent Office (JPO), Beijing, December 13-14, 2007;
- WIPO headquarters: WIPO Colloquium on Intellectual Property Rights for Judges from Thailand, December 17-19, 2007.
A regular update on WIPO’s training and awareness-raising activities in the field of IP enforcement is available on the WIPO Enforcement website.
FINALIZATION OF IMPACT “DRAFT PRINCIPLES AND ELEMENTS FOR NATIONAL LEGISLATION AGAINST COUNTERFEIT MEDICAL PRODUCTS”
During a meeting held in Lisbon from December 10 to 13, 2007, the WHO-led International Medical Products Anti-counterfeiting Taskforce (IMPACT) finalized a set of principles which aims to provide guidance for the development of national or regional legislation to effectively combat counterfeit medical products. The principles suggest a number of responsibilities that governments, manufacturers, operators of the distribution chain, retailers and other operators should assume to make the combat against counterfeit medical products more effective. The principles further define what should be perceived as prohibited acts, and recommend sanctions that should be available. The principles recognize that effective and appropriate measures may be located in diverse legal instruments, including in criminal, pharmaceutical, administrative, and intellectual property legislation. To that end, legislators are given a broad flexibility as to the precise legal mechanism that may be used to implement the principles at the national level. The document emphasizes that the principles are considered a “living document”, and that IMPACT intends to further develop the content to reflect emerging issues, especially with a view to the complexity of Internet trade.
IMPACT was created in 2006 under the auspices of WHO. Its members include international organizations, including WIPO; non-governmental organizations; enforcement agencies; drug and regulatory authorities; and pharmaceutical manufacturers associations. More information at http://www.who.int/impact/en/.
UPDATE OF WIPO DATABASE OF CASE LAW LINKS
Since 2006, WIPO offers on its enforcement website a compilation of links to publicly and freely accessible online databases that contain, exclusively or partly, court decisions or decisions of administrative bodies in the field of intellectual property law, or extracts of such decisions. The compilation has now been updated and comprises links to databases in more than 60 countries and international organizations. See http://www.wipo.int/enforcement/en/case_law.html
NEGOTIATIONS ON NEW INTERNATIONAL ANTI-COUNTERFEITING TRADE AGREEMENT (ACTA)
A group of countries, namely Canada, the EU, Japan, Korea, Mexico, New Zealand, Switzerland and the U.S., has agreed to work on a new multilateral anti-counterfeiting agreement. The negotiations seek to address various areas relevant for the effective enforcement of intellectual property rights. These include the legal enforcement framework, for instance with a view to criminal and civil enforcement, border measures, optical disc piracy, and internet distribution. Negotiators have further identified international cooperation among enforcement agencies, capacity building and technical assistance as possible elements of such a trade agreement. Moreover, best practices may be developed to support the legal tools under the agreement. More information at http://www.ustr.gov/Document_Library/Press_Releases/2007/October/Ambassador_Schwab_Announces_US_Will_Seek_New_Trade_Agreement_to_Fight_Fakes.html?ht;
BELGIUM: NEW ANTI-COUNTERFEITING ACT
In Belgium, new intellectual property enforcement legislation entered into force on October 1, 2007. Its provisions focus on border enforcement, the criminal enforcement of intellectual property rights, and cooperation between the various law enforcement authorities in the country. The new law is available (in French and Flemish) at http://www.bordermeasures.com/IMG/pdf/EM.pdf
EU (I): CONTACT DETAILS OF DESIGNATED CUSTOMS DEPARTMENTS
The European Union has issued an update of contact details of customs departments in EU Member States competent to receive applications for national or Community action against intellectual property infringing goods. See http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/site/en/oj/2007/c_234/c_23420071006en00080011.pdf
EU (II): COMMUNICATION ON CREATIVE CONTENT ONLINE
On January 3, 2008, the European Commission launched a consultation process aiming to support the development of online business in EU Member States. To that end, the communication identifies four main challenges raised by the online distribution of creative content, among than legal offers and online piracy. In the latter respect, the communication suggests, inter alia, the development of cooperation procedures (code of conduct) between service providers, right holders and consumers. The communication is available at http://ec.europa.eu/avpolicy/docs/other_actions/col_en.pdf
FRANCE (I): PRIVATE-PUBLIC MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING TO COMBAT ONLINE PIRACY
Aiming to improve the protection of cultural goods and programs online, French music and film producers, Internet service providers (ISPS) and the French government entered into a framework agreement on November 23, 2007. Under the agreement, it is planned to set up an independent public body which would, upon request by the right holder, send out warnings to illegal file sharers. In cases of non-compliance, such users would risk to have their Internet accounts interrupted or closed by the respective ISP. Other elements of the deal address effective filtering measures through ISPs and interoperability. The text of the agreement is available (in French) at http://www.culture.gouv.fr/culture/actualites/index-olivennes231107.htm
FRANCE (II): NEW ANTI-COUNTERFEITING LEGISLATION
In France, a new anti-counterfeiting law entered into force (n° 2007-1544 of October 29, 2007). The new legislation seeks to implement Directive 2004/48/EC on the enforcement of intellectual property rights, and establishes a range of measures aimed at enforcing more effectively intellectual property rights. These measures include accelerated and facilitated procedures in urgent cases, a right of information in civil proceedings, and damage awards which may take into consideration various elements, namely the actual damages of the right holder, profits made by the infringer, the moral prejudice, or alternatively a lump sum based on a license analogy. The text of the law is available (in French) at http://www.senat.fr/dossierleg/pjl06-226.html.
MEXICO: CAMPAIGN AGAINST ONLINE PIRACY
In December 2007, the Mexican Industrial Property Institute (I.M.P.I.) and representatives of the music and film industry presented an update of their joint efforts in combating illegal file-sharing over the Internet. It was reported, inter alia, that I.M.P.I. officials have visited over 500 Internet cafes in Mexico City to promote the respect of intellectual property among consumers, employees and owners. According to I.M.P.I statistics, more than 17 millions of songs were illegally downloaded per week in such establishments in Mexico. More information (in Spanish) at http://www.impi.gob.mx/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=46&Itemid=31
ORGANIZATION OF ECONOMIC COOPERATION AND DEVELOPMENT (OECD) PORJECT ON COUTNERFEITING AND PIRACY: REPORT OF PHASE I AVAILABLE
OECD has finalized the report on the first phase of its project aiming to assess magnitude and economic impact of counterfeiting and piracy. The first phase focuses on counterfeiting and piracy of physical goods. A pre-publication of the study report is available online at http://www.oecd.org/document/50/0,3343,en_2649_34173_39542514_1_1_1_1,00.html
INSTITUTE FOR POLICY INNOVATION (IPI): COST OF COPYRIGHT PIRACY TO U.S. ECONOMY
The study, published in October 2007, analyzes the economic impact of piracy from motion pictures, sound recordings, software and video games on the U.S. economy, including with a view to jobs and tax revenue. The study is available online at http://www.ipi.org/