WIPO IP Enforcement News: August 2008
I. KEY WIPO ACTIVITIES
IP ENFORCEMENT TRAINING AND CONSULTATIONS
- Bahrain: Regional Intellectual Property Crime Conference, organized by the United Nations Development Program on Governance in the Arab Region (UNDP POGAR), Manama, April 13-14, 2008; more information at http://www.undp-pogar.org/activities/actpubs.asp?aid=137
- Sudan: WIPO International Judges Colloquium on Intellectual Property Rights, Khartoum, April 14-16, 2008
- China: WIPO Supreme Court Judges Colloquium on Intellectual Property Rights, Beijing, April 15-16, 2008
- Morocco: Sub-Regional Consultations on the Law and Enforcement of Copyright, co-organized by WIPO, the Moroccan Copyright Office, and the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), Rabat, June 12-15, 2008
- St Vincent and the Grenadines/Grenada: Back-to-back WIPO National Workshops on the Protection of IPRs for Enforcement Officials, June 26-27/ June 30-July 1
- Nigeria: Seminar on the Law, Policy & Enforcement of Intellectual Property, co-organized by WIPO and the USPTO, Abuja, June 24-26
- Canada: Interpol International Law Enforcement IP Crime Conference, Halifax, June 24-27; more information at http://www.interpol.int/Public/FinancialCrime/IntellectualProperty/Meeting/CanadaJune2008/Default.asp
- South Africa: Consultation Workshop on the Enforcement of IP Rights within the Southern African Development Community (SADC), co-organized by WIPO, the Department of Trade and Industry of South Africa (the dti) and the USPTO, Pretoria, July 10-11, 2008
- Ecuador: Back-to-back WIPO Seminars on Copyright Enforcement for Judges, Magistrates, and Prosecutors, Guayaquil/Cuenca/Quito, July 8-11
WIPO LEGISLATIVE ADVICE IN IP ENFORCEMENT MATTERS
Upon request by individual Member States, the WIPO Secretariat provides legal advice on further developments of national legislation in all areas of intellectual property law. This service includes advice on IP enforcement-related legislation, for instance with a view to effective civil procedures and remedies, criminal sanctions and border measures. Depending on the particular request, such assistance may focus on the compatibility of a particular draft Act with the enforcement-related obligations under the TRIPS Agreement and WIPO-administered treaties, including with a view to flexibilities that may exist under those instruments. Member States wishing to explore such assistance are invited to submit their request to the WIPO Secretariat.
NEW WIPO ENFORCEMENT PUBLICATION AVAILABLE SHORTLY
Following the success of WIPO publication 791E (WIPO Intellectual Property Enforcement Case Book), prepared by the Honorable Justice Louis Harms, Judge of Appeal, Supreme Court of South Africa, and published in 2005, the author agreed to prepare a second edition. The new edition will update the common law part of the above publication, and add ample references to case law developments in countries within the civil law tradition. The new publication, due in the autumn, is intended for use by judges, attorneys and right holders, and will be of special interest to those in developing countries.
ANTI-COUNTERFEITING TRADE AGREEMENT (ACTA) NEGOTIATIONS URGED TOWARD A SWIFT RESOLUTION
The G8 Hokkaido Toyako Summit Leaders Declaration, issued on July 7, 2008, expresses the support of the G8 countries for an acceleration of the ACTA negotiations, and calls for completion of the negotiations by the end of 2008. Similarly, a recent draft EU Parliament report encourages a swift and satisfactory conclusion of the new agreement. The respective documents are available at http://www.g8.gc.ca/pdf/G8_Hokkaido_Toyako_Summit_Leaders_Declaration-eng.pdf and http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?pubRef=-//EP//NONSGML+COMPARL+PE-405.983+01+DOC+PDF+V0//EN&language=EN.
CHINA: NEW IP STRATEGY ANNOUNCED
In June 2008, the Chinese government announced a new IP strategy including several elements related to strengthening IP enforcement. For instance, the government plans to conduct studies to determine whether to create specialized IP courts, and will attempt to improve the efficiency of, and coordination between, law enforcement and customs personnel. The strategy is available at http://www.nipso.cn/rdwz/200806/t20080627_409087.html
COMMONWEALTH: ADOPTION OF COOPERATION FRAMEWORK ON IP ENFORCEMENT
At the 2008 Commonwealth Law Ministers meeting, held in July 2008 in Edinburgh, UK, participants agreed to adopt a new cooperation framework to make the enforcement of intellectual property rights more effective and to contribute, at the same time, to a growth of trade liberalization, the promotion of technological innovation and the transfer of technology. The framework suggests areas of cooperation among enforcement agencies and with the private sector, the exchange of information, and the development of best practices which conform to international standards. The Communiqué of the meeting is available at http://www.thecommonwealth.org/document/34293/35232/181429/clmm2008.htm
EU (I): PREPARATION OF LEGAL PROPOSAL TO COMBAT COUNTERFEIT MEDICINAL PRODUCTS
In June 2008, the European Commission (Enterprise and Industry Directorate-General) published the responses to a public consultation on possible legislative measures against counterfeit medicinal products in the European Union. The consultation paper suggests various changes to existing EC legislation and guidelines, for instance with a view to the manufacture of medicinal products and active substances, and the import, export and transit/transshipment of such products. Consultation paper and responses are available at http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/pharmaceuticals/counterf_par_trade/counterfeit_key.htm
EU (II): EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT REPORT ON COUNTERFEITING AND TRADE
In June 2008, a Draft Report to the European Parliament was released, entitled “The Fight against Counterfeiting and Piracy in the Bilateral Trade Agreements of the EU.” The report makes a number of recommendations for successful IP enforcement provisions. It is available at http://www.europarl.europa.eu/activities/committees/studies/download.do?file=21459
G8: REPORT OF DISCUSSIONS OF THE G8 INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY EXPERTS’ GROUP RELEASED
In July 2008, the G8 Intellectual Property Experts’ Group released a report following the latest round of talks in Japan. The report outlines specific measures deemed necessary for achieving an efficient IP system, including with a view to enhanced cooperation among customs and border enforcement personnel. The full report is available at http://www.g8.gc.ca/pdf/Report_of_Discussions_G8_Intellectual_Property_Experts_Group_Meeting-eng.pdf
HONG KONG: NEW COPYRIGHT ENFORCEMENT MEASURES TAKE EFFECT
On July 11, 2008, various new copyright enforcement measures took effect in Hong Kong under the 2007 Copyright (Amendment) Ordinance. The new law introduces a range of new civil and criminal liabilities, for instance a new business end-user criminal liability, including for the director or partner of a body corporate. Moreover, the ordinance establishes detailed civil and criminal liability for certain acts of circumvention of protection measures. The text of the ordinance and background information is available at http://www.ipd.gov.hk/eng/intellectual_property/copyright/copyright_ordinance.htm
HUNGARY: NEW NATIONAL BOARD AGAINST COUNTERFEITING (NBAC)
The Hungarian government established the NBAC, in early 2008, to elaborate and coordinate a National Anti-Counterfeiting Strategy. The mandate of the board also includes promoting public awareness of IP enforcement issues, and training of government officials in IP enforcement techniques. The government decision establishing the board is available at http://www.hpo.hu/English/jogforras/gov_decision_NBAC_1002_2008_EN.pdf
MEXICO: NEW SPECIALIZED IP SUB-TRIBUNAL
In March 2008, the Federal Tribunal of Fiscal and Administrative Justice of Mexico decided to establish a specialized IP body within the Tribunal. This sub-tribunal, composed of three magistrates, is responsible for reviewing administrative decisions in the field of IP. The resolution of the Tribunal is available (in Spanish) at http://www.tff.gob.mx/acdos/Acuerdos2008/G_17_2008.htm
SEACONET: SEVENTEEN AFRICAN COUNTRIES JOIN TO FORM THE SOUTHERN AND EASTERN AFRICA COPYRIGHT NETWORK
The creation of Secaonet, a sub-regional network of copyright offices, collective management organizations and right holder organizations from seventeen African nations, was announced at a Ministerial meeting in Lilongwe, Malawi, on May 30, 2008. One of Seaconet’s goals is to help reduce piracy in the region. The Copyright Society of Malawi, COSOMA, will act as Secretariat to the network. More information at http://www.ifrro.org/show.aspx?pageid=home
SWITZERLAND: IMPROVED ENFORCEMENT MEASURES TAKE EFFECT
On July 1, 2008, two new legislative amendments strengthening the enforcement of intellectual property rights went into effect in Switzerland. A first set of amendments provides for stronger boarder measures allowing, for instance, a simplified procedure for destruction of illegal products by customs, and border control for goods in transit. The new law also increases the upper limit of available criminal sanctions for commercial infringements. More information on these changes at http://www.ige.ch/e/jurinfo/j10702.shtm.
Secondly, as of the same date, the amended Copyright Act came into effect. It introduces, inter alia, the protection of technological measures used in connection with copyrighted material. See http://www.ige.ch/e/jurinfo/j10300.shtm.
UK: STRATEGIC ADVISORY BOARD FOR INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY POLICY (SABIP) FORMED
Following the recommendations made in the 2006 Gowers Review of Intellectual Property, SABIP was formed in June 2008 as a non-departmental public body sponsored by the UK Intellectual Property Office (UK-IPO). SABIP will advise Ministers and the UK-IPO in the development of IP policy. At SABIP’s first meeting on June 5, 2008, the board gathered suggestions for its work program. These include enforcement-related issues such as the costs of litigation, and IP enforcement in the context of technology. The minutes of that meeting are available at http://www.sabip.org.uk/home/minutes/meetings/minutes-062008.htm