World Intellectual Property Organization

WIPO IP Enforcement News: April - June 2007

I. SELECTED WIPO ACTIVITIES

UPCOMING: FOURTH SESSION OF THE WIPO ADVISORY COMMITTEE ON ENFORCEMENT (ACE)

The ACE will hold its fourth session on November 1 and 2, 2007, at WIPO headquarters in Geneva. As agreed at the third session of the ACE, this meeting will address coordination and cooperation at the international, regional and national levels in the field of enforcement. The focus will be on coordination and cooperation to streamline the criminal enforcement of intellectual property (IP) rights. In that sense, the deliberations will provide a comparative analysis of the issues in question, such as the scope and definition of IP crimes; investigation and initiation of criminal proceedings; jurisdiction and, where appropriate, the coordination of proceedings; evidentiary issues; sentencing options; and the level of penalties. More information will be made available on the WIPO Enforcement website shortly.

 

WIPO ENFORCEMENT WORKSHOPS AND TRAINING COURSES

In line with requests from its Member States, WIPO continued to organize, through the second quarter of 2007, another series of workshops and training courses on the enforcement of intellectual property rights. Once more, many of those events were organized in close co-operation with Member States and partner organizations of WIPO, as follows:

  • Morocco: WIPO Seminar on copyright enforcement for judges and magistrates, Rabat, April 23-24, 2007;
  • WIPO headquarters: Colloquium on intellectual property for judges from Turkey, April 24-27, 2007, Geneva, Switzerland
  • India: National anti-piracy seminar, in cooperation with the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), new Delhi, April 26, 2007;
  • Arab region: WIPO Regional workshop on the training of intellectual property law at the judicial level, for heads of judiciary training centers in the Arab region, Algiers, Algeria, May 7-9, 2007;
  • Malaysia: WIPO National workshop on the enforcement of intellectual property rights, organized in cooperation with the Ministry of domestic trade and consumer affairs of Malaysia and with the assistance of the Japan Patent Office (JPO) and the Intellectual Property Corporation of Malaysia (MyIPO), Kuala Lumpur, May 21 to 23, 2007;
  • Senegal: WIPO/Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie (OIF) Sub-regional seminar on copyright enforcement for judges and prosecutors, organized in cooperation with the Senegal Copyright Office, Dakar, May 21-23, 2007;
  • WIPO headquarters: Study visit of judges from Sudan, Geneva, June 18–22, 2007.

A regular update on WIPO's training and awareness-raising activities in the field of IP enforcement is made available on the WIPO Enforcement website.

 

COOPERATION WITH MALAYSIA ON SPECIAL IP COURTS

In early May 2007, the government of Malaysia announced the setting up of specialist IP courts which will hear cases under, inter alia, the Trade Description Act 1972, Patent Act 1983, Copyright Act 1987, and Optical Disc Act 2000. WIPO, over the past years, has assisted in the consultation process. Next steps in that cooperation will include training of the members of the judiciary which will be assigned to the new IP courts, as well as of other law enforcement officials. A first round of meetings will be held in mid-July 2007.

 

COOPERATION WITH INTERPOL: IP CRIME CONFERENCE

From June 19-21, 2007, Interpol organized, in cooperation with a number of partner organizations including WIPO, an international conference on IP crime. The three-day conference was held in Niagra Falls, Canada, and was attended by over 400 law enforcement and government officials. The Conference program addressed a range of issues related to the criminal enforcement of intellectual property rights, such as the investigation, prevention and disruption of counterfeiting and piracy activity. The conference program is available at http://www.interpol.int/Public/FinancialCrime/IntellectualProperty/Meeting/CanadaJune2007/Poster.pdf. See also press release at http://www.interpol.com/Public/News/2007/IPCconf20070621.asp

 

COOPERATION WITH THE AMERICAN LAW INSTITUTE (ALI): "PRINCIPLES ON JURISDICTION, CHOICE OF LAW, AND JUDGMENTS IN TRANSNATIONAL IP DISPUTES"

After several years of work carried out under the auspices of ALI on a set of non-binding rules concerning jurisdiction, choice of law, and the enforcement of judgments abroad in international IP litigation, members of ALI approved a final text on May 15, 2007. WIPO had participated in the discussions on the Principles as an advisor. The full text of the Principles, with commentary and Reporters’ notes, is available at http://www.ali.org/doc/2007_intellectualproperty.pdf

 

COOPERATION WITH THE HAGUE CONFERENCE ON PRIVATE INTERNATIONAL LAW: PUBLICATION OF EXPLANATORY REPORT ON THE HAGUE CONVENTION ON CHOICE OF COURT AGREEMENTS

In May 2007, the Hague Conference on Private International Law published an article-by-article commentary of the Hague Convention on Choice of Court Agreements, adopted in June 2005. The Convention seeks to provide an international legal framework for jurisdiction based on exclusive forum selection clauses, as well as for recognition and enforcement of judgments rendered by courts thus designated. The scope of the Convention includes disputes involving intellectual property matters to a certain extent. The Explanatory Report was prepared by the co-reporters Trevor Hartley (United Kingdom) and Masato Dogauchi (Japan). See http://www.hcch.net/index_en.php?act=publications.details&pid=3959&dtid=3>

 

FOURTH GLOBAL CONGRESS ON COMBATING COUNTERFEITING AND PIRACY TO BE HELD IN DUBAI

The fourth Global Congress on Combating Counterfeiting and Piracy, organized jointly by WIPO, Interpol and the World Customs Organization (WCO), with the support and cooperation of the International Trademark Association (INTA), the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), and the International Security Management Association (ISMA), will be held in Dubai, with the support of Dubai customs. Preliminary dates are in the first week of February 2008. Further information will be made available shortly. For information on the past Global Congresses see http://www.wipo.int/enforcement/en/global_congress/
http://www.ccapcongress.net/

 

NEW WIPO ENFORCEMENT PUBLICATION AVAILABLE SHORTLY

Prepared by Mrs. Marie-Françoise Marais, Conseiller at the Cour de Cassation in France, and Mr. Thibault Lachacinski, attorney-at-law, this new WIPO publication will analyse representative intellectual property cases adjudicated in France, with some references to decisions rendered in other countries in the droit romain tradition. The case book, published in the French language, will guide through selected court decisions in the different areas of intellectual property law, with an emphasis on matters that typically arise in civil and criminal proceedings in that context. The case book is currently being printed and will be available shortly.

 

II. LINKS

CANADA: CANADIAN ANTI-COUNTERFEITING NETWORK (CACN) SUGGESTS ANTI-PIRACY ROADMAP

CACN, a Canadian business coalition, has issued a report which analyzes the consequences of counterfeiting and piracy in Canada, as well as problems related to effective IP enforcement in the country. The report, endorsed by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and the Retail Council of Canada, also examines IP enforcement practices in other countries and regions, and formulates a set of recommendations for government action. The report is available at http://www.cacn.ca/PDF/CACN%20Releases/Roadmap_for_Change.pdf

 

CHINA: ACTION PLAN ON IPR PROTECTION 2007

On April 6, 2007, the National Working Group for IPR Protection of the Chinese government issued an action plan which formulates concrete measures to be taken by the relevant authorities to advance IP enforcement. The action plan addresses many details in the area of, for instance, legislation, judicial interpretations and guidelines, civil and criminal IP enforcement, IP enforcement campaigns, training and education, awareness-raising, and international cooperation. The text of the action plan is available at http://english.ipr.gov.cn/ipr/en/info/Article.jsp?a_no=67391&col_no=925&dir=200704

 

CHINA - U.S.: BILATERAL AGREEMENT ON IP BORDER ENFORCEMENT COOPERATION

On May 23, 2007, the General Administration of Customs of China and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection concluded an agreement which aims to strengthen cooperation between the countries’ customs authorities for effective IP enforcement at the border. The agreement addresses, inter alia, the regular exchange of seizure information between the authorities. For more information see website of the US Customs and Border Protection at http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/newsroom/news_releases/05232007_5.xml

 

EU (I): PUBLICATION OF 2006 SEIZURE STATISTICS

On May 31, 2007, the Taxation and Customs Union Directorate-General of the EU Commission published information on seizures of counterfeit goods at the EU external borders in 2006. The customs statistics show, inter alia, a 330% increase of the number of seized counterfeit and pirated goods in 2006, as compared to 2005. The Commission emphasizes that there has been a dramatic increase in seized counterfeit medicines. More information at http://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/customs/customs_controls/counterfeit_piracy/statistics/index_en.htm

 

EU (II): PROPOSED DIRECTIVE ON CRIMINAL IP ENFORCEMENT UNDER REVIEW BY COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION

On 25 April 2007, the European Parliament adopted, with amendments, the proposal for a new Directive on criminal measures aimed at ensuring the enforcement of intellectual property rights (2005/0127(COD)). The proposed Directive is now under review by the Council of the European Union. In that respect, the Council published a list of issues which, in its view, require further discussion and analysis, including the respective norm-setting competences at Community level, the scope of the proposed Directive, or the level of penalties. See http://www.copycrime.eu/system/files/st09446-en_0.pdf

The parliament resolution of April 25, 2007, including a comparative table of the initial and the then approved draft text, is available at http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=REPORT&reference=A6-2007-0073&language=EN&mode=XML

 

EU - JAPAN: ACTION PLAN ON IP PROTECTION AND ENFORCEMENT

At the 16th EU-Japan summit, held in Berlin, Germany, on June 5, 2007, the EU and Japan adopted an action plan on IP protection and enforcement which renews an earlier joint IP enforcement initiative. Under part 1 of the action plan, the new action plan formulates a range of measures to advance cooperation in the field of IP enforcement, for instance with a view to information sharing, customs cooperation, the assessment of damages resulting from IP infringements, public-private cooperation, or technical assistance. The action plan also suggests exploring the possibility of strengthening the international legal framework to combat counterfeiting and piracy. The text of the action plan is available at http://www.eu2007.de/en/News/download_docs/Juni/0506-RAA1/010Statement.pdf

 

INDIA: FEDERATION OF INDIAN CHAMBERS OF COMMERCE (FICCI) ANTI-PIRACY INITIATIVE

In April 2007, FICCI has launched a nation-wide initiative against counterfeiting and piracy, aiming to raise awareness among policy makers, legislators, the judiciary and the public at large. More information at http://www.ficci.com/general/anti-piracy/anti-piracy.htm

 

U.S. - SOUTH KOREA: FREE TRADE AGREEMENT (FTA) AND IP ENFORCEMENT

On April 1, 2007, the U.S. and the Republic of Korea signed a bilateral FTA. The FTA touches on intellectual property enforcement in various respects, for instance with a view to the criminalization of end-user piracy, anti-circumvention provisions, border measures, including as concerns goods in transit, and ex officio action by prosecutors and customs officials. More information at the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) website at http://www.ustr.gov/Trade_Agreements/Bilateral/Republic_of_Korea_FTA/Section_Index.html

 

U.S. - EU: 2007 SUMMIT AND IP ENFORCEMENT

On April 30, 2007, the U.S. and the EU adopted a new "Framework for Advancing Transatlantic Economic Integration". The framework identifies five priority areas for strengthened transatlantic cooperation. The first of these focuses on the enforcement of intellectual property rights, namely as concerns the exchange of information relating to goods suspected of infringing intellectual property rights, the exchange of customs officials, and the organization of joint technical assistance and enforcement missions. The work program sets out further details of the envisaged cooperation in intellectual property matters (Annex 3). The text of the framework is available at http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2007/04/20070430-4.html

 

THAILAND - EU: STUDY ON IP INFRINGEMENTS AND PUBLIC-PRIVATE RESPONSES

Under the project entitled "SILK – Strengthening EU-Thai fight against counterfeiting", managed by the Thai-Italian Chamber of Commerce, in cooperation with the Research Centre on Security and Crime in Italy, SNB-React in the Netherlands, and the European Commission, an intermediate research report on trends in IP infringement and enforcement in Thailand and the EU was released in June 2007. The report focuses on criminological trends, IP enforcement legislation, practical enforcement issues, as well as goods identification technologies. More information at http://www.deltha.cec.eu.int/spf/project%20fiche%2028_ITCC.htm

 

G8 2007 SUMMIT: DECLARATION ON INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY

In the G8 2007 Summit Declaration "Growth and Responsibility in the World Economy", published on June 7, 2007, the G8 countries reaffirmed their commitment to combat counterfeiting and piracy, emphasizing that the "trade in counterfeit and pirated goods threatens health, safety and security of consumers worldwide, particularly in developing countries". The declaration formulates a number of concrete measures to intensify IP enforcement-related cooperation between G8 countries, for instance with a view to border enforcement, technical assistance, prosecution of organized and serious IP crimes, and a new international legal framework. The declaration is available at

http://www.g-8.de/nsc_true/Content/EN/Artikel/__g8-summit/anlagen/2007-06-07-gipfeldokument-wirtschaft-eng,templateId=raw,property=publicationFile.pdf/2007-06-07-gipfeldokument-wirtschaft-eng

 

COUNCIL OF EUROPE: WORK ON A NEW CONVENTION ON PHARMACEUTICAL CRIME

The Council of Europe, an intergovernmental organization with 47 Member States and 5 observer countries, stepped up its work on a new international legal framework on counterfeit medicines/pharmaceutical crimes. Following a feasibility study published in January 2007, the Committee on Crime Problems of the Council of Europe discussed, at the 56th Plenary Session of the European Council on June 18, 2007, the terms of reference for a Specialist Group to prepare a draft Convention on pharmaceutical crime. Working documents, including the above study, are available at http://www.coe.int/t/e/legal_affairs/legal_co-operation/steering_committees/cdpc/Documents/cdpc%20(2007)%20oj%20-%20draft%20agenda%20(30-04-07).asp

 

INTERNATIONAL TRADEMARK ASSOCIATION (INTA): ACTION REQUEST CONCERNING THE INTERNATIONAL LEGAL FRAMEWORK FOR CRIMINAL SANCTIONS AGAINST TRADEMARK COUNTERFEITING

On June 20, 2007, the INTA Anti-Counterfeiting & Enforcement Committee (ACEC) submitted a request for action concerning the international legal framework for criminal sanctions against trademark counterfeiting. The document suggests prioritizing four areas in the international dialogue, namely the recognition of counterfeiting as a transnational organized crime; the criminalization of laundering of proceeds of crime resulting from counterfeiting; the problem of jurisdictional gaps over counterfeiting offenses; and the international harmonization of sanctions against counterfeiting. See http://www.inta.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1676&Itemid=153&getcontent=3

 

ORGANIZATION FOR ECONOMIC COOPERATION AND DEVELOPMENT (OECD) - STUDY ON ECONOMIC IMPACTS OF PIRACY AND COUNTERFEITING: EXECUTIVE SUMMARY PUBLISHED

In early June 2007, OECD released the Executive Summary of phase I of its study on the global economic impact of counterfeiting and piracy. The results are limited to the international trade in counterfeit and pirated goods, and do not address scope and implications of digital piracy. The full report has been announced to be published shortly. The Executive Summary is available at http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/11/38/38704571.pdf

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