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 of the meeting will be on coordination and cooperation to streamline the criminal enforcement of intellectual property (IP) rights. Working documents are available at http://www.wipo.int/meetings/en/details.jsp?meeting_id=12802
NEW WIPO ENFORCEMENT PUBLICATION
This new WIPO publication, prepared by Mrs. Marie-Françoise Marais, Conseiller at the Cour de Cassation in France, and Mr. Thibault Lachacinski, attorney-at-law, analyses 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, guides 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 will be available in the WIPO E-Bookshop shortly (publication No. 626F, http://www.wipo.int/ebookshop/).
WIPO GENERAL ASSEMBLY REVIEWS WORK OF THE ADVISORY COMMITTEE ON ENFORCEMENT (ACE)
At the annual session of the WIPO General Assembly, held from September 24 to October 3, 2007, WIPO Member States reviewed the work of the ACE. Discussions were based on document WO/GA/34/10 and its Annex. The General Assembly acknowledged the importance of the work undertaken by the ACE. Member States discussed the future work of the ACE, including whether the Committee should embrace the elaboration of best practices and guidelines, or focus on the examination of development-oriented concerns and broader societal interests. A summary of the Assemblies’ discussions is available at http://www.wipo.int/pressroom/en/articles/2007/article_0074.html.
WIPO ENFORCEMENT WORKSHOPS AND TRAINING COURSES
Over the past months, WIPO continued to organize, or assist in, workshops and training courses on the enforcement of intellectual property rights, 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:
- Vietnam: Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Workshop on IP Rights Enforcement in the Digital Era, Nha Tran, July 4–6, 2007;
- China: China Forum on Criminal IP Protection, Shenzhen City, July 24-25, 2007;
- WIPO National Colloquium for the Judiciary on the Enforcement of IP Rights, Island of Langkawi, July 23, 2007;
- Roundtable on the Cooperation among Law Enforcement Agencies, Kuala Lumpur, July 25, 2007;
- WIPO National Intellectual Property Rights Training for Enforcement Officers, Kuala Lumpur, July 26-27, 2007;
- Malaysian Judiciary Annual Conference, Kuala Lumpur, September 9, 2007;
- Sudan: WIPO Workshop on the Enforcement of IPRs, in cooperation with the Intellectual Property Office and the government of Sudan, Khartoum, September 2-5, 2007;
- Thailand: Two National Seminars on the SILK Project (EU-Thai fight against counterfeiting), organized by the Thai-Italian Chamber of Commerce, Bangkok, September 10-11 and 12-14, 2007;
- Montenegro: TAIEX Seminar on Intellectual Property Rights, Podgorica, October 4-5, 2007;
- Sri Lanka:
- WIPO National Seminar on the Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights for Police Officials, Colombo, October 15-16, 2007;
- Roundtable on the Cooperation among Law Enforcement Agencies, Colombo, October 17, 2007;
- WIPO National Seminar on the Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights for Customs Officials, Colombo, October 18-19, 2007;
- Ukraine: International Scientific-Practical Conference, Kiev, October 8, 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.
COOPERATION WITH THE ORGANIZATION OF ECONOMIC COOPERATION AND DEVELOPMENT (OECD): WORK ON THE ASSESSMENT OF DIGITAL PIRACY LAUNCHED
The OECD Counterfeiting Advisory Group oversees the ongoing OECD project which aims to assess the economic impact of counterfeiting and piracy. WIPO is a member of this group. Phase I of the project focused on counterfeiting and piracy of physical goods. The findings of phase I were released in June 2007 (available at http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/11/38/38704571.pdf). In a meeting held on September 12, 2007, the group decided to launch the work on phase II of the project which will address digital piracy of copyrighted content. In a first step, an analysis will be undertaken to assess the markets where digital piracy may be a concern, and national approaches to enforcement in that regard.
COOPERATION WITH THE WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION (WHO): DRAFT PRINCIPLES AND ELEMENTS FOR NATIONAL LEGISLATION AGAINST COUNTERFEIT MEDICAL PRODUCTS
The WHO-led International Medical Products Anti-counterfeiting Taskforce (IMPACT) has produced draft principles which aim to provide guidance for the development of national or regional legislation to effectively combat counterfeit medical products. The draft principles suggest, inter alia, a number of responsibilities that governmental institutions, manufacturers, and operators of the distribution chain should assume to make the combat against counterfeit medical products more effective. The draft principles further define what should be perceived as prohibited acts, and recommend sanctions that should be available. The draft principles are planned to be recommended for consideration by the IMPACT General Meeting, to be held on December 12-13, 2007, in Lisbon. IMPACT was created in 2006 by WHO together with more than 20 international partners, including WIPO. The draft principles are available at http://www.who.int/impact/events/PrinciplesElementsforNationalLegislation.pdf
FRANCE: NEW ANTI-COUNTERFEITING LEGISLATION ADOPTED
French legislators approved, on October 17, 2007, a bill which, inter alia, seeks to implement the European directive on the enforcement of intellectual property rights (2004/48/EC). The bill introduces new IP enforcement standards in various respects, for instance as regards the calculation of damage awards on the basis of profits made by the infringer or, alternatively, a license analogy; the right of information against the infringer and certain third persons; and the legal standing of certain licensees. The adopted text is available (in French) at http://www.senat.fr/dossierleg/pjl06-226.html
MEXICO: NATIONAL FRAMEWORK FOR THE FIGHT AGAINST PIRACY
With the recent signing of the “National Agreement against Piracy”, the Mexican Government together with the private sector, collective management societies and NGOs, decided to step up joint efforts against counterfeiting and piracy. The Agreement formulates a number of strategies and objectives, including with a view to the economic development of the industry sectors that are mostly concerned by piracy, the strengthening of a culture of lawfulness, and the efficient administration of justice. The text of the Agreement is available (in Spanish) at http://www.pgr.gob.mx/Combate%20a%20la%20Delincuencia/Documentos/Delitos%20Federales/Delitos%20en%20Materia%20de%20Derechos%20de%20Autor/Acuerdo%20Nacional%20VS%20Pirateria.pdf
SPAIN: GUIDE ON INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS FOR ACADEMIC INSTITUTIONS
The Spanish Ministry of Culture, in a joint effort with cultural and industry sectors, launched a “Guide on Security and Intellectual Property Rights for Academic Institutions”. The guide offers practical information for universities, aiming to promote a culture of respect of IP rights, especially with a view to online uses. The guide is available (in Spanish) at http://www.mcu.es/propiedadInt/docs/MC/Guia_Universidades_2007.pdf
SWITZERLAND: REVISION OF FEDERAL COPYRIGHT ACT ADOPTED
On October 5, 2007, the Swiss Federal parliament approved two copyright-related bills, namely (i) the Federal Decision on the Approval of two Treaties of the World Intellectual Property Organization and on the Revision of the Copyright Act, and (ii) the Revision of the Federal Law on Copyright and Neighboring Rights. The first bill introduces, inter alia, the protection of technological protection measures (TPMs) and rights management information. It also provides, under certain conditions, criminal sanctions against the deliberate illegal circumvention of TPMs and the alteration or removal of rights management information, as well as certain related acts. An action against the circumvention of TPMs cannot be enforced vis-à-vis persons that perform such circumvention exclusively for the purpose of a use which is permitted by law. The texts of the adopted bills are available (in French, German and Italian) at www.ige.ch.
EUROPEAN COURT OF JUSTICE (ECJ): ADVOCATE GENERAL OPINION ON DISCLOSURE OF PERSONAL USER DATA IN COPYRIGHT LITIGATION
In case C-275/06, the ECJ is requested to determine whether Community law requires that national legislation provides, in civil litigation, a disclosure of personal user data by Internet service providers. In the corresponding opinion, issued on July 18, 2007, the Advocate General examines the interrelation between data protection and intellectual property law, especially with a view to the requirements under the European enforcement directive (2004/48/EC). The Advocate General finds that the latter instrument does not have priority over existing requirements relating to data protection. The text of the opinion is available in various languages at http://ec.europa.eu/justice_home/fsj/privacy/law/index_en.htm
MOTION PICTURE ASSOCIATION (MPA) / INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION OF THE PHONOGRAM INDUSTRY (IFPI): COOPERATION IN THE LATIN AMERICAN REGION
MPA and IFPI announced to expand their collaboration in the fight against audiovisual and music piracy in the Latin American Region. Over the past months, the region reports an unprecedented volume of enforcement action against pirated DVDs and CDs. More information at http://www.mpaa.org/MPA-al/LAM07-19-QuarterlyAP-Attachment.pdf