US Mission To Fund WIPO Work On CounterfeitsPublished on 26 April 2011 @ 7:05 pm
Intellectual Property Watch
The United States mission in Geneva announced today an international initiative to raise public awareness about protection of intellectual property rights. The initiative is a cooperation with the World Intellectual Property Organization and has support from the governments of Kenya, Morocco and the Philippines, US Ambassador Betty King said at a reception.
The new initiative will target counterfeits in particular, King said in prepared remarks [doc], which “by their very nature, are substandard, and in many cases, unsafe.” The initiative will aim to better inform people of the dangers of such counterfeit products (which would not include items such as fake handbags or clothing), something that a “public awareness toolkit project” will be designed to help them do, she said.
King planned to announce a grant to WIPO to help the agency “organise workshops and develop toolkits for use by member states to raise public awareness of the threat that counterfeit products pose to public health and safety,” according to a US mission release. A WIPO official was to explain how the toolkits work. WIPO now has an official whose responsibility is “respect for IP.”
“Companies and entrepreneurs in both developed and developing countries spend enormous sums of capital on building brands by innovating, ensuring quality control, and through aggressive marketing,” King said, only to lose the investment to unauthorised competition. She called for political and public support for the enforcement of laws protecting IP rights.