Enforcement Declaration Lays Strategy For Co-operation, Legislation17/11/2005 by Tove Iren S. Gerhardsen for Intellectual Property Watch Leave a CommentShare this Story:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)IP-Watch is a non-profit independent news service and depends on subscriptions. To access all of our content, please subscribe now. You may also offer additional support with your subscription, or donate.Lyon, France — The declaration that emerged from an international anti-piracy conference this week is a strong call for stepped-up efforts by industry and governments to bring about further protection of intellectual property rights, including greater powers for law enforcement and customs officials.The declaration, expected to be posted to the conference website, highlights strategies, but does not give clear backing to a proposal issued during the conference by Japan for a new international treaty on counterfeiting. The declaration only states that the Japanese proposal should be “consider[ed] further.”The Second Global Congress on Combating Counterfeiting and Piracy was held in Lyon, France on 14-15 November and co-convened by Interpol and the World Customs Organisation (WCO). At the conference, Japan proposed an international treaty to combat worldwide counterfeiting and piracy, complementing the World Trade Organization Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights.Hisamitsu Arai, secretary-general of the intellectual property strategy headquarters in Japan, said in an interview that he had received “good response” for the proposal and that “in principal they [the participants] agree” on the need for a treaty. Others pointed out that as the idea did not receive more attention in the final declaration of the meeting, it did not carry much weight.A Chinese delegate called the Japanese proposal “a bit naïve” and did not think it would go further. Other sources were sceptical, saying it had only received a lukewarm welcome at the Group of Eight industrialised countries (G8) meeting in Gleneagles, Scotland, where Japanese President Junichiro Koizumi presented the idea.The Lyon declaration was developed during the conference, and amendments proposed late in the conference will be taken into consideration for the next declaration, said Wolfgang Starein, director of the enforcement and special projects division at the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), noting that the first and the second global conferences were held within 18 months with three regional conferences in between.WIPO will host the third global congress in January 2007. The first congress was held in Brussels in 2004, with subsequent regional congresses in Rome, Shanghai and Brazil. At the Lyon meeting, Malaysia offered to host the next counterfeiting meeting in that region.Starein said that organisations would work on implementing the recommendations made in the declaration and the participants would bring it home to their respective governments and companies, but it would not be officially presented to any political body.Starein said that Russia might be interested in hosting a regional counterfeit expert meeting when it assumes the G8 presidency in January 2006, and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development had indicated that it might be interested in hosting another regional meeting.Focus On Awareness And EnforcementThe Lyon declaration states that there is a “growing political commitment on the counterfeiting and piracy issue,” and this has “confirmed the need for firm and effective action.”This includes raising awareness and political will, improving co-operation and co-ordination between public and private sectors, building capacity and promoting better legislation and enforcement.The Lyon declaration proposes to “develop a practical set of critical elements of effective government and industry anti-counterfeiting/piracy strategies.”In terms of raising awareness this would mean developing a global program for policy makers, opinion leaders and consumers, and Interpol continuing its effort to raise awareness about piracy in member countries including showing how the issue relates to organised crime, in order to influence policy makers as well as law enforcement agencies.Co-ordination should take place at a national level, helping countries to focus their resources, and regional congresses should take place during 2006, the declaration states. Moreover, the WCO is encouraged to improve the sharing of information on regional, international as well as bilateral levels, and it was pointed out by a delegate that on the international level, there was a need for an “information exchange mechanism.”Capacity also has to be built, the declaration states, through increased co-operation between international government organisations and non-governmental organisations for training programmes in intellectual property protection as well as enforcement.The exchange of information among the judiciary and law enforcement officials in electronic form should also be fostered, the declaration says. It was noted during the conference that some countries, such as Malawi, do not have any of patent documents in electronic form.The declaration also said: As part of the promotion of better legislation and enforcement, Japan’s proposal should be considered; national authorities should examine export merchandises (and import, one delegate added); the “WCO framework of standards” for global protection of IP should be developed which can be offered governments on a voluntary basis and WIPO should be assisted in its “IP enforcement agenda.”International government organisations such as Interpol and WIPO will also increase their “resource allocation” and “operational capabilities,” the declaration states.Anne Gundelfinger, president of the International Trademark Association, said that the declaration was a “very useful guideline” of the overall goal and strategy but she called for more specificity such as setting up a steering committee, having deadlines and developing a “list of action items.”Share this Story:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Related"Enforcement Declaration Lays Strategy For Co-operation, Legislation" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.