ICC asks G8 task force for concrete plan to fight counterfeiting
ICC today commended G8 leaders for continuing to address the complicated and growing epidemic of counterfeiting and piracy at the annual G8 Summit, but expressed disappointment at the lack of substance on these issues in the outcome statement released at the G8 Summit in Heiligendamm last week.
ICC said that the statement provided very little insight into concrete steps G8 leaders intend to take to tackle the problem in any tangible or measurable way. Also missing were the associated funding and manpower commitments necessary to implement solutions over the next year and beyond. Moreover, while endorsing the work of various intergovernmental organizations, the G8 surprisingly shared no guidance on priorities for these organizations.
ICC agreed with the statement’s acknowledgement that “the benefits of innovation for economic growth and development are increasingly threatened by infringements of intellectual property rights worldwide,” and embraced the G8 leaders’ decision to “strongly reaffirm our commitment to combat piracy and counterfeiting.”
The G8’s call for cooperation among and between themselves, developing countries, intergovernmental organizations and business is clearly needed. The problem of global counterfeiting and piracy has far-reaching consequences and will require a far-reaching, cooperative solution. Technical assistance and capacity building are a natural part of this, as the G8 statement noted. Likewise, ICC said all stakeholders need to do a better job raising awareness and educating the public about the negative effects of counterfeiting and piracy.
To this end, ICC is undertaking a global public awareness campaign and developing guidelines to assist companies do a better job protecting intellectual property.
In the absence of a detailed strategic plan from the Summit, ICC welcomed the G8’s decision to establish an Intellectual Property Rights Task Force focusing on anti-counterfeiting and piracy.
“It will be the urgent responsibility of this body to determine measures to improve international IPR protection and enforcement, and, most importantly, produce immediate recommendations for future actions that can be reviewed at the next G8 summit,” said ICC Secretary General Guy Sebban.
“It is essential that this follow on activity incorporate the views and contributions of not only the G8, the IGOs and key developing countries, but also the business community,” said Mr Sebban. “In the run up to the Summit, we have already provided the heads of state with a set of recommendations that could form a starting point for a new G8 plan to address counterfeiting and piracy.”
“As I said last year, the G8 statements promoting intellectual property are certainly welcome,” said Mr Sebban. “But we need to see them translated into action or we are left with nothing more than another piece of paper. We are mobilized and ready to help the IPR Task Force.”