Home » News & Speeches » ICC group of CEOs unveil plan to stop counterfeiting and piracy

Alarmed that counterfeiting and piracy have become a social and economic scourge leaving virtually no sector or country unharmed, CEOs and senior corporate officials met today to announce a wide-ranging new plan for ramping up the fight at the highest international levels.

“Not only does unfair competition from counterfeiting and piracy worldwide drain billions annually from the ‘virtuous circle’ of economic growth that intellectual properly generates, but we are particularly concerned about the risks for consumers from unsafe counterfeit products. We urge the assistance of governments to curb the proliferation of counterfeit products,” said Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, Chairman and CEO of Nestle.

The meeting marked the second time the CEO group, which included some of the world’s largest companies, gathered under the banner of Business Action to Stop Counterfeiting and Piracy (BASCAP) since the cross-sector initiative was launched by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) in 2005. The new plan will be carried out by BASCAP and its member companies.

Jean-René Fourtou, Honorary Chairman of ICC and Supervisory Board Chairman of Vivendi, said: “This new plan addresses piracy and counterfeiting at the root and mobilizes global business to educate policymakers. The plan will quantify the problem and implement durable solutions.”

The plan has two aims: to ensure policymakers have sufficient information to make decisions, implement policies and apportion resources; and to compel national governments to implement legislation protecting intellectual property (IP) with sufficient resources for enforcement.

Elements of the plan include:

– a series of reports on the economic and social harm from the illegal activity

– an index of country-by-country performance on protecting IP, to demonstrate where governments can make improvements

– a “global compact” of good corporate practices, demonstrating the commitment of business to protect IP

– a new model for cooperation on cross-border trade and customs

Participants at today’s meeting included: Jean-René Fourtou, Chairman, Vivendi Universal (BASCAP co-chair), France; Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, Chairman and CEO, Nestle; Bob Wright, Vice Chairman and Executive Officer, GE; Chairman and CEO, NBC Universal, United States; Jean-François Dehecq, CEO and President, Sanofi Aventis, France; Guy Sebban, Secretary General, International Chamber of Commerce; Jan Muehlfeit, Vice President Corporate Strategy Microsoft, EMEA; Afaque Ahmed Khan, CEO, Hobo Collections, UAE; Raaja Kanwar, Vice Chairman, UFO Moviez, India; David Iakobachvili, Chairman, Wimm-Bill-Dann Foods, Russia.

The results of the first BASCAP Global Survey on Counterfeiting and Piracy, unveiled earlier today, revealed important new insights into the problem. The business perceptions survey polled 48 companies spanning 27 sectors and was conducted with the University of London’s Cass Business School.

To read the press release on the survey or to get a copy of the full results of the survey, please visit: cms.iccwbo.org/bascap

The first meeting of BASCAP’s CEO group was held in London in 2005.

Some of the tools BASCAP has developed since then include:

– An online case study database cataloguing thousands of reports, facts and experiences. It is the first-ever attempt to create a global “library” on this subject

– An online information clearinghouse, putting information and contacts in the hands of those engaged in the fight

– Daily intelligence reports of counterfeiting and piracy incidents, with monthly summaries for analysis

Further actions BASCAP is taking this year include: developing a global media campaign; hosting workshops at the G8 and Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summits and with local governments; and implementing a strategy to eliminate the illegal activity from free trade zones.

For more information on BASCAP and to view the online tools, please visit cms.iccwbo.org/bascap.

For interviews or information in Geneva, contact, Mary Kelly, Communications Director, +33 6 09 01 11 32.

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