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ICC has called upon G8 justice ministers and G8 foreign ministers to advocate measures for better intellectual property protection during the G8 Summit in Hokkaido Toyako, Japan next month.

In particular, ICC has recommended that G8 ministers commit the resources and political direction necessary for the Heiligendamm Process to work effectively against intellectual property theft and facilitate innovation and economic development. The Heiligendamm Process was established at last year’s G8 Summit in Germany to address the issues of product counterfeiting and copyright piracy.

“In many countries, the legislation is in place but not properly enforced,” said ICC Secretary General Guy Sebban. “A strong commitment to the Heiligendamm Process is indispensable to the ability of the G8 to contribute value to the resolution of counterfeiting and piracy.”

The Hokkaido Toyako Summit comes at a time when seven of the eight G8 governments are actively negotiating the proposed Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA). In its letter to ministers backed by the member companies of ICC’s Business Action to Stop Counterfeiting and Piracy (BASCAP) initiative, ICC also calls for the G8 to support ACTA, which has the potential to set new, higher standards for national and international government action to deal with counterfeiting and piracy.

“The ACTA negotiations provide the first real opportunity in years to elevate standards for government performance in protecting against intellectual property theft. We would hope that one of the key outcomes of the Hokkaido Toyako Summit will be G8 support for an ACTA agreement. Governments around the world would then be able to create the right environment to curb this illegal activity that has a huge negative impact on the economy worldwide,” said Mr Sebban.

BASCAP has provided its views on counterfeiting and piracy, along with recommendations for priority action, to G8 heads of state and government prior to the last three G8 Summits in Gleneagles, St. Petersburg and Heiligendamm. ICC met with Russian President Putin in 2006. Last year, 23 CEOs from BASCAP member companies provided the G8 leaders with a list of recommended actions to fight counterfeiting and piracy.

“While we’re pleased that protection of intellectual property rights will be tabled in Japan, we’re just not seeing the political attention warranted by a problem of this global scale,” said Jeff Hardy, BASCAP Coordinator. “This year, we’re targeting the justice and foreign ministers more closely responsible for implementing and enforcing intellectual property laws, and we’re hoping that Hokkaido Toyako will emerge as a breakthrough year, when the G8 demonstrates its leadership to carry through on past Summit declarations,” he said.

ICC works closely with the G8 on a variety of topics and will submit a statement to the heads of state and government attending the G8 Summit from 7-9 July on critical issues to world business including support for a climate change pact, agreement in the Doha Round, freedom of investment, and intellectual property protection.

ICC’s BASCAP initiative was created to unite the global business community to petition for greater commitments by local, national and international officials in the enforcement and protection of IP rights.


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