Combating Counterfeiting and Piracy

In New Zealand the Ministry of Economic Development (MED) is considering issues relating to the enforcement of the criminal provisions contained in the Trade Marks Act 2002 and the Copyright Act 1994. In particular, the Ministry is investigating the possibility of the Ministry’s National Enforcement Unit (NEU) taking on a role in the enforcement of criminal offences.

On the international level the International Bar Association (IBA) Committee on Intellectual Property and Entertainment Law (IP-Committee) sent a delegate to the Second Global Congress on Combating Counterfeiting and Piracy in Lyon, France in 2005. Subsequent congresses have been held.

These congresses on Combating Counterfeiting and Piracy are coconvened by Interpol and the World Customs Organisation (WCO) were held with the support and cooperation of WIPO and a number of international business organisation, such as the Global Business Leaders Alliance against Counterfeiting (GBLAAC), the International Trade Mark Association (INTA), the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and the International Security Management Association (ISMA), all of which are members of the “Global Congress Steering Group”.

The congresses have dealt with the issue of the worldwide combating of counterfeiting and piracy. As outlined in the Lyon Declaration of November 15, 2005 the main goals of the initiative are (i) raising awareness, (ii) improving cooperation and coordination, (iii) building capacity and (iv) promoting better legislation and enforcement.

The issue of counterfeiting and piracy is regarded as one of utmost importance for the various IP Sub-Committees and IP Committee members work throughout the world. The IP Committee has therefore set up a sub-committee which focuses exclusively on the combating of counterfeiting and piracy.

A working group, with membership from around the world, has been set up. It has collected information on the status quo and opinions on the current position and as to what can be done to more effectively combat counterfeiting and piracy.  A standard set of questions was formulated so as to serve as a starting point for the work of the sub-groups within the various jurisdictions covered by the working group. The questionnaire touched on the following issues:

(i)factual/case perspective

(ii)legal perspective

(iii)enforcement perspective.

The working group is now working towards developing a set of best practice principles.

The answers/data has been compiled into a report. A copy is available at: IBA Anti-Counterfeiting and Piracy Survey Report – July 2008.pdf

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