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          Business outlines plan to fight theft of intellectual property

          • Marrakesh, 07 June 2004

          World business leaders today urged governments to allocate substantially greater attention and resources to combat the rapidly growing rate of piracy of intellectual property rights and production of counterfeit goods.

          Business outlines plan to fight theft on intellectual property

          In a statement issued by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), business also expressed profound concern over recent Interpol reports that piracy and counterfeiting are increasingly being used to fund organized crime and other international criminal networks.

          The statement was issued in Marrakesh, Morocco, where more than 800 leaders of government and business from 86 countries are gathered on the occasion of the ICC's 35th World Congress, taking place from 6 to 9 June.

          The value of counterfeited and pirated goods is estimated at over 500 billion euro annually and is escalating rapidly, the statement said.

          "Copyright, trademark and design industries are particularly affected by IP theft, but virtually no industry is untouched by this illegal activity. Food and beverages, pharmaceuticals, electrical appliances, watches, cigarettes and cosmetics are all popular targets of counterfeiters; and music, movies, video games, software and other copyrighted digital content are also being pirated", the statement said.

          To counter this growing scourge, action needs to be taken in all countries and at all levels of the supply chain through which illegitimate products are produced, distributed and consumed, the ICC said.

          The three-page statement made specific recommendations including:

          • International implementation of current WIPO, WTO and other multilateral intellectual property rights agreements.
          • Strengthening and/or creation of national legal frameworks to ensure implementation and effective enforcement measures against copyright piracy and trademark counterfeiting.
          • Closer, more effective cooperation between business and government in formulating policies to upgrade enforcement measures.
          • More effective enforcement of existing laws.
          • Industry and government cooperation in conducting training and awareness-building programs for customs, police and judiciary officials.
          • Government and industry sponsored education campaigns and media coverage to help raise public awareness of the benefits of IP protection and the ill-effects of piracy and counterfeiting.
          • Improved data collection and sharing by government, industry and multilateral institutions.
          • Improved exchange between industry sectors, associations and governments of anti-piracy and anti-counterfeiting best practices.

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