conference comes at an important time as Russia joins the World Trade
Organization (WTO) and takes on direct participation in the WTO Agreement on
Trade-related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS)," wrote ICC
Secretary General Jean-Guy Carrier in an open letter to the Forum participants.
"Russia's adoption of TRIPs will be a significant boost to the fight against
counterfeiting - here in the Russian Federation and worldwide."
Representing ICC's Business Action to Stop Counterfeiting and Piracy (BASCAP)
initiative at the Forum, BASCAP Director Jeffrey Hardy presented the findings
from the BASCAP report Promoting and Protecting Intellectual Property
Rights in the Russian Federation to Mr Medvedev. The report
sets out BASCAP's recommendations for policy and legislative changes needed to
bring Russia's IP regime and IP enforcement efforts up to international
"I read with interest ICC's recommendations, which
are very much in line with our priorities in what needs to be done in the
Russian Federation," Mr Medvedev said in his closing remarks.
Just 20 years ago, Russia was one of the worst IPR infringers in the world,
and even with some recent reforms, counterfeiting and piracy in Russia still
amounts to a staggering 24% of key retail sales, equal to nearly a trillion
rubles, according to the report.
"Combating counterfeiting and
piracy must become a public policy priority in Russia," Mr Hardy said. "This
effort must start with the government sending a clear message to the criminal
networks and others involved in counterfeiting and piracy that this activity
will no longer be tolerated - and that increased enforcement of stronger IP
laws will result in increased punishment."
These actions will
help convince legitimate business owners and consumers that the government
is serious about protecting IP rights, and encourage them to support these
efforts. IPR protection standards in Russia are generally recognized to be
considerably below the levels of many developed and developing countries. Its
music market, for example, remains one of the most badly performing markets
in the world.
"Economic growth is closely related to how
well the economy encourages, stimulates and fosters its creativity and
innovation," Mr Hardy said. "A critical factor in maximizing the value of
this intellectual capital is a clear legal and regulatory system that
recognizes the importance of the underlying intellectual property and
establishes and protects the property rights of the creators, inventors and
The BASCAP report shows the growing body of
evidence describing the positive link between the strengthening of IPRs and
economic development and increased rates of innovation. It illustrates the
important role that IPR plays in attracting foreign direct investment (FDI)
and promoting R&D and technology transfer. For Russia, recent studies by
the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) show that
copyright-related industries alone contribute more than 6% to GDP and over 7%
to employment in Russia.
The BASCAP study outlines a number of
policy and legislative recommendations including the need to:
- address inadequacies in civil enforcement procedures
action against Internet infringements
- strengthen criminal IP law,
strengthen border controls and customs enforcement competence
- establish an effective dialogue and cooperation between Russian
authorities, IP rights holders and other stakeholders
recommendation is for Russia to develop a comprehensive national IP strategy
that identifies needed legal and policy reforms, delineates implementation
and enforcement responsibilities and allocates sufficient resources to
ensure effective enforcement.
"We believe it is important for
Russia to establish a new high-level IP authority to coordinate and
implement the national IP strategy and the associated legislative and
enforcement reforms," Mr Hardy said. "The combination of a new national IP
strategy and a new IP coordination office will demonstrate that the Russian
government is committed to delivering incentives for growth in innovation
and technology development that strong IP rights and enforcement can
ICC, through its BASCAP initiative, and in
partnership with ICC Russia and Rusbrand, stands ready to do its part to
help the Government of the Russian Federation significantly advance IPR.
"The value of intellectual property needs to be understood and
respected by policymakers and enforcement officials," said Alexey
Popovichev, Executive Director of Rusbrand, the association of Branded Goods
Manufacturers in Russia. "Government should be a high-profile champion for IP
and the knowledge-intensive industries that rely on IP to monetize their
ideas. Such businesses need the Russian government to take a more active
role in protecting IP rights,promoting the value IP and its importance to
business development and economic growth."
BASCAP said its
recommendations are put forward as a roadmap for improvement and can go a
long way in helping to meet new and higher standards required by WTO TRIPS.
The full set of policy and legislative recommendations are delineated in the
Download the Promoting
and Protecting Intellectual Property Rights in the Russian Federation