Countries pledge to tackle multi-billion pound intellectual property crime

A new coalition to tackle counterfeiting, copyright infringement and other intellectual property crime was launched at the first International Intellectual Property (IP) Enforcement Summit in London today (Thursday 12 June).

More than 300 delegates from 30 countries attended the event hosted by the UK government in partnership with the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM) and the European Commission.

In his closing speech, Intellectual Property Minister Lord Younger declared the next 12 months a ‘year of IP enforcement’ as he set out the scale of the task ahead and highlighted the important steps taken. This included an international commitment to maintain momentum in tackling IP crime as a global issue.

Lord Younger said:

Protecting people and business from criminal rights infringements is a real priority for me and the government as a whole. We will be working with our international partners and the enforcement community in the UK to do just that.

Our regime in the UK is already world-leading and I am personally committed to developing a programme of research and action to support this further. The relationships forged at the summit are a key part of this and are important for ensuring that we can respond effectively to future challenges.

The activities for the coming year will include:

  • for the fourth year running, the UK will be the lead partner in Operation Opson the Interpol-Europol coordinated action to tackle fake food
  • the continuing work of the City of London Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit, funded by the Intellectual Property Office, to tackle piracy and the sale of counterfeit goods online
  • a review of criminal penalties for online copyright infringement to assess whether the maximum penalty of 2 years should be brought into line with the 10 year maximum penalty for physical infringement
  • the publication in September 2013 of the UK IP Crime Group’s 9th IPCrime Report is the widest ranging yet. This will highlight current and emerging threats in counterfeiting and piracy
  • a government review into how other countries have tackled online copyright enforcement issues, which will be published in autumn 2014

Delegates agreed to continue to work in partnership, supporting and strengthening the effectiveness of governments, enforcement agencies, border authorities and regulators in tackling IP crime by:

  • sharing information and identifying opportunities to improve enforcement approaches and frameworks
  • sharing and applying best practice and the most effective tools, techniques and analysis to enhance detection and deter physical and online IP infringement
  • enhancing public and private sector cooperation at international borders

Key partners also agreed the intention to gather again in 2016.

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