ICC: ICC welcomes governments' new anti-counterfeiting agreement and
(M2 PressWIRE Via Thomson Dialog NewsEdge)
Paris -- The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) said today that
its member companies welcomed the announcement of plans for a new
Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement to strengthen safeguards against
the theft and infringement of intellectual property rights and offered
to provide business views and expertise to reinforce this new
commitment by governments.
The United States, European Union, Japan, Switzerland and Mexico said
today they had reached agreement on a framework for a new multilateral
agreement intended to establish a stronger set of common standards for
intellectual property right enforcement among their countries. The new
agreement calls for better international coordination, consensus on the
best enforcement practices and alignment on provisions of their legal
frameworks to ensure that adequate criminal, civil and border
protection measures are in place. The initial group of countries hopes
other developed and developing countries committed to intellectual
property right enforcement will sign on to the agreement quickly.
"This is a significant step in the right direction and could provide a
breakthrough in efforts to stop the escalating problems of product
counterfeiting and copyright piracy," said Jean-Rene Fourtou, Chairman
of the Supervisory Board of Vivendi and Co-Chair of ICC's Business
Action to Stop Counterfeiting and Piracy (BASCAP) initiative. "This new
trade agreement builds on the important outcome declarations of the
past three G8 Summits and is a tangible sign that governments have
elected to take these issues seriously, elevate their attention to the
problem of intellectual property theft, and implement corrective
measures," he said. "This agreement should supplement provisions in
existing trade agreements and in national and regional government
legislation and enforcement efforts."
Fellow BASCAP Co-Chair Bob Wright, Vice Chairman and Executive Officer,
General Electric, added: "Innovation, creativity and technological
invention drive growth in today's global knowledge-based economy. This
proposed agreement recognizes that governments globally must escalate
the sophistication and the intensity of their intellectual property
enforcement efforts and represents an important contribution to
stemming today's destructive flood of counterfeiting and piracy."
ICC, through its BASCAP initiative, has led a growing consensus among
business, non-governmental organizations and intergovernmental
organizations, calling for stronger actions and increased cooperation
between governments and with the private sector to combat global
infringements of intellectual property rights with greater enforcement.
"The global business community can no longer ignore the myriad adverse
costs of counterfeiting and piracy," said BASCAP Co-Chair Nobuyuki
Idei, former CEO of Sony Corporation. "Immediate attention must be paid
to the problem of intellectual property theft to ensure the present and
future competitiveness of the knowledge economy, and this agreement is
an important step," he said.
The BASCAP leaders called on the governments that signed the agreement
to move rapidly to translate the provisions into concrete actions. They
cited several examples of immediate actions that could be taken,
including steps to ensure that penalties for IP theft at least match
existing legal penalties for theft of physical merchandise and that
these penalties be applied to both online and offline transactions.
They also cited the need to empower and fund enforcement agencies and
the judiciary to enable them to implement stronger regulations and
provisions for punishment.
The BASCAP leaders also expressed their hope that clear decisions and
actions by the governments involved in the development of the
Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement would establish precedents for
global standards, enforcement, and governmental cooperation on IP
crimes that other countries would take on board.
ICC stressed that the business community had a critical role to play in
working with governments to fight against counterfeiting and piracy.
"It is essential that this renewed effort by the governments engaging
in the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement incorporate the views of the
business community, as well as those of intergovernmental organizations
and key developing countries," said ICC Secretary General Guy Sebban.
"We have already provided the G8 heads of state with a set of
recommendations that could complement the ACTA process. We support the
principles and objectives of this most recent effort and we look
forward to seeing the text of the agreement," he said.
In response to the growing problem of counterfeiting and piracy, the
International Chamber of Commerce launched Business Action to Stop
Counterfeiting and Piracy (BASCAP) to connect all business sectors and
cut across all national borders in the fight against counterfeiting and
piracy. BASCAP unites the global business community so as to more
efficiently identify and address intellectual property rights issues
and petition for greater commitments by local, national and
international officials in the enforcement and protection of
intellectual property rights. While carrying out these functions,
BASCAP also works to increase public awareness of the problems and
dangers associated with intellectual property right violations.
The BASCAP Global Leadership Group is co-chaired by Jean-Rene Fourtou,
Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Vivendi; Nobuyuki Idei, former CEO
of Sony Corporation and Representative Director of Quantum Leaps
Corporation; and Bob Wright, Vice Chairman and Executive Officer of
Standing members of BASCAP's Global Leadership Group include: Paul
Adams, CEO of British American Tobacco; Philippe Amon, Executive
Co-Chairman of SICPA; Bernard Arnault, Chairman and CEO of LVMH; Steven
Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft; Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, Chairman and CEO of
Nestle; David Brennan, CEO of Astra Zeneca; Stephen Brogan, Managing
Partner of Jones Day; Andre Calantzopoulos, President and CEO of Philip
Morris International; Patrick Cescau, CEO of Unilever; Jean-Francois
Dehecq, CEO of Sanofi Aventis; David Iakobachvili, Chairman of
Wimm-Bill-Dann Foods; Afaque Ahmed Khan, CEO of Hobo Collections, UAE;
Hiroshi Kimura, CEO of Japan Tobacco Inc.; Ulrich Lehner, CEO and
Chairman of the Management Board of Henkel; Robert McDonald, Chief
Operating Officer of Proctor & Gamble; Tariq Rangoonwala, Chairman of
Forhans, Pakistan; Sidney Taurel, Chairman and CEO of Eli Lilly; Marcus
Wallenberg, Chairman of SEB; Gerd Becht, Vice President of
DaimlerChrysler; Andreas Fibig, Senior Vice President of Pfizer; Raaja
Kanwar, Vice Chairman of UFO Moviez, India; Vincent Janssen, CEO of
Sara Lee Household and Body Care; Randy Pond, Senior Vice President of
Cisco Systems; Richard Wagoner, Chairman and CEO of General Motors.
The International Chamber of Commerce is the largest, most
representative business organization in the world. Its thousands of
member companies in over 130 countries have interests spanning every
sector of private enterprise.
A world network of national committees keeps the ICC International
Secretariat in Paris informed about national and regional business
priorities. More than 2000 experts drawn from ICC's member companies
feed their knowledge and experience into crafting the ICC stance on
specific business issues.
The United Nations, the World Trade Organization, and many other
intergovernmental bodies, both international and regional, are kept in
touch with the views of international business through ICC.
CONTACT: Dawn Chardonnal, Media Relations Manager, International
Chamber of Commerce
Tel: +33 1 49 53 29 07
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