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Asean countries share tips in fighting counterfeit goods


HOW to best tackle the trade in counterfeit goods was the focus of a workshop held in Manila last week, as enforcement officials, investigators and prosecutors from across the Asean region held talks on enforcing intellectual property (IP) rights.

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Discussions covered online business models used for the infringement of IP rights, investigative techniques and intelligence gathering, as well as measures to combat infringement, particularly in the online environment. 
The trade in counterfeit products diverts revenue from legitimate businesses, depletes innovation and development and underpins organised crime networks. In addition, counterfeits are generally of lower quality and are potentially harmful to consumers. A wide range of products are involved, including footwear, clothing, electrical machinery, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and toys.
A report released this year by the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) estimated that counterfeit and pirated goods represented up to 3.3 per cent of world trade in 2016, or as much as 460 billion euros (Bt16.38 trillion). This share has grown significantly from the 2.5 per cent estimated in 2013.
IP enforcement expert Erling Vestergaard, from the European Observatory on Infringements of IP Rights, outlined to the meeting a number of EU initiatives that address the issue. “Strong IP enforcement legislation in the EU provides police and customs agencies with the powers they need to successfully intercept counterfeit goods,” he said.
The enforcement workshop is one of a series of activities to mark World Intellectual Property Day 2019, being conducted by the five-year, EU-funded ARISE+ IPR programme. Taking place back-to-back with the workshop, ARISE+ IPR will also host the 4th meeting of the Asean Network of IPR Enforcement Experts (ANIEE) in Manila on April 25-26, as well as supporting ANIEE members’ participation in World Intellectual Property Day activities with the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines.
ANIEE consists of representatives from the Asean member states involved in IPR enforcement and is tasked by the Asean Working Group on Intellectual Property Cooperation (AWGIPC) to undertake the implementation of the IPR enforcement initiatives under the Asean IPR Action Plan 2016-2025.
World Intellectual Property Day is held annually on April 26 to highlight the importance of IP in encouraging innovation and creativity. The global theme for 2019 is IP and Sports.
 

Published : April 29, 2019

By : THE NATION