Global Intellectual Property Center

Global Congress on Combating Counterfeiting and Piracy

Global Congress on Combating Counterfeiting and Piracy

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The Fifth Global Congress on Combating Counterfeiting and Piracy will be held in Cancun, Mexico on 2-4 June. The 2009 event is co-hosted by INTERPOL and the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property (IMPI) in partnership with the Global Congress Steering Group member organizations.

This Fifth Global Congress is critically important as it takes place during what is likely to be a sustained period of economic crisis. At a time of retrenchment, the social and economic losses associated with counterfeiting and piracy challenge us to work harder still and build on the success all stakeholders have derived from the Global Congress process since it started in 2004.

In common with many other types of criminality, there is a strong likelihood that transnational organized criminals will seek to exploit the current economic downturn and that they will attempt to expand their operations, increasing the risks and dangers associated with counterfeiting and piracy.

On its own, this development would be of concern to all who strive to reduce counterfeiting, piracy and especially transnational organized criminality, which has serious implications for the health and safety of consumers everywhere.

At the same time, an unfortunate by-product of the economic situation is that decision makers in government, police, customs, international organizations, business, trade associations and all organizations either affected by counterfeiting and piracy or involved in collective efforts to reduce it, are under pressure to reduce spending and consequently, have fewer resources available to fight the illegal trade.

The Global Congress is therefore a unique opportunity for leaders in the public and private sectors to present and discuss their views on what can and should be done about the global menace of counterfeiting and piracy during the current global economic crisis. By doing so, stakeholders will identify how we can better work together to make best use of scarce resources and target them where they are most effective.

This is reflected in the theme of this year’s Congress – ‘Bridging Boundaries for Shared Solutions.’ The kind invitation extended to the Steering Group by IMPI and the Mexican Government to co-host the event is an indication of the importance Mexico places on this pressing challenge. Mexico’s geographical position at the nexus of the Americas region encapsulates all the issues we currently face throughout the world.