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IP Delivers Safety Around The World

IP Delivers Safety Around The World

photo (3)Image: (c) Aaron Smethurst

 

By Aaron Smethurst

The GIPC recently participated in the Seventh Annual Global Congress on Combating Counterfeiting and Piracy. Chaired by the World Customs Organization (WCO) and convened by INTERPOL and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), the meeting featured over 850 delegates from more than 100 countries. The delegates and members of the business community came together to discuss an important theme: ways intellectual property delivers safety around the globe.

Hosted in Istanbul, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey opened the Global Congress by describing ways in which counterfeiting and piracy in Turkey creates ripples of instability throughout the region. Because the sale of illicit materials has become a growing source of funding for terrorist organizations, the threat extends far beyond just Turkey’s borders. WCO Secretary General Kunio Mikuriya emphasized that while counterfeiters “are innovative, to thwart them, we must out-innovate them.” The Secretary General stressed the importance of bringing increased transparency to the international supply chain in order to dismantle the trade of counterfeit goods. In addition to anti-counterfeiting measures, disrupting the source of pirated content requires both consumer education and the proper intellectual property protections. Over the course of the three day meeting, presenters described strategies to increase consumer awareness of the damages pirated content does to the creative industries and the dangers of counterfeit products.  As the counterfeiters become increasingly innovative, intellectual property will be crucial to protecting the quality of goods and ensuring consumer safety throughout global markets.

So what can we do? As the delegates at the Global Congress noted, the need for a strong public-private partnership to help defy counterfeiting is greater than ever. While the problem is complex, the answer is simple: we must work together. From Istanbul to Geneva to Washington, DC, government officials, industry representatives, and consumers must collaborate to combat the distribution of counterfeit goods and pirated content that threaten innovation and safety. Together we can ensure that IP continues to deliver new content and products everyday.