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08 July 2005

G8 Vows To Increase Fight Against Intellectual Property Theft

Says piracy, counterfeits can be linked to organized crime

The Group of Eight (G8) industrialized nations said is deepening its efforts to reduce substantially global trade in pirated and counterfeit intellectual property goods, according to a statement it issued July 8.

The G8 agreed it would convene a meeting of experts in the autumn to develop a plan for improving national anti-piracy and counterfeit capabilities. Theft of intellectual property rights (IPR) can be linked to organized crime, the group said.

The leaders of the G8 -- Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States and Russia -- met July 6-8 in Gleneagles, Scotland.

For additional information on the summit, see G8 Summit 2005, Gleneagles, Scotland.

Following is the text of the statement:

(begin fact sheet)



1. The growing trade in pirated and counterfeit goods, which can have links to organised crime, threatens employment, innovation, economic growth, and the health and safety of consumers in all parts of the world.

2. Effective intellectual property agreements contribute to sustainable growth for all countries. G8 countries are working actively with other countries and through the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), World Trade Organisation (WTO), World Customs Organisation (WCO), Interpol and other competent organisations to combat piracy and counterfeiting more effectively among ourselves and with other countries, consistent with our international legal commitments, including TRIPS, and promoting our development objectives, consistent with our Evian commitments.

3. We are deepening these efforts at home and abroad, with the aim of reducing substantially global trade in pirated and counterfeit goods, and efficiently combating the transnational networks that support it.

In particular, we will take further concrete steps to:

-- strengthen and highlight analysis of the underlying trends, issues and domestic and international enforcement actions;

-- promote and uphold laws, regulations and/or procedures to strengthen effective intellectual property enforcement, where appropriate, in areas such as the seizure and retention of suspected counterfeit or pirated goods, the destruction of such goods and the equipment used to produce them, and the use of clear, transparent and predictable judicial proceedings, policies and guidelines related to intellectual property enforcement;

-- enhance detection and deterrence of the distribution and sale of counterfeit goods through the internet and combat online theft;

-- improve co-ordination of anti-counterfeiting and anti-piracy crime strategies, and ensure closer co-operation among enforcement officials, including through shared risk analysis, exchange of best practice, enhanced existing cooperation at international borders, and between governments and the private sector;

-- raise awareness among government officials and the public of the health risks, economic damage and growth of organized crime groups resulting from counterfeiting and piracy;

-- work closely with developing country partners to strengthen legislation, and build and help to improve national anti-counterfeiting, anti-piracy and enforcement capacities through shared best practices, training and technical assistance, to help achieve our shared development goals.

4. We will convene experts this autumn to lay out the work plan to implement these steps and will review progress during future presidencies.

(end fact sheet)