"Intellectual Property". Recommendations of the Forum on the meeting of the heads of G8 countries in St. Petersburg in July 2006
What surprises me most is that this is a multibillion-dollar problem, which touches on personal and state security, and is connected to organised crime, drug-trafficking, terrorism..., and no-one is putting pressure on me, no-one is asking what I am doing to solve this problem. No-one is pressing to get results.
Ron Noble, Interpol Secretary General
It should be emphasised that intellectual property theft today is not merely a problem of one country alone and not merely a problem of Russia alone; it is something that every country encounters.
Here are a few examples. In India 38% of car parts are fakes. In Pakistan, levels of piracy in cable TV, music and software exceed 90%, resulting in unpaid taxes amounting to over 1 billion USD. Around 22% of managers of Japanese corporations state that counterfeit production is their greatest concern with regard to trade with China. Even the USA and other industrialised countries are not immune. The economy of California loses around 34.5 billion USD per year due to piracy and forgeries, and British commercial reports put the country's losses for 2002 at 10 billion GBP.
In order to increase profits, criminals use sophisticated technology and the internet, and act through well-organised underworld networks. Worldwide, unfair competition from counterfeiters and pirates takes more than 500 billion euro per year out of the 'effective cycle' of economic growth generated by intellectual property. Counterfeiters do not innovate, they do not pay taxes, and they do not invest in scientific research. The forgeries they put on the market can sometimes pose a threat to consumers' health and safety. This is not a small family business we are discussing here. It is a finely tuned operation, a whole industry.
Piracy and fakes may have dangerous effects for consumers. Another example is in the field of pharmacology. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has determined that fake medicines comprise 10% of all pharmaceuticals sold, and in developing countries the figure is 60%. According to the WHO, 16% of fake medicines contain incorrect ingredients, 17% contain the correct ingredients but in the wrong proportions, and 60% do not have any active ingredients at all.
One in 10 car parts bought in France is also fake. And we are not simply concerned about erosion of the credibility of famous trademarks; we are afraid for our very lives.
And it is this to which we must put an end.
Since fakes and piracy are an international problem, we must make our decisions on an international scale.
The below list states our working group's recommendations. In developing our points, we have attempted to state them as concisely as possible.
• In developing measures to combat intellectual property violations, rely more on the practical recommendations of rights holders and the opinions of businesses and NGOs.
• No additional administrative barriers to registration of intellectual property rights (patents, trademarks) that affect the accessibility of its results for consumers should be created.
• Train law-enforcement bodies in methods of combating intellectual property violations, as well as specific items that are objects of violations in their fields.
• Increase anti-internet-piracy activities in all countries.
• Legal mechanisms regulating sale of medicines must be unified.
• Developing countries require flexibility with regard to importation and production of generic medicines.
• The rights of native peoples and local communities with regard to their traditional knowledge and genetic resources must be observed when developing systems for defending intellectual property rights.
• Review the amendments made to the TRIPS Agreement on 7/12/05 in order to consider easing people's access to anti-malaria drugs, anti-AIDS drugs, etc. Simplify licensing procedure for the poorest countries in order to ensure access to expensive intellectual property.
It is important that we continue our cooperation and dialogue with representatives of business circles, in order to wage a constant war on intellectual property theft.