Inter-Regional Symposium on Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights Was Successfully Completed

10/25/2012

On October 23-24 this year, Moldova hosted the Inter-Regional Symposium on Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights. Organizers of the event were the State Agency on Intellectual Property of the Republic of Moldova (AGEPI) in cooperation with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). The meeting was attended by senior officials of WIPO, representatives of national authorities responsible for the enforcement of intellectual property rights and intellectual property offices from 35 countries of Europe and Asia, including Moldova.

The enforcement of intellectual property rights, the fight against counterfeiting and piracy phenomena has become one of the topics discussed extensively at various levels internationally and regionally. Republic of Moldova as an independent state with aspirations to become a member of the European Community, made decisive steps in establishing and strengthening its intellectual property protection system, including in terms of ensuring the observance of rights. That is why our country has benefited from the status of the host country of this important Symposium.

At the event were invited and took an active part specialists of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Ministry of Economy, Prosecutor General’s Office, Customs Service, Supreme Court, AGEPI, Competition Council, Broadcasting Coordinating Council, Consumer Protection Agency, National Association of Private Information and Communications Technology Companies, partners pf the social Consumer Awareness Campaign “STOP Piracy and Counterfeiting!”, etc.

In opening the event, a welcoming speech delivered Mr. Dorin RECEAN, Minister of Internal Affairs, who spoke about the role of intellectual property in knowledge-based development, economic growth and transfer of knowledge. The speaker noted that, even if Moldova pays increased attention to intellectual property, we must recognize that there are some reservations regarding ensuring the enforcement of intellectual property rights, and the phenomena of counterfeiting and piracy transform and adapt to new conditions, including technological ones. For an effective fight against these scourges are to be made a permanent joint effort of the responsible authorities, right holders and external partners in order to improve the means of enforcement of intellectual property rights.

Dr. Francis GURRY, Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization, present at the opening meeting, welcomed the efforts of the Moldovan authorities to ensure the protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights, noting that in order to prevent and combat the violation of these rights is needed to strengthen cooperation between the relevant authorities at European and national level.

During the seminar, international experts presented the provisions of the European legislation, addressing theoretical and practical aspects of protection of intellectual property rights in the European Union, have approached the consumer protection strategies, major problems of enforcing the intellectual property rights at the border, finding and prosecution of violations of intellectual property rights, etc.

On the second day of the Symposium was discussed the WIPO Instrument Project on enforcement of intellectual property rights in transition countries, which is one of the strategic goals of WIPO. The two working groups formed to streamline the work of the participants in the symposium focused on: group I - border enforcement of IP rights (application for initiation of customs procedures, identification of goods, criminal procedure, storage, disposal and destruction of counterfeit and pirated products), group II - focused on market surveillance (agencies involved in internal market surveillance; strategic interaction with the rights holders; resources, capacity building). In the next period is supposed that each country representative shall send proposals to WIPO instrument Project.

Following discussions it was found that in most countries changes were made to national legislation to ensure enforcement of intellectual property rights, but there are not enough resources to fight intellectual property crimes. A major problem for all countries is Internet commerce, which contributes to the promotion and sale of counterfeit products, including pharmaceuticals. Most goods, including counterfeit intellectual property objects, refer to cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, clothing and personal accessories and China continue to be the main source of counterfeit goods, accounting for over 70% of all articles that infringe IP rights.

Participants in the Symposium emphasized the importance of such exchanges of experience and discussions on practical issues related to the protection and enforcement of intellectual property and society awareness with regard to the fight against counterfeiting and piracy as ensuring the effective enforcement of IP rights is a defining aspect of economic growth, health protection and safety of citizens.

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