Intellectual pirates seen as 'gaining ground'

16th November 2005, Comments 0 comments

LYON, France, Nov 15 (AFP) - The second global congress on the fight against intellectual property theft concluded here Tuesday with a call for greater awareness of the lucrative international crime.

LYON, France, Nov 15 (AFP) - The second global congress on the fight against intellectual property theft concluded here Tuesday with a call for greater awareness of the lucrative international crime.

"The pirates are gaining ground," said James Chandler, president of the Washington-based National Intellectual Property Law Institute, adding that the crime was growing exponentially in terms of size and sophistication.

About 500 participants adopted a declaration agreeing that "attacking the global trade in counterfeiting and pirated goods should be elevated as a top priority."

The two-day conference was organised by Interpol and the World Customs Organisation.

The declaration called for Interpol to beef up efforts to find links between counterfeiters and organised crime, and to lobby governments to do more to fight scams worth billions of dollars (euros).

Delegates also promised to support a study by the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) into the socio-economic consequences of intellectual piracy.

"Ten years ago we put forward the idea that counterfeiting represented eight to 10 percent of world trade. This number still circulates today but it no longer makes sense. We must obtain the precise figures," said OECD representative Wolfgang Hubner.

The issue of fake medicines was highlighted by Nigerian Dora Akunyili, whose sister died from a diabetes-related illness after being treated with useless counterfeit drugs.

"Counterfeiting of medicines is one of the greatest evils of our time. It is also a form of terrorism against public health, as well as an act of economic sabotage," she said.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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