The IP Key SEA team collaborated with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and the ASEAN Secretariat (ASEC) in conducting the ‘Workshop on Criminal Enforcement Against Online Trade in Pirated Content and Counterfeit Goods’ in Bangkok starting on 21 August. The three-day workshop focused on practical implementation of national policies in the area of IP enforcement in the online environment.
In the opening remarks, IP Key SEA Team Leader Ignacio de Medrano Caballero acknowledged the importance of the activity for economic development in the region. “IP Key joins the USPTO today to continue our support for IP enforcement in the online environment. Effectively enforced IP rights ensures continued investment in innovation and prevents the economic harm that results from infringement.”
A distinguished range of international experts, including representatives from the USPTO, the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO), Eurojust, US Department of Justice, the International Trademark Association (INTA), representatives of collective management organisations and corporate stakeholders shared their insights in a series of panel discussions during the event. The topics comprised IP laws relating to online criminal IP infringement, challenges for consumers and rightsholders in the global and online environment, organized crime and IP theft, transnational law enforcement operations, case studies on signal piracy, illegal streaming, trade in illegal set-top boxes, case studies on counterfeit medical devices and cosmetics, and achieving deterrence through a whole of government approach, among others. It concluded with a roundtable discussion on law enforcement networking and cooperation on IP criminal cases.
National Expert to the EU Observatory on Infringements of IP Rights Massimo Antonelli contributed to several of the panels. In a discussion on the coordination of transnational law enforcement, he emphasised the role of exchange of information and the tools in place in the EU for data sharing on products, rights and seizures. Moreover, Mr. Antonelli explained how joint customs and police operations in the EU significantly improved their collective enforcement capabilities and facilitated an exchange to share expertise on best practices, ultimately leading to better outcomes for the prosecution of IP infringement in the region.
Workshop participants included representatives from the business sector, the judiciary, attorneys-general departments, IP offices, enforcement authorities and customs from the ASEAN Member States and elsewhere in Asia.
The immense scale of online infringement of IP assets is identified as a global problem and a cross-cutting issue for IPR protection and enforcement. It restricts economic growth in both developing and developed countries and directly affects not only the IP sector, but also trade, employment, and consumers.