06 June 2005
U.S., European Officials To Promote Collaboration Against Piracy
Officials from USTR, other agencies meeting with counterparts in Europe
Officials from seven U.S. government agencies are visiting Europe June 6-10 to collaborate with German, French, United Kingdom and European Commission officials in a crackdown on trade in counterfeit goods.
The American officials’ visit follows successful mid-April sessions with Asian officials, all part of the Bush administration’s initiative called “STOP!” (Strategy Targeting Organized Piracy).
In a June 6 press release, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) said the U.S. officials will meet with public and private sector representatives to discuss U.S. proposals to simplify brand registration, improve brand protection in overseas markets, and develop consistent intellectual property (IP) policy. The U.S. officials will also hear about successful enforcement programs the Europeans have developed to curb piracy.
“We will be working with our trading partners to provide a fair market for artists, inventors, scientists and entrepreneurs around the world,” said U.S. Trade Representative Rob Portman.
The Bush administration first announced the STOP! initiative in October 2004. The initiative aims to protect the IP rights of U.S. companies abroad, and build an international coalition with like-minded trading partners to put a global stop to piracy and counterfeiting, according to the USTR press release.
"Piracy hurts the marketplace for legitimate producers, discourages innovation and threatens the safety and well-being of consumers," said Portman.
A fact sheet on the STOP! initiative is available at the USTR Web site.
Following is the press release:
Office of the United States Trade Representative
Executive Office of the President
June 6, 2005
U.S. Expands Outreach in Campaign To "STOP!" Trade in Fakes
WASHINGTON - Officials representing seven United States Government agencies will travel to Europe June 6-10 on the second leg of the Administration's Strategy Targeting Organized Piracy (STOP!) initiative aiming to strengthen cooperative enforcement efforts against the international trade in fakes. Having returned from meetings with their Asian counterparts in mid-April, the U.S. delegation will meet with German, UK, French and European Commission officials to discuss cooperation to crack down on global piracy and counterfeiting.
"This Administration is committed to strengthening intellectual property [IP} rights protection and enforcement at home and abroad. In this campaign, we will be working with our trading partners to provide a fair market for artists, inventors, scientists and entrepreneurs around the world," said U.S. Trade Representative Rob Portman.
"Our outreach to Europe marks the continuation of the Administration's sustained global effort to build international cooperation against piracy and counterfeiting" Portman added. "Piracy hurts the marketplace for legitimate producers, discourages innovation and threatens the safety and well-being of consumers."
Following a model that generated positive results in Asia, U.S. officials will meet with government officials and representatives of the private sector across Europe to learn about their successful enforcement programs and to share U.S. proposals to stop the global trade of tangible counterfeit goods. Among the discussion topics are U.S. proposals to simplify registration and improve protection of brands in overseas markets by:
* Strengthening border control measures.
* Boosting investigation and prosecution of money laundering crimes associated with trade in fakes.
* Raising the stakes for global pirates and counterfeiters by improving law enforcement methods.
* Standardizing the trademark registration process.
The delegation will also propose means to increase consistency in IP policy and to coordinate international enforcement actions.
The delegation will include Victoria Espinel, Acting Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Intellectual Property; Shaun Donnelly, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs; Stephen Jacobs, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Trade Agreements and Compliance; Anne Maricich, Director for Trade Management of the Department of Homeland Security's Bureau of Customs and Border Protection; Martha Stansell-Gamm, Chief of the Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section of the Criminal Division of the U.S. Department of Justice; and Elaine Wu, Attorney-Advisor for the Office of International Relations of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO). U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Bureau of the Department of Homeland Security will be represented by its respective attachés in U.S. Embassies abroad.
Announced in October 2004 by the U.S. Trade Representative, the Secretary of Commerce, the Attorney General and the Undersecretary for Border and Transportation Security at the Department of Homeland Security, STOP! is a coordinated, government-wide initiative designed to empower American businesses to secure and enforce their intellectual property rights (IPR) in overseas markets, stop counterfeit products at U.S. borders, keep global supply chains free of infringing goods, dismantle criminal enterprises that steal intellectual property and reach out to like-minded trading partners to build an international coalition to stop piracy and counterfeiting worldwide. An overview of the Administration's progress implementing STOP! is available at: http://www.stopfakes.gov/
In April 2005 the United States traveled to Singapore, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Seoul to explore avenues for increased cooperation, improved coordination, and expanded information exchanges as an initial step in garnering international support to work together to stem the trade in fakes. A series of 17 U.S. proposals were shared with government officials from these countries generating fruitful discussions, interest and commitments to continue working together on this shared concern.
In addition to holding bilateral government meetings, the U.S. delegation also met with various business associations and held a number of press events. These meetings provided valuable insight into the local problems and solutions being pursued on a practical level to combat the trade in fakes. Media events served to promote public awareness on the importance of protecting IPRs while highlighting the U.S. delegation's cohesive message that the U.S. is open to solutions.
It is anticipated that through dialogue, U.S. agencies participating in STOP! and its international outreach efforts will lead to a common understanding with our trading partners on the problems requiring action. This understanding will in turn form the basis for further discussions on cooperation outside of bilateral channels so as to create a united effort to disrupt the trade in counterfeits.
For a copy of the April 11, 2005 USTR press release announcing the STOP! trip to Asia, which includes more background on this initiative, go to: http://www.ustr.gov/Document_Library/Press_Releases/2005/April/U.S._Advances_Global_Outreach_to_STOP!_Trade_in_Fakes.html
(Distributed by the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)