From October 23 to 25, 2018, Chairman of the Quality Brands Protection Committee (QBPC) Jack Chang, then Executive Director Liu Fei and Senior Manager of Member Services Sherry Hu attended the international conference Respect for IP - Growing from the Tip of Africa (referred to as Conference) held in Sandton, the Republic of South Africa. The Conference was initiated by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and co-organized by the World Trade Organization (WTO), the World Customs Organization (WCO), the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) and Companies and Intellectual Property Commission of the Department of Trade and Industry, South Africa, with people from government authorities, legislation, justice, law enforcement, trade, investment, large and medium-sized enterprises, non-profit organizations of more than 60 countries attended.
Ms.Louise van Greunen ( right ), Director, Building Respect for IP Division, Global Issues Sector, WIPO
The Conference has a total of eight topics, covering SME development, innovation, employment, world security, organized crime, law enforcement protection, regional alliances, cross-border disputes, and intergovernmental cooperation involved in IP protection. Jack Chang participated in the topic of “Respect for IP Through Collaborative Enforcement” and delivered a speech. He explained how QBPC cooperated with the Chinese government based on the principle of seeking common points while reserving differences, and how QBPC became a civil bridge between China and the international community on IP protection. He also mentioned that the Chinese Public Security Department recognized in 2001 that counterfeit goods trade would seriously affect China’s national economic security and actively contacted QBPC for cooperation.
Jack introduced the positive results of the cooperation between QBPC and the Public Security and Customs Departments over the years. The procuratorate and the courts were relatively lagging behind the Public Security Organs for criminal protection of intellectual property rights, but Shanghai People’s Procuratorate issued a notice of rights and obligations to the right holders in the public prosecution cases involving intellectual property rights and the trial process, supporting the right holders to participate in the public prosecution and trial procedures, and perform their rights and obligations given by the Criminal Procedure Law, which has been affirmed by both China and foreign countries.
In 2004, QBPC predicted that China would move from “Made in China” to “Created in China”. It established the “Patent Committee” in the following year, and then renamed it as “Patent and Innovation Committee” to participate in the research and practical work involved technical intellectual property and innovation policy, gradually turning into a comprehensive intellectual property institution from an anti-counterfeiting institution. Jack also introduced the good practices of the selection of “QBPC Annual Top Ten Cases in IP Protection and Model Cases Bridging Adminstrative and Judicial IP Enforcement” that QBPC has implemented for many years, and suggested other countries to adopt similar practices to encourage law enforcement agencies and promote the cooperation between the public and the private sectors on cracking down on the infringement of intellectual property rights.
In addition, Jack introduced the experience of QBPC to make recommendations to the leaders of relevant Chinese departments and the results achieved to effectively combat the infringement and counterfeit goods in China-Africa trade.
The experts present also exchanged their views on intellectual property empowerment and protection. Many experts held common views: the empowerment of intellectual property to the economy and trade involves the competitiveness, risk, and pricing of intellectual property, as well as product quality, trade promotion and figures. Therefore, intellectual property protection should be done for digital economy and blockchain according to the supply chain. In terms of intellectual property protection, some experts believed that intellectual property protection should be carried out from the perspective of supply chain; the Public Security Department protects intellectual property rights for the public interest; technical innovation is more conducive to respecting intellectual property than combating infringement; governments, enterprises, international organizations, police forces, capital, and media should join hands to promote respect for IP.
The Conference also introduced some specific cases. For example, Chinese Public Security Department carried out “Magpie” anti-counterfeiting drugs action in 2018, using data-based guidance and analysis methods and tracking more than 100 WeChat accounts to discover clues of selling counterfeit drugs. Movie Town in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago cooperated with YuTube, Amazon, Disney, Hollywood and other movie and video distribution companies to release their works simultaneously, which effectively prevented the infringement and illegal act involved in movies.
A number of international agencies, including WIPO, WCO, and INTERPOL, introduced their respective training college and courses to help the IP protection law enforcement agencies of different countries to enhance their capacities.
“Respect exchanges harmony”. Some member companies of QBPC such as L Brands Inc, UL, Unilevel, S.C. Johnson & Son and Novartis also participated in the Conference. They tried their best to assist the three representatives of QBPC in the interaction with other participants by introducing the mission, nature, role and regular activities of QBPC, helping representatives of other countries to recognize the value and role of QBPC in promoting different industries’ respect for IP.
This is the first time for QBPC representatives to participate in the global conference organized by WIPO. With the joint efforts of WIPO, WCO, INTERPOL, WTO and the South African government, this Conference was very influential and QBPC also expanded its global influence through participation.