EC Releases 2010 Customs Seizure Statistics

The EU has published its annual “Report on EU Customs Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights.” Last year, EC customs officials seized 79,112 shipments, up from 43,572 in 2009.  However, the number of ‘articles’ within the shipments seized fell from 118 million in 2009  to 103 million in 2010.   42% of the articles detained by customs at the border were cigarettes or other tobacco products, but 69% of infringing goods sent through the mail were medicines. 87.7% of the seized goods violated trademarks, 8.9% violated design and model rights, 1.5% violated copyright and related rights, and 1.5% violated geographical indications.  96% of the seizures were the result of an application by a rightholder – up from 74% two years ago – and the number of applications by rightholders has increased rapidly over the past decade.  Click here for more.

China Announces End of IPR Enforcement Operation, Releases Summary Statistics

China’s Vice Minister of Commerce Jiang Zengwei announced at a press conference that a recently concluded nine-month IPR enforcement drive yielded 9,031 arrests and 12,854 shutdowns of plants making pirated goods.  The value of illegal goods seized was reported by Xinhua to be 3.43 billion yuan (USD 530 million). According to a new website established by the Chinese government, “the Special Operation against IPR Infringement and Counterfeiting has completed successfully,” but enforcement efforts will continue:  “We will explore and establish a long-lasting mechanism to protect IPRs and combat counterfeiting… we will improve the legal system and regulatory framework, innovate relevant mechanisms and institutions, drive ahead the software legalization process, and maintain a heavy-handed crackdown on infringement and counterfeiting.” Click here for more.

CCIA: Fair Use Makes Valuable Contribution to US Economy

On July 11, 2011, the Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA) released a report on the value of the “fair use industries” to the U.S. economy.  Using methodology developed by the World Intellectual Property Organization, CCIA estimates that “Fair use industries — those industries that benefit from fair use and related limitations to copyright — generated revenue of $4.6 trillion, adding $2.4 trillion in value to the U.S. economy — about one-sixth of total U.S. GDP. Fair use industries employed approximately one in eight U.S. workers (17 million). The export of goods and services related to fair use industries increased by 64 percent between 2002 and 2009, from $ I 79 billion to $266 billion.” Representative Jared Polis (D-CO) spoke at the event celebrating the report’s release, where he cautioned against changes to copyright law which would restrict fair use protections. Click here for more.

Gilead Licenses Antiretroviral Patents to the Medicines Patent Pool

Gilead has become the first pharmaceutical company to license its patents on antiretroviral medicines to the Medicines Patent Pool, a swiss nonprofit that negotiates voluntary licenses for HIV medicines in the developing world.  The licenses cover tenofovir and emtricitabine (currently recommended by the World Health Organization for treatment in resource-poor countries) and three other products still under development. The licenses allow the sale and use of generic versions of these product in 99 – 111 countries (depending on the product), and include 3-5% royalties. Health groups applauded the licenses as a positive step forward, though they noted that middle income countries that need greater access to the products are not included in the deal. Click here for more.