The World Customs Organisation (WCO) has announced that from 23 to 25 October, it along with the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC), International Criminal Police Organisation (INTERPOL), World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), and the World Trade Organisation (WTO), will be hosting an international conference - Respect for Intellectual Property - Growing from the Tip of Africa.
The intention of the conference is to foster policy dialogue and serve as an incubator of ideas that can support an effective and balanced IP enforcement system.
According to the WCO, more than 400 participants from all over the world are expected, including government ministers and policymakers, judges and senior enforcement officials, international governmental and non-governmental organisations, businesses, the legal fraternity and consumer groups.
The WCO offered the following reasoning for the conference:
An incomplete public understanding of the benefits of IP, as well as the socio-economic risks associated with counterfeit goods and piracy, compromises the potential of the global IP system in driving sustainable economic growth, advancing cultural and social development and contributing to a higher level of consumer protection.
By bringing together a wide range of stakeholders, the conference will create opportunities for collaboration and strengthen existing partnerships to build respect for IP.
Discussions will cover a broad spectrum of topics linked to the overarching theme of the conference – from the economic value of IP and its public interest rationale to specific challenges facing different actors involved in IP enforcement and options for their effective handling.