COMBATING INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY CRIME IN NIGERIA: The Need For Multilateral Partnership Against A Common Threat Presented by Dr. Godwin Okonkwo Brand Protection Specialist ANTI-COUNTERFEITING & PIRACY INITIATIVE (ACAPI) firstname.lastname@example.org Paper presented to the 9th INTERPOL IP Crime Training Seminar, Best Western Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos. June 22, 2011
The facts: • IP Crime Activities Fund Organised Crime • IP Crime Activities Are Everywhere • IP Crime Activities Are Immoral • IP Crime Activities Infringe on The Laws Of Nigeria • IP Crime Activities affect Public Health & Safety • IP Criminals Are Dangerous
Introduction Intellectual property crime activities such as counterfeiting, piracy, knock-offs, product diversion, grey market/parallel imports, relabeling, cloning etc ultimately hurt the economy. While FAKERS illegally enrich themselves, they impoverish our country and fellow citizens as their actions lead to mass unemployment, widespread poverty and loss of revenue for right holders, genuine manufacturers and government.
The nature and extent of IP infringements in Nigeria is such that local law enforcement are overwhelmed, civil litigation options are too slow, therefore, IP criminals and their agents easily get away with these crimes with little or no resistance. The criminals are constantly evolving new and advanced techniques to evade law enforcement and constantly maintain alliances that are increasingly transnational in nature. In the past, infringers where said to operate at small scales and for a limited time. Today, we know that IP criminals invest huge funds to perfect their dastardly acts and are also able to operate undetected mainly in new an emerging markets such as in Africa.
The Same Old Story • Lack of Training • Lack of Adequate Funding • Lack of Human Resources • Lack of Communication • Lack of Integrity • Issues of Jurisdiction • The Chinafactor • etc
Cooperation & Collaboration INTERPOL, the WCO AND WIPO are the key international intergovernmental organisations involved in the fight against intellectual property crimes and together with global business organisations, such as the ICC-BASCAP, agree on the principle that business and government must work together to achieve more effective protection of intellectual property. In Nigeria, you will agree that more work can and should be done to improve cooperation and coordination among and between government authorities and the private sector. The rational being that expanding and promoting understanding of IP crime related activities, information-sharing and cooperation between INTERPOL, other enforcement agencies and the private sector will effectively facilitate combating IPR crimes.
Working together, we can win the fight against IPR Crime • Policy Advocacy- Private sector • Public Enlightenment- Government • Technology Apps- Government & Private sector • Information Sharing- Private sector • Financial Support- Government & Private sector • Training- Government
Conclusion IPR crimes will continue to undermine innovation and economic empowerment unless we take action, take responsibility and get involved in the fight. We need popular will to drive the political will towards combating this menace and if we hope to achieve any lasting success, we all need to put aside our differences and diversities and see IPR crimes as it really is, A Common Threat! Thank you for your time and God bless us all, Everyone.