New BASCAP study ranks top – and bottom – ten countries for I.P. rights protection
Geneva and New York, January 29, 2007 – Global companies say more government enforcement is what is needed most to win the fight against counterfeiting and piracy, according to a new survey unveiled today by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC).
The first annual BASCAP Global Survey on Counterfeiting and Piracy was conducted by ICC’s Business Action to Stop Counterfeiting and Piracy (BASCAP) initiative, in cooperation with the Cass Business School, part of City University, London. The survey polled 48 companies, many of which operate globally, spanning 27 product categories.
The findings provide a snapshot of country and business efforts to stop the theft of intellectual property, which has become a substantial drain on business, and has led to the widespread loss of jobs and a massive reduction in tax revenues.
“Not only does unfair competition from counterfeiting and piracy worldwide drain billions annually from the ‘virtuous circle’ of economic growth that intellectual properly generates, but we are particularly concerned about the risks for consumers from unsafe counterfeit products,” said Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, chairman & CEO of Nestlé. “We urge the assistance of governments to curb the proliferation of counterfeit products.”
ICC is the world business organization, the only representative body bringing the views of companies from every region and every sector to bear upon global policy matters. The United States Council for International Business (USCIB), based in New York, serves as ICC’s American national committee.
Meeting today in Geneva under the umbrella of BASCAP, CEOs and senior corporate officials from four continents, including those from some of the world’s largest companies, discussed the survey results and announced a new plan to step up the fight against counterfeiting and piracy.
When asked which area would yield the best results in curbing counterfeiting and piracy – legislation, public education or increased enforcement – survey respondents rated enforcement much higher than the other options.
“The survey shows a lot more work needs to be done on enforcement, said ICC Secretary General Guy Sebban. “We need to educate policymakers that greater investments in IP enforcement will translate into more jobs and tax revenues, and also help them in the fight against organized crime.”
The survey ranked the best- and worst-performing countries in addressing counterfeiting and piracy. Companies rated the U.S., U.K., Germany and France, respectively, as exemplary. Also among the best performers, in descending order, were Japan, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Singapore and Australia.
On the other end of the spectrum, respondents named China and Russia, respectively, as the two worst-performing countries, followed by India, Brazil, Indonesia, Vietnam, Taiwan, Pakistan, Turkey and Ukraine.
“The mention of these bottom-performing countries shows the problem is indeed worldwide and requires a global solution, said Mr. Sebban. “Focusing on one or two problem areas is simply not enough.”
American executives at the BASCAP meeting echoed this sentiment. “This issue needs to be moved up on the agenda of every business leader, every trade organization and every policymaker,” according to Bob Wright, CEO of NBC Universal. “At risk is every sector of our economy where creativity, innovation and invention drive the creation of economic value and of high-wage jobs.”
Regarding business strategies to rein in fake products, respondents said they spent over half their investment on anti-piracy technologies and product differentiation. “The investment of around 50 percent of R&D in technologies to thwart copying indicates that companies are working hard to stay a step ahead of the pirates,” Mr. Sebban said.
Future surveys will examine the I.P. regimes of top-performing countries to identify best practices, flag problem areas and track progress. An index will rank country performance.
Business Action to Stop Counterfeiting and Piracy (BASCAP) was established by ICC in 2005 to connect all business sectors and cut across all national borders in the fight against counterfeiting and piracy. This global approach is designed to leverage individual company and organizational efforts and amplify business messages with national governments and intergovernmental organizations. Through BASCAP, more than 150 companies and associations are now actively engaged in a set of projects designed to defeat the pirates and increase public and political awareness of the economic and social harm caused by this illegal activity. More information is available at http://www.iccwbo.org/bascap/id1127/index.html.
USCIB promotes an open system of global commerce in which business can flourish and contribute to economic growth, human welfare and protection of the environment. Its membership includes some 300 U.S. companies, professional service firms and associations whose combined annual revenues exceed $3 trillion. As American affiliate of the leading international business and employers organizations, including ICC, USCIB provides business views to policy makers and regulatory authorities worldwide and works to facilitate international trade.
Dawn Chardonnal, communications manager, ICC
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Amy Lehr, media relations coordinator, USCIB
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