Monday, 26 October 2009

AMOAPI initiative to counter counterfeits

"Joint Effort Underway to Combat Counterfeiting", an article in AllAfrica by Godlove Bainkong, reports on a forthcoming international forum to seek common solutions to the threats posed by rampant counterfeiting. The forum will be held in Douala on December 1 and 2, is organised by the Association of Trade Mark and Patent Agencies Affiliated with the African Intellectual Property Rights Organisation (AMOAPI), which says that studies have shown that a greater percentage of goods consumed in the continent are counterfeit.

AMOAPI president Françoise Ekani said records show that 70 per cent of medication, especially malaria drugs, is counterfeit. She added counterfeiting is not only dangerous to human health, but that it also stifles the growth of the economy as well as creativity. Some 15 enterprises, members of Confederation of Business people of Cameroon (GICAM), she said, in 2005 lost over FCFA 62,008 billion to counterfeiting and that the customs sector recorded a FCFA 5,058 billion deficit in related circumstances. It was necessary to sensitise IP owners as to the scale and nature of their losses, she added.

Afro Leo wishes the forum luck and hope it does well. Sadly the problem isn't (or isn't just) that IP owners don't take enough action to stop counterfeits. A far bigger problem is that so many people are more than happy to sell and buy them, irrespective of the consequences.

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