Koelnmesse president and CEO Herbert Marner signed the memorandum in Beijing in the presence of journalists and representatives of the group organizers that manage the participation of Chinese exhibitors in Cologne, Germany.
The memo, the first of its kind to have been initiated by a major European trade fair company, obliges the group organizers to adhere to German legal regulations and to take active measures to promote the protection of intellectual property rights at trade fairs and to prevent any violations of such rights.
More organizers are expected to sign the memo, which stipulates that all of the participating companies are to be informed in detail of the situation and that exhibitors affected by property rights violations will receive advice and support in cooperation with lawyers and the German authorities. In addition, the partners to the memorandum will launch a joint media campaign in Germany and China.
Product piracy is a serious problem for the international trade fair business. Violations of intellectual property rights on products and processes often come to light at trade fairs. In Germany, such violations are considered to be an attack on the affected manufacturers.
According to Marner, the aim of the memorandum is to ensure that "trade fairs can continue to fulfill their chief function of depicting the global market in important sectors. The memorandum is an important step toward curtailing violations of intellectual property rights at trade fairs. We want to create the conditions necessary for quickly resolving violations of legal regulations and for helping affected companies assert their rights."
That's why the memorandum also stipulates that clearly visible support centers be set up at trade fairs in Cologne. Besides providing in-depth information to companies affected by violations, these centers will organize assistance from specialized lawyers and the German authorities. The memorandum clearly spells out what consequences violators of intellectual property rights will face, ranging from the removal of the pertinent products and the closing of the stand to the offending company's exclusion from future events.
The memorandum was signed by the following group organizers:
- China Chamber of Commerce for Import & Export of Machinery & Electronic Products
- CIEC Overseas Exhibition Co., Ltd.
- North International Exhibition Co., Ltd.
- China Light Industrial Corporation for Foreign Economic and Technical Cooperation
- China Chamber of Commerce of Metals Minerals & Chemicals Importers & Exporters
- China Chamber of Commerce for I/E of Light Industrial Products & Arts-Crafts
- China National Hardware Association
- China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Foodstuffs Native Produce and Animal By-Products
- CMEC International Exhibition Co., Ltd.
- Genertec International Advertising and Exhibition Co., Ltd.
- China Food and Packaging Machinery Industry Association
- China Canned Food Industry Association
- Taizhou City Foreign Trade & Economic Cooperation Bureau
- China National Art & Crafts I/E Co., Ltd.
- China Great Wall International Exhibition Co., Ltd.
- China World Trade Centre Co., Ltd.
- Goalmark International Exhibition Co., Ltd.
- Fradeuno (Beijing) Co., Ltd.
- China Foreign Trade Guangzhou Exhibition Corp.
- CCPIT Guangzhou Sub-Council
- Millennium Global Exhibition & Trading Co., Ltd.
- Chinatex Advertising & Exhibition Corp.
- China National Food Industry Association
- Zhejiang Broad International Convention and Exhibition Co., Ltd.