Jerusalem, 24 February 2000

Industry Minister Cohen: Intensified Joint Effort to Protect Intellectual Property

(Communicated by the Ministry of Industry and Trade Spokesman)

Minister of Industry and Trade Ran Cohen yesterday (Wednesday) 23.2.2000, convened for the first time, the Ministerial Committee on Intellectual Property. The meeting underscores the importance the Government of Israel places on defending copyrights and intellectual property rights and the need to protect against forgery and piracy.

Minister Cohen noted that Israeli and Palestinian criminals have taken advantage of a warm peace and productive partnership in order to cooperate in producing forged and pirated materials, thereby exploiting open borders for joint criminal activity. He has approached all government ministers, requesting that they implement the relevant regulations on these matters in all bodies under their jurisdiction, to use registered software products only and that all intellectual property rights be properly respected.

Minister of Public Security Shlomo Ben-Ami stated that despite the lack of manpower, the police have been instructed to make every effort to combat intellectual property crimes. He added that the effort is essential in order to have Israel stricken from the list of countries pirating intellectual property. 27 new police posts have been added to handle the caseload, and the officers will receive specialized training in the field.

The following decisions were made at the end of the meeting:

  • To meet with Palestinian Authority officials to improve cooperation between the relevant Israeli and Palestinian ministries on this matter and to recommend that the Palestinians establish a special unit to fight intellectual property theft.
  • To set up a joint team from the Ministries of Industry and Trade and Public Security to fight the smuggling of pirated material.
  • To reconvene the committee in one month to report on the implementation of these decisions.