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UK-IPO backs international prosecutors' network

Calls for anti-cyber crime training

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The UK Intellectual Property Office (UK-IPO) has given its backing to an international group of prosecutors in a bid to help fight cross-border intellectual property related crime.

The UK Intellectual Property Office (UK-IPO) has said that it will work with the Crown Prosecution Service to provide intellectual property (IP)-specific material to the Global Prosecutors' E-Crime Network (GPEN).

GPEN was established by the international office of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) in conjunction with the International Association of Prosecutors. It was developed by the CPS's hi-tech crime unit and will become active in January of next year.

"IP crime is a serious economic crime which needs to be tackled on a worldwide basis. The GPEN initiative provides an ideal opportunity to address this," said David Lammy, minister of state for higher education and intellectual property. "This will ensure prosecutions are effectively managed and enforcement agencies can take informed decisions on targeting the criminal network."

UK IP policy is informed by a 2006 report by ex-Financial Times editor Andrew Gowers. One of the recommendations of that Gowers Review was that criminal courts be given more training and information on the complexities of IP-related crime.

GPEN will create a network of prosecutors who will be able to exchange information in a bid to aid prosecutions.

"There is a global need for training and standardisation of legal and procedural standards in dealing with e-crime matters," said GPEN's explanation of its function. "Training of prosecutors to prosecute e-crime cases is a priority area for international efforts against cyber crime. The network will develop appropriate training courses to train prosecutors who will be able to train their colleagues. The network will enable prosecutors around the globe to exchange crucial information and data quickly and efficiently."

GPEN was established following recommendations in a report produced by the Departments for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR) and Innovation, Universities and Skills (DIUS). The report was called Creative Britain: New Talents for the New Economy.

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