On December 22, 2016, INTA’s Unreal Campaign made a presentation at The Mother’s International School (“MIS”) in New Delhi. The MIS school was founded in the year 1956 and has been independently ranked as one of the top-ten public schools in India, and the best school in New Delhi. This was the first time that the Unreal presentation was delivered in India. Myself (Rachna Bakhru) and Ragini Kumar from RNA, IP Attorneys conducted the presentation for an audience of approximately 80 students, most of whom were 15- to 17-years-old.
Ragini and I were given a 40-minute time slot with the grade 10 and 11 students at 8 am in the morning. A bit apprehensive, we realized that it could be a challenge to cultivate a discussion at 8 am on a cold winter day among high school students who had just finished their exams and were looking forward to their holiday break! Very soon, though, all our doubts were put to rest when we received a warm welcome from the students, who were filled with enthusiasm and keen interest right from the beginning of our presentation.
We started off with the introduction of the Unreal Campaign and its objectives as well as an overview of INTA. In order to gauge students’ knowledge and engage them, we asked them what they understood counterfeiting to be. To our surprise, the students had a fair idea of what counterfeiting entails and the role of brands in our day-to-day life.
We then continued with basics of counterfeiting issues and the trademark law. Much to our delight, the students were very interested in the topic and asked us many pertinent questions about trademarks in general. The campaign’s videos of other students sharing their experiences with counterfeit goods helped our audience relate to the topic in a more personally relevant way. The challenging questions asked by the students advanced the presentation from an elementary level to a higher level of discussion. The students debated on the ethics of the significant difference in prices between original and counterfeiting goods, quality, and profits, etc. One student asked us “Why should I buy expensive goods when I can get the same for much less?” Another student brought up the point of student peer pressure to use only branded goods. Their insightful questions demonstrated that the presentation had stimulated their minds and had led them to be curious and inquisitive on the topic.
We showed the students real-life examples of counterfeit goods seized by our firm during raids and asked the students to try to identify counterfeit products. The “real and fake” game we played with the students was enjoyed by all. We awarded small prizes for each correct answer and put a “thinking hat” on each student who found differentiating factors between the real and fake goods that were even beyond the pointers on the slides that indicated the more noticeable factors.
The presenters invited students to join and follow Unreal Campaign on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.
The presenters received positive feedback from the teachers and students after the session. The Principal, Ms. Sanghamitra Ghosh, appreciated the intention behind the presentation and invited us to conduct more of such sessions with the students in the future to expand their horizons beyond the curriculum.
It was a productive morning during which students expressed their interest in and asked many questions regarding counterfeiting activities and trademark law, protection, and enforcement of pertinent laws. The presentation became a truly interactive session with valuable input from teachers, students, and Unreal Campaign presenters.
What a great beginning to the Unreal campaign in India!
If you are interested in becoming involved with the Unreal Campaign, please contact Laura Heery at email@example.com. Thank you to our 2016 Unreal Campaign sponsors, Tilleke & Gibbins, that made this event possible. We look forward to working with our 2017 sponsors; CompuMark, IP4KIDS, Gucci, New Era Cap Co. and Tilleke & Gibbins.
The holiday season is upon us, and millions of people are shopping in stores or online for family and friends. In addition to large gifts placed under the tree, many will be looking for small stocking stuffers. Given the proliferation of electronics, what could be more ideal than a power adapter?
New research about counterfeit power adapters from UL should be required reading material for all shoppers before making their purchases this holiday season. Law enforcement officials, brands, manufacturers and retailers also will gain many insights from this research.
Reputable manufacturers and companies devote significant resources to make their adapters safe including subjecting them to rigorous third-party testing. However, some manufacturers produce counterfeit or unauthorized adapters that cut corners on safety to offer a lower-priced item, putting consumers’ lives at risk.
UL’s new research demonstrates exactly how much risk. In a controlled test program conducted by engineers at UL Canada, 400 counterfeit iPhone adapters with unauthorized UL certification marks were subjected to two product certification tests—an electric strength test and a touch current test—to identify potential safety risks related to electric shock. The counterfeit adapters were obtained from multiple sources in eight different countries from around the world, including the United States, Canada, Colombia, China, Thailand and Australia.
The results were shocking, to say the least. Only three of the 400 samples passed the electric strength test, a 99 percent failure rate, and 12 of them were so poorly designed and constructed that they posed a risk of lethal electrocution.
Selected construction reviews by UL found issues with the isolation transformer design in these adapters. The internal components proved to be vastly different when compared with a genuine UL Listed Apple adapter. Post testing analysis of the tested samples also revealed a lack of triple isolation wire used for the secondary windings, and neither the primary or secondary windings were separated properly, the major reason for the dramatic failure rate on the electric strength test.
Identifying a counterfeit power adapter is not easy, but there are some telltale signs. Most telling is an unusually low price compared with a genuine Apple iPhone adapter. Spelling or grammatical errors in the printed text on packaging or non-white colors used for the product or packaging all should raise concerns. Finally, the iPhone power adapter should come with a certification mark such as a UL Mark to indicate that the device has been tested for compliance with applicable safety standards.
“Based on our research, we strongly advise consumers purchase UL certified adapters manufactured by Apple or other legitimate sources to keep themselves and their families safe this holiday season,” said John Drengenberg, Consumer Safety Director.
This blog post first appeared here on Inside UL and was republished with permission from UL.
From Left to Right: Heather McDonald (INTA's Anticounterfeiting Committee Chair, Baker & Hostetler LLP, United States), Bruce Foucart (Director, Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center - Homeland Security Investigations) and Dani Marti (U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator at The White House)
On December 12, 2016, INTA’s Washington, D.C., Office, in collaboration with the Global Intellectual Property Center at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, hosted a briefing entitled “Counterfeits and Consumer Safety During the Holiday Shopping Season” on Capitol Hill. With more than 65 attendees including Hill staff and brand owners, the event focused on education and outreach about the challenges posed by counterfeit goods.
The event kicked off with remarks from Daniel H. Marti, the White House Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator (IPEC), who announced the release of the United States’ Joint Strategic Plan for Intellectual Property Enforcement. The Joint Strategic Plan (JSP) serves as a roadmap for the U.S. government’s work and engagement focused on counterfeiting and IP enforcement. Mr. Marti noted that the JSP seeks to “define the problem and create opportunities to solve the problem with discrete goals and objectives that are measurable.”
Next, Bruce Foucart, the Director of the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center, spoke about the Center’s work coordinating IP enforcement activities in the field and in the developing outreach and training activities. Mr. Foucart noted the increase in seizures of counterfeit goods (in 2015, 28,000 seizures with a $1.35 billion dollar manufacturer’s suggested retail price if the goods were authentic) following the Center’s investigations. He presented practical suggestions for holiday shoppers to educate themselves about counterfeit goods, including:
- If the price of the good is “too good to be true,” then it may be a counterfeit good.
- If there is no phone number or contact information for contacting customer service when purchasing goods online, then the “store” might be selling counterfeit goods.
- Don’t buy goods that usually need a prescription, such as contact lenses, from a store that does not require the prescription.
The event then featured an IP stakeholder panel with representatives from Underwriters Laboratories (UL), Canon USA, Inc., and the National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC), which was moderated by INTA’s Chair of the Anticounterfeiting Committee and Partner at BakerHostetler, Heather McDonald. The panel focused on outreach and education activities targeted at consumers as they do their holiday shopping. The panelists emphatically pointed out that counterfeiters are focused solely on making money and are not at all interested in the health and safety of consumers.
Unfortunately, counterfeit products affect all sectors and can cause immediate and direct harm to consumers, including fatalities. For example, counterfeit electronic products could malfunction and cause a fire. The UL representatives discussed the “UL” certification mark as a sign of safety when purchasing products. During the holiday season, consumers often purchase electronic goods (for both adults and children) that carry the “UL” certification mark, including holiday lights and decorations, electronic toys, and tools. The panelists reminded the attendees to examine products before buying them and to pay attention to price.
Canon has developed an advertising campaign that includes videos and a dedicated website to educate consumers about the dangers of buying counterfeit Canon products. Canon is now partnering with the NCPC on additional outreach to consumers using videos.
In conclusion, the panelists encouraged consumers to be “good shoppers” and do their research and examination to ensure that they are buying authentic goods with regulated and monitored health and safety standards instead of counterfeit goods that can cause direct and serious harm to consumers of all ages.
On November 21, I (Thierry Dubois, Managing Director Asia Pacific of the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry FH and a member of one of INTA’s Anticounterfeiting Committee) was invited to present INTA’s Unreal Campaign in a private school in Hong Kong. The French International School (“FIS”) welcomed the campaign from the time the idea was first proposed. Because I had been a student at FIS from kindergarten all the way to the French Baccalaureat, the school was suggested as the venue for the Unreal Campaign event in Hong Kong.
The Unreal Campaign presentation took place in an FIS classroom. Twenty-five teenagers attended, all from the thirteenth grade, which is the last year of school before they graduate to the International Baccalaureat (IB). The teenagers present were all from the International Section of the school, where lessons are given in English during the PSHE (Personal, Social, Health and Economic) Education Class. It is a central part of the school’s welfare program and is, in the students’ senior year, linked to the FIS Personal Profile, the IB Learner Profile, and the IB's Approaches to Learning Skills.
After a brief introduction of the speaker, we delved into Unreal PowerPoint presentation, which really caught the attention of the teens. Perhaps they were particularly focused because counterfeiting is a problem that is often seen in Asia. They could therefore easily relate to the subject at the core of the Unreal Campaign.
I also presented some slides containing photos that had been taken during raids my company and I had undertaken earlier this year against assemblers and manufacturers in China. The images illustrate the poor working conditions in counterfeiting factories: the bad lighting, the dreadful ventilation, and the filth and disarray of the facilities. The images show teenagers (or sometimes children) employed in these factories that manufacture fake products and in the shops that sell them.
I also included some press clippings that discussed fake pet food, fake car parts, fake cosmetics, fake infant formula milk, and fake medicine—real, but dramatic cases that “plucked the heart strings” of the teens participating.
As I showed the photographs and articles, we invited the audience of teenagers to comment on what they were seeing.
I strongly believe in a philosophy of authenticity in life, and shared it with the class. I learned from teachers that the teenagers took this philosophy on board and even repeated it in discussions a few days later in class. They now understand that buying a fake is an act that reflects a state of mind. If one can accept a fake watch, then one should also be able to accept fake medicine. If you are not willing to accept fake medicine, then the correct attitude is to say “no” to all fakes, whatever they are!
If you are interested in organizing an Unreal event in your region, please contact Laura Heery at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you to the Unreal Campaign 2016 Sposnors, Tilleke & Gibbins. Without thier support, these outreach events would not be possible. Learn more about the sponsorship oppurtunities here.
Where has the time gone? Even though it has been a whirlwind year for me, I cannot believe it’s already December and my presidential term is coming to an end. Thank you all for making the past 12 months so productive and enjoyable. As we take a moment to reflect upon our personal and professional accomplishments of the past year, let’s also applaud ourselves for the amazing work we have done as an Association in 2016.
We’ve expanded geographically. This year our Association has celebrated many milestones around the world. In March we officially opened our Asia-Pacific Representative Office in Singapore. In September we celebrated the tenth anniversary of the Brussels Office. And in October we announced the opening of our Latin America Representative Office in Santiago, Chile, which will take place in the first semester of 2017.
We’ve sent delegations to Argentina, Cambodia, Canada, Colombia, Chile, China, India, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Singapore, South Africa, Thailand, Vietnam, and the UK. These delegations enable us to expand our advocacy and presence globally and to strengthen our relationships with key stakeholders and government officials around the world. In September, the Board of Directors held its first meeting in Beijing, exemplifying the importance of China to the global trademark community. Likewise, we hosted our first conference in Africa in over 20 years. The Building Africa with Brands conference took place in Cape Town, South Africa, and attracted more than 200 attendees from 36 countries.
We’ve expanded substantively. In January we began a new committee term with an expanded committee structure, introducing 12 new committees and a Programming Council.
The newly formed Communications Group, which includes the Unreal Campaign and the Public and Media Relations Committees, is raising awareness about the value of trademarks throughout the non-IP world. The Unreal Campaign has also expanded globally, hosting approximately 30 events for students, including events in 12 new countries. The Impact Studies Committee (ISC) published its first impact study last week. INTA and ASIPI collaborated on this study to determine the impact of trademark-intensive industries on the economies of Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Panama, and Peru. The study has been published in Spanish and is available here. The English version of the study will be published in January 2017. INTA is already collaborating with BASCAP on a study of the economic and social impact of counterfeiting and piracy, and separately on an economic impact study of the ASEAN region.
The Resources Group continues to update and expand its various publications, including the sixth issue of The Trademark Reporter for 2016 and a new searchable practice guide, Enforcement: An International Litigation Guide, that covers the many facets of trademark litigation in more than 40 jurisdictions.
Our Advocacy Group also began 2016 with a number of new committees. The Copyright, Designs, and Indigenous Rights Committees, for example, demonstrate how INTA is expanding its scope with regard to related rights. On the other hand, the newly formed Brands and Innovation Committee is looking into the relationship between brands/trademarks and innovation.
On behalf of INTA, our Advocacy Group submitted numerous testimony and comments in multiple jurisdictions during the course of 2016. This year they also submitted three Amicus Briefs in the United States and are actively seeking similar opportunities in Europe. The Designs Committee presented a resolution to the Board during the Leadership Meeting. Titled “Hague Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs,” the resolution encourages all countries and intergovernmental organizations to accede to the Hague Agreement and urges new members of the Hague System to enact implementing legislation for the registration and enforcement of design rights.
We’ve examined the role of in-house counsel. This year, I formed a presidential task force to review the role and position of in-house trademark counsel within their companies, the level of influence they have in their companies, and their career opportunities. In November at the Leadership Meeting, the task force presented its final report to the Board. The work on the recommendations from the task force will continue in 2017.
We hosted our largest-ever Annual Meeting. More than 10,000 of us descended on Orlando, Florida, this past May for our 138th Annual Meeting. Wow! And next year we will celebrate yet another incredible milestone for INTA: our third Annual Meeting in Europe! I look forward to joining everyone in beautiful Barcelona, Spain, in May. On a personal note, this year I have had the privilege of participating in so much of INTA’s educational program. The Programming Council and the Education Department are doing amazing job in expanding the scope of INTA’s educational offerings and bringing more events to more members in more parts of the world. Check out the program for 2017.
We’re planning for the future. For some time now we have been working on our 2018–2021 Strategic Plan. We have taken a holistic approach in developing this plan, seeking input from stakeholders both within and outside the IP community—including academics, business leaders, lawmakers, marketers, and consumers. This has helped us to develop an inclusive and forward-thinking Strategic Plan that offers a clear framework to guide all of our future activities. In March, the Board of Directors will review a final draft of the plan.
We have accomplished much this year. With this, my final message as our president, I have only begun to scratch the surface.... INTA is a member-run organization. Our achievements in 2016 are a testament to the passion and commitment with which we engage the many challenges we face in our daily work and in our industry, with which we pursue INTA’s mission, and with which we build our Association and community.
It has been an honor to serve as your president in 2016. Thank you to everyone who has helped us continue to grow and expand. I can’t wait to see what we will accomplish together in 2017. See you in Barcelona.
On November 30, 2016, the Unreal Campaign made a presentation at Skinner School in Lima, Peru. This was the first time that the Unreal Campaign presented programs in Peru. Skinner School is a private school founded in 1983 that uses the learning method of Cognitive Emotional Learning.
Both Mrs. Adriana Barrera, Unreal Campaign Committee member, and Mr. Jean-Carlo Costa, INTA member, conducted the presentation for an audience of 35 students ranging in age from 15 to 17 years old. The audience also included five Skinner School teachers.
The hour-long presentation included a display of the Unreal Campaign learning materials and three Unreal Campaign Spanish videos.
It was a productive morning during which students showed their interest in trademark protection and enforcement. Throughout the presentation, students asked many questions regarding trademark law, the protection of trademarks, and the ways in which counterfeiting goods and services are attacked and taken off the market. The presentation became a truly interactive session, during which teachers, students, and Unreal speakers involved themselves in a variety of valuable discussions.
We were surprised to find that the students had little previous knowledge of trademark and other intellectual property rights, but we were impressed by the students’ eagerness to learn and by their quickness to grasp new ideas.
Students and teachers also asked if this training would be conducted in other schools in the future, as they noted it would be important for all Peruvian teenagers to experience the Unreal Campaign program.
Finally, the presenters invited students to join and follow Unreal Campaign on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.
Mrs. Ana Reyna, Skinner School academic coordinator, thanks the Unreal Campaign and the International Trademark Association for giving their students such a fruitful presentation.
We continue to present the Unreal Campaign learning materials in other Peruvian schools during 2017.
If you are interested in sponsoring or volunteering with the Unreal Campaign, please contact INTA's Coordinator Laura Heery (email@example.com). Thank you to the 2016 Unreal Campaign Sponsors, Tilleke & Gibbins.
What is fascinating about IP law? On November 21, a group of about 23 students from the Instituto de Empresa Law School from Madrid (IE Law School), Spain, got a glimpse of IP law’s allure at the INTA Europe Representative Office in Brussels. The event was part of a study visit in Brussels where the students visited European Union Institutions and private-sector organizations.
The visit to INTA consisted of a short introduction about the Association and a presentation on trademark law given by Ignacio Lazaro (PETOŠEVIĆ). This was the second time that the IE Law School had visited INTA (the first time being in November 2014, thanks to the European Law Students’ Association).
Milesh Gordhandas, INTA Advisor, Europe Office, talked about the importance of trademarks in the economy (with reference to the “IP Contribution” study by the European Patent Office/European Union Intellectual Property Office), INTA’s role in trademark protection, and the Association’s academic activities—such as the recently launched Ladas Memorial Award essay competition for 2017. Students asked questions about the Association’s committee structure and how to become involved.
Ignacio Lazaro then took the floor and tackled the central question: “Why trademark law?” He started with a brief overview of the Spanish, European, and international legislation and then moved on to explain the dual nature of the work of a trademark lawyer: prosecution and enforcement.
Despite its somewhat common perception as a dull, administrative activity, prosecution can be an appealing and demanding field for lawyers. Mr. Lazaro demonstrated the appeal of prosecution when he challenged students’ knowledge of various famous cases, such as the BABY- DRY case. He noted that a high degree of expertise is needed to avoid the pitfalls of trademark registration and introduced the concept of “absolute grounds” for trademark registration refusals. The students asked several detailed questions, and Mr. Lazaro then discussed ways in which trademark applicants can avoid these registration pitfalls, either by administrative actions (i.e., by creating a more precise description of the sign for a registration application)—or, if appropriate, by a business strategy focused on brand development and acquisition of trademark distinctiveness through use.
Mr. Lazaro then presented some real-life examples of enforcement, which is the second major area of activity for trademark lawyers. He highlighted the relevance of following the process in all its steps, from the identification of a violation to the implementation of enforcement measures. The questions that followed concerned the fight against counterfeiting in China by local authorities. Students asked questions on other non-enforcement-related topics as well, such as the criteria used in determining whether a trademark has become generic.
In summary, the students were fascinated by trademark law. As trademarks are strictly linked to the perception of a sign, and as the examination and registration of signs may sometimes seem arbitrary or subjective, this area represents a particularly challenging and exciting field for future lawyers, and INTA’s presentation helped the IE Law School students recognize this challenge. INTA thanks Ignacio Lazaro for his support and looks forward to hosting further educational events for students!
For more information about INTA’s academic activities, including individual academic memberships for students and professors, visit www.inta.org/academics.
INTA’s Annual Meeting is the largest trademark and IP event in the industry, and at no other venue will you have as many opportunities to demonstrate your products and services, develop new leads, and forge new relationships with leaders in the IP arena. More than 100 trademark solution providers, law firms, media companies, and trade associations benefit yearly from exhibiting at INTA’s Annual Meeting.
Generate new sale leads and increase your firm’s visibility at the Annual Meeting in Barcelona! Secure a spot in the Exhibition Hall today to reach your target audience and drive the success of your strategic marketing plan.
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On October 25, 2016, the Unreal Campaign went to Ojodu Junior Grammar School, Ojodu Berger, on the outskirts of Lagos, Nigeria.
The Unreal Campaign was invited by the Raji Olaniyi Oladapo Aponmade Foundation, which runs a school club that focuses on intellectual property.
In attendance were Mr. Akeem O. Aponmade (INTA Enforcement Subcommittee member), Mr. Olumide Olorungbohunmi (A.O. Aponmade & Co.), Mrs. Adenike Olorungbohunmi (Executive Director, ROO Aponmade Foundation), and Mr. Dozie Ezeh (O. Kayode & Co.).
We first met with the school’s Vice Principal, Admin, Mr. D.O. Olawoyin, and the school’s Students Counselor, Mrs. O. Olatunde, who ensured that we had all the support we required.
Mr. Olawoyin, Ms. Olatunde, and three other tutors—Mrs. Folasade Olaniyi and Messrs. Musa Jubril and Sokunbi—attended the Unreal Campaign presentation. Also attending were 57 students, ranging in age from 12 to 16 years old, who are members of the school’s 200-strong Intellectual Property Club.
We commenced our presentation by introducing INTA and the work that the organization does to protect trademarks and other intellectual property rights. Two Unreal videos demonstrated the dangers of purchasing counterfeits as opposed to real products, and we educated the students on the importance of trademarks and dangers that counterfeits pose to them as consumers.
The students had already been aware of many international brands but were surprised to discover the risks posed by the counterfeits of these brands. The highlight of the presentation was the quiz, which the students thoroughly enjoyed guessing between counterfeit and authentic products. Overall, our session was quite interactive.
We reiterated the necessity of the students to follow the Unreal Campaign online.
Thank you to the Unreal Campaign sponsors, Tilleke & Gibbins, that help make these events possible. If you are interested in becoming a sponsor, learn more here.
This blog post was co-authored by Anel Aguilar (BLP Abogados, Costa Rica)
Having the opportunity to be part of the Unreal Campaign was an inspiring way to gain some perspective on the work done in a law firm’s intellectual property department day-to-day. As IP lawyers, we know the real impact of trademarks on consumers; however, spending time talking about trademarks with some persuasive consumers such as teenagers gives one the chance to stop and realize that these teenagers make trade decisions every single day, hence the relevance for them to know the impact of counterfeiting on their lives.
Surfing the web on their phones, checking social media, or watching television, teenagers are surrounded by trademarks from the moment they wake up until the moment they go to bed. They are influenced by artists, friends, parents, even strangers—by anyone having goods that teens want to buy. Teens know trademarks; however, one of the main things I learned in participating in the Unreal Campaign is that teens always want to know more! Teenagers are eager to learn about intellectual property, different kinds of trademarks, the importance of IP to companies and consumers, and the dangers of counterfeiting.
This expression of interest on the part of teenagers about this topic was, for me, the best part of the activity. As teachers, parents, and older siblings, we know that teenagers’ capacity for attention to one subject is sometimes transient. It was unexpected and inspiring to experience teens asking questions, expressing their desire to learn more, and demonstrating their comprehension of trade issues and why fighting counterfeiting is so important. In a session titled “How to Be an Intelligent Consumer,” students were eager to be identified as that intelligent consumer. One student even showed me an account that he follows on Instagram where people identify details of authentic shoes and compare authentic shoes to copies. “I’m obsessed with sneakers,” he said.
Presenting the Unreal Campaign program to students of a lower social-economic class was another focal point that I found quite interesting and that made my participation rewarding. Some students were at first doubtful about having strong penalties imposed by law against counterfeiters. When these students were reminded, however, of the real consequences of counterfeit goods and services on health and security (as in medicine counterfeiting, for example), then they realized the law has a real purpose.
Participating in the Unreal Campaign was an inspiring opportunity that reminded me, as an IP lawyer, that protecting the consumer and defending companies’ intellectual property matters. The fight against counterfeiting requires our support in every possible way, and the Unreal Campaign does an extraordinary job in this regard. Bravo, Unreal Campaign!
Thank you to our Unreal Campaign sponsors, Tilleke & Gibbins, for making these events possible.