INTA Bulletin

December 15, 2017 Vol. 72 No. 21 Back to Bulletin Main Page

INTA Holds Policy Dialogues in Ottawa, Nigeria, Brussels, and Panama

On October 17, the Canada Subcommittee hosted a luncheon in Ottawa in collaboration with the Canadian Anti-Counterfeiting Network (CACN) and the Canadian Intellectual Property Council on “Combating a Tsunami of Counterfeits, Piracy and Fraud: Protecting the Health, Safety and Economy of Canada.” This luncheon brought together key anticounterfeiting stakeholders in the country to discuss the importance of strong anticounterfeiting legislation and the need for an IP rights coordination center in Canada.

The first keynote presentation was provided by former Director of the U.S. National IPR Coordination Center and INTA consultant, Bruce Foucart. Mr. Foucart spoke about the formation of the U.S. National IPR Coordination Center and how the U.S. model can be implemented in Canada. Mr. Foucart also highlighted the importance of cross agency collaboration in combating counterfeits. Detective Robert Whalen of the Toronto Police Service provided a second keynote presentation. Detective Whalen presented cases he had encountered that linked counterfeiting to terrorist organizations, emphasizing the real-life implications of the counterfeit trade on Canadian citizens.

Local Canadian brand owners and IP professionals then participated in a panel on the state of counterfeiting in Canada and why the formation of an IP rights center should be a priority for Canadian policymakers. Panelists included Katie Jamieson (Herschel Supply Company, Ltd.), Carrie Baker (Canada Goose), Dale Ptycia (Hockey Canada), Andrew McGuigan (MPA/MPAA Canada), Lorne Lipkus (Kestenberg Siegal Lipkus LLP), and Barry Elliott (RCMP).

The luncheon gathered around 30 key anticounterfeiting stakeholders and succeeded in creating open dialogue and collaboration between the attendees.

INTA and ACC-Nigeria Host Policy Dialogue and Customs Training for Eleventh Year

On October 17, the Middle East and Africa Subcommittee and the Anti-Counterfeiting Collaboration-Nigeria (ACC-Nigeria) hosted the eleventh annual policy dialogue on combating counterfeiting in Lagos. The theme of this year’s policy dialogue was “Fighting Counterfeiting and the Ease of Doing Business.” The discussion brought together brand owners, regulators, enforcement officials and IP practitioners in the entertainment industry to discuss the correlation between counterfeiting and the ease of doing business in Nigeria.

Desmond Adeola, Chairman of ACC-Nigeria, provided welcoming remarks to the attendees. Mr. Adeola highlighted the efforts and achievements of many of the enforcement officers in attendance and encouraged discussion throughout the day on how all stakeholders could work together to combat counterfeiting.

Marc Schreuder, the first Chairman of ACC-Nigeria, and General Manager at Natnudo Foods delivered the keynote address. Mr. Schreuder commented on the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan and the current state of IP law in countries such as South Africa, Kenya, and Egypt and how Nigeria should be ready to embrace moral values to improve the ease of doing business. Uche Nwokocha (Aluko & Oyebode), Chair of the Middle East and Africa Subcommittee of the ACC and Secretary of ACC-Nigeria, set the stage for the workshop. Ms. Lara Kayode (O. Kayode & Co.) introduced INTA and the Association’s mission.

The keynote addresses were followed by three sessions. The first focused on brand owners and how counterfeiting affects their ability to do business. The second looked at regulators and leveling the playing field, while the third session focused on counterfeiting challenges in the entertainment industry. Bob Peeters (World Customs Organization) then presented training on the IPM (Interactive Policy Making) software to the Nigeria Customs Service.

The workshop closed with a vote of thanks by Ms. Nwokocha and a cocktail reception to honor Hon. Justice M.B. Idris of the Federal High Court in Lagos. Justice Idris was presented with an award for commitment and service in recognition of his support in the fight against counterfeiting and piracy.

Combating Online Counterfeiting: An IP Policy Dialogue with ABAC-BAAN in Brussels

On October 18, INTA’s Anticounterfeiting Committee and its Europe Office (represented by Hadrien Valembois, Policy Officer) co-hosted an IP policy dialogue, in partnership with the Belgian anticounterfeiting association ABAC-BAAN, bringing together government officials, brand owners, and online platforms. The discussion was dedicated to combating online counterfeiting.

In the context of the current EU political situation, the issue of online counterfeiting and the role of online intermediaries is very sensitive and lies at the heart of the EU Commission’s current evaluation of its IP rights legal framework. On September 28, the Commission published its nonbinding guidelines on the removal of illegal content, which include provisions on notice and take down. The Commission carefully stressed in these guidelines that it will “monitor progress and assess whether additional measures are needed, … including possible legislative measures … by May 2018.”

While brand owners advocate for online intermediaries to play a greater role in tackling online counterfeiting, online actors (platforms, social media, marketplaces, etc.) stress that they have stepped up cooperation with brand owners and have set up monitoring systems with regard to online illegal content and goods.

This meeting was aimed at gathering all three stakeholders together to foster dialogue and propose solutions to tackle online counterfeiting. The dialogue was divided into three panels:
  • Panel I: Government officials’ perspective featured interventions by the EU Commission and the representative of Belgian Central Administration for Customs and Excises;
  • Panel II: Brand owners’ perspective featured representatives from PVH, LVMH, and Cisco; and
  • Panel III: Online platforms’ perspective featured an intervention from eBay’s IP legal counsel.
Government Perspective

On behalf of the EU Commission, Amaryllis Verhoeven (Head of Intellectual property and Fight Against Counterfeiting Unit, DG GROW, European Commission) provided a preliminary overview of the Commission’s IP package published on November 29 (see Europe Update). This package includes a nonbinding communication with a strong emphasis on monitoring schemes to assess whether its provisions are implemented. She highlighted that she was “happy that INTA is working on best practices [, which is] very important” (referring to INTA best practices guide on "Addressing the Sale of Counterfeits on the Internet").

On Directive 2004/48/EC, which covers enforcement of intellectual property rights (IPRED), she said that it is “still fit for purpose today” but that implementation varies from one member-state to the other. She added that, within the IP package, the Commission will publish “guidance” (not binding but “authoritative”) on the implementation of IPRED and will work “intensively” with the judicial system and judges in that regard. She pointed out that if the actors do not apply the proposed provisions, the Commission does not exclude the option of coming back with binding provisions in the future.

She also mentioned the need to “beef up the integrity of the supply chain” as well as the ongoing memorandum of understanding (MOU) on the sale of counterfeit goods over the Internet (and the fact that they are “in contact with the shipping industry” to propose a dedicated MOU with that industry). Finally, covering the international trade perspective, she said that the Commission (through the lead DG TRADE) is setting up a list of high-priority, third-world countries where counterfeiting is a problem, “notably free-trade zones,” and that it could lead to the publication of a blacklist.

Speaking from a customs’ perspective, Luc Van de Velde-Poelman emphasized the danger from small counterfeit goods. He pointed out that, given the enormous volume of counterfeit goods reaching EU borders, counterfeiting “is not random; it is organized,” thereby establishing the link between counterfeiting and organized crime.

Brand Owners and Online Platforms Have Their Say

Giving the brand owners’ perspective, Tomas Elemans (Brand Protection Manager, PVH Europe B.V.) stressed the need for “clustering online enforcement strategy” (action on websites, online market places, and social media). Jaymeen Patel (Senior Manager–Head of the Brussels Office, LVMH) pointed out as a priority the fact that consumers are fooled into buying fake goods they believe are genuine. Finally, Cisco Brand Protection EMEA, Jiri Kocab, provided the perspective of a different sector—electronic hardware and software—and insisted on the importance of looking at prevention strategies for online counterfeiting.

Panel III offered the platforms a chance to present their own strategy to tackle online counterfeiting. eBay Senior Legal Counsel (Intellectual Property–Global Rights Owner Manager) Sandro Chiesura stressed that eBay was “very happy to have joined the MOU [on the sale of counterfeit goods over the Internet]” and that it represents “a fantastic opportunity to be involved with stakeholders.”

Latin America and Caribbean Subcommittee Host Policy Dialogue in Panama

On November 30, the Latin America and Caribbean Subcommittee held a policy dialogue in Panama at P&G’s office on “Combating Counterfeits through Collaboration.” The policy dialogue was aimed at discussing the counterfeiting situation in Panama, and the need for an IP rights coordination center. INTA Chief Representative, Latin America and the Caribbean, José Luis Londoño provided opening remarks and focused on the role of intellectual property in Latin America. Mr. Londoño discussed the key IP challenges in the region and what INTA is doing to address them.
The first panel of the day focused on “The Current Anticounterfeiting Landscape in Panama.” Speakers included Igor Blanco, Circuit Prosecutor of the Intellectual Property Prosecutor’s Office, Alberto Diaz from the National Direction of Police Intelligence (DNIP), Cristana Quinteros, Regional Administrator of National Customs, and Cesar Schiaffino, Regional Expert from the World Customs Organization. Each panelist provided an overview and update on how their offices are combating counterfeiting and how key stakeholders should work together to combat the growing issue of counterfeits in Latin America. Following the panel, brand owners conducted training for the enforcement officials attending the workshop. 

Panama plays a central role in the shipping industry. In 2016, 6.2 million 20-foot equivalent unit (TEU) containers touched Panamanian ports. The Panama Canal, including the Expanded Locks, facilitates the trade of all kinds of goods from coast to coast. According to Panama Customs Authority seizure data from January 1, 2016, to December 31, 2016, 56 containers were seized (down from 233 in 2012) totaling 1,000,425 counterfeit goods at an estimated value of US $21,000,139.

INTA thanks INTA ACC Latin America and Caribbean Subcommittee members for their work on this event: Audrey Williams (Estudio Benedtti), Hugo Morán (Icaza, González-Ruiz &Alemán), and especially our host, Julie Mejia (Procter & Gamble).

For more information on INTA’s anticounterfeiting activities, please contact INTA Anticounterfeiting Manager Maysa Razavi at, or Anticounterfeiting Coordinator Tiffany Pho at

Although every effort has been made to verify the accuracy of items in the INTA Bulletin, readers are urged to check independently on matters of specific concern or interest.

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