INTA Collaborates Globally with Officials and Brand Owners on Key Anticounterfeiting Issues

Published: December 15, 2019

INTA’s Anticounterfeiting Committee (ACC) recently engaged in several events with stakeholders in a variety of jurisdictions as well as collaborated with global partners on emerging issues relevant to brand owners.

Shanghai, China

The China Subcommittee of the ACC held a dialogue on October 23 focused on the topic of fake stores. For this dialogue, fake stores were defined as any fake retail store, repair shop, “parasite” brand store, copycat store, or other fake services (such as fake hotels, fake hospitals, fake banks, or fake restaurants). Led by Subcommittee Chair Erika Yawger (Apple, Inc., USA), and ACC members Louisa Xu (Treasury Wine Estates Trading Co. Ltd., Shanghai) and Yu Bo (LexField Law Offices, Beijing), the event drew more than 30 attendees and included panelists Nico Wu (Apple, Inc., Shanghai), Angela Shi (New Balance, Shanghai), Jack Su (Wanhuida Intellectual Property, Beijing), and Deputy Director of Shanghai IPO Gu Huirong. INTA President-Elect Ayala Deutsch (NBA Properties Inc., USA) provided opening remarks, outlining INTA’s priorities in China.

Discussions centered on a survey on “Fake Store Trends in China” conducted by the China Subcommittee on the issue of fake stores and ways to combat the problem. Preliminary results of the survey indicate that a variety of industries are affected. Findings show that the industries in China facing the most instances of fake stores are fashion/footwear/jewelry, consumer electronics, and consumer products (home goods, grocery products, etc.). The survey also explored the types of fake store issues that brand owners face, and found that 75 percent stated their biggest issue was stores that falsely claimed to be authorized resellers, distributors, or service providers.

The China Subcommittee will be focusing on expanding the first survey with a second study to better understand the responses. The ACC will also be presenting a panel on fake stores, moderated by Erika Yawger (Apple Inc., USA), to take place during the 2020 Annual Meeting in Singapore.

Cape Town, South Africa

INTA participated in the 13th INTERPOL International Law Enforcement Intellectual Property Crime Conference in Cape Town, South Africa, from October 22 to October 23. During the event, ACC Chair Virginia Cervieri (Cervieri, Monsuarez & Associates, Uruguay) moderated a panel titled “Geo-mapping in Action – Revolutionize Your Intelligence Capabilities.” Speakers included Europol Cluster Manager, Counterfeiting, Europol, Chris Vansteenkiste; Robert Musyoki (Simlaw Seeds, Kenya); and Casper van Kempen (AIB Seeds, Kenya). Ms. Cervieri highlighted a study conducted by the ACC’s Latin America and Caribbean Subcommittee titled “Gap Analysis of Anticounterfeiting Efforts in the Pharma Industry in Latin America,” which analyzed the structural framework, authorities responsible for legislation and enforcement, applicable sanctions, as well as current consumer awareness, of 11 different countries in Latin America. (The study was recently highlighted in the November 15 edition of the INTA Bulletin.) The panelists also shared case studies on how they converted raw data into a geo-map to better understand counterfeiting rings.

During the conference, Ms. Cervieri, ACC Middle East and Africa Subcommittee Chair Maura Canavan (Rouse, South Africa), Middle East and Africa Subcommittee member Vanessa Ferguson (Fergusons Attorneys, South Africa), INTA’s Anticounterfeiting Advisor Tiffany Pho, and INTA Representative Africa, Middle East, and Intergovernmental Organizations Tat-Tienne Louembe met with representatives from Europol, the World Customs Organization, the U.S. National Intellectual Property Rights Center, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development to discuss avenues for collaboration.

Following the event, the Middle East and Africa Subcommittee, led by Ms. Canavan and Ms. Ferguson, organized a policy dialogue called “Online to Offline: Effective Anticounterfeiting Measures in South Africa.” Ms. Canavan and Ms. Pho introduced the work of INTA and the ACC. World Intellectual Property Organization Director, Building Respect for IP Division Louise Van Greunen provided the keynote address. Godfrey Budeli (Adams & Adams, South Africa) and Mohamed Khader (Spoor and Fisher, South Africa) moderated a group of panels entitled “Online Counterfeiting Matters and Prosecution of Counterfeit Goods.” The panels prompted in-depth discussions among local intellectual property practitioners and brand owners, government officials from South Africa’s Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, the South African Revenue Service, and the National Prosecuting Authority of South Africa. Participants commented that the dialogues presented an important opportunity to engage with one another on a face-to-face basis.

New Delhi, India

The ACC’s South Asia Subcommittee, in partnership with the Cell for IPR Promotion and Management (CIPAM), on October 17, organized a regional customs workshop titled “Anticounterfeiting Enforcement and Collaboration: Online and Offline” in New Delhi, India. The dialogue was organized by Tanya Varma (Fidus Law Chambers, India) with Subcommittee Chair Hemant Singh (INTTL Advocare, India), and Subcommittee members M.S. Bharath (Anand and Anand, India) and Raghav Malik (Lall and Sethi, India). This regional customs workshop fostered cross-border collaboration among customs officials from India, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh. Commissioner Srivastava of the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs began the day with a call to action for all stakeholders to come to the table to work together on information and data sharing.

The Honorable Justice Endlaw of the Delhi High Court presented a keynote address, followed by a panel discussion with customs officials. Later, brand owners discussed best practices in combating online counterfeiting. Speakers included Pankaj Aseri (Novartis, India), Kamal Sharma (P&G, India), Roma Arora (Havells, India), and Smriti Subramanian (Snapdeal, India). The final panel of the day discussed the importance of a public-private partnership and included participation from Kirat Singh (The Legist, India), Suriya Prabha (ICC-BASCAP, India), and Nina Engineer (Beiersdorf, India).

For more information on INTA’s anticounterfeiting activities, please contact INTA’s Anticounterfeiting Manager Maysa Razavi at [email protected], Anticounterfeiting Advisor Tiffany Pho at [email protected], or Anticounterfeiting Advisor Asia-Pacific Valentina Salmoiraghi at [email protected].

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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