How to Get Involved in INTA’s Anticounterfeiting Work

Published: March 17, 2021

No brand can fight counterfeiting on its own. INTA has been working to offer more ways for brand owners to support global anticounterfeiting efforts. This includes opportunities to get involved in customs trainings, dialogues with platforms and government officials, and benchmarking your anticounterfeiting work. INTA invites you to participate in upcoming activities on this key policy issue and learn about the latest developments and events to fight counterfeiting.

Anticounterfeiting Activities of 2020

Despite the various challenges faced in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Association’s Anticounterfeiting Committee (ACC) had a productive year, working extensively on comments to legislative consultations, organizing virtual dialogues, and advancing its regional objectives. This includes:

  • 18 submissions on anticounterfeiting enforcement legislative consultations;
  • 16 global policy dialogues with enforcement officials and policymakers;
  • 14 policy dialogues with intermediaries on online counterfeiting policies;
  • 2 Anticounterfeiting Workshops at INTA’s Annual Meeting; and
  • 1 cross-committee task force on online enforcement and counterfeiting.

Online counterfeiting was a priority for the ACC in 2020. With the pandemic, online enforcement against counterfeit goods was more critical than ever. The ACC hosted dialogues on the issue with platform members, submitted comments on legislation on e-commerce in China and Europe, and organized two anticounterfeiting workshops at the Annual Meeting focused on social media enforcement. In Eastern Europe, the ACC worked with the International Anticounterfeiting Association of Russia to organize the Global Anticounterfeiting Forum, which attracted more than 600 attendees on a virtual platform.

The ACC also focused on consumer awareness and raising the profile of the harms of counterfeit goods, at a time when many consumers were searching for personal protective equipment (PPE) online. In the United States, the ACC submitted comments to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s consultation on the development of a National Consumer Awareness Campaign on Combating the Trafficking in Counterfeit and Pirated Goods. INTA representatives also discussed the importance of consumer awareness at events in Belgium, Georgia, Russia, and Serbia.

Embracing the virtual environment, the ACC organized 16 global policy dialogues with government officials and legislators on anticounterfeiting enforcement. The Latin America and Caribbean Subcommittee was particularly busy, engaging officials throughout the region, including in Colombia, Guatemala, Panama, and Trinidad and Tobago. The ACC also held five virtual customs trainings, including one for the first time with the Mauritius Customs Office, which led to a regional training for South and Eastern African customs offices. In South Asia, the ACC worked with the Cell for IPR Promotion and Management in India to organize a three-part dialogue on COVID-19 and how brand owners could work with enforcement officers on anticounterfeiting efforts in a virtual environment.

In early 2020, the Canada Subcommittee of the ACC organized a high-level delegation to Ottawa to meet with members of the legislature and Parliament to discuss improvements in Canada’s anticounterfeiting legislation. It also submitted a report on fulfillment centers to Innovation, Science, and Economic Development Canada (ISED), at the department’s request. The Subcommittee continued the dialogue at INTA’s Leadership Meeting last November, when members of ISED attended the Subcommittee’s meeting.

How to Get Involved

In 2021, the ACC will continue to engage all stakeholders through virtual policy dialogues, including meeting with local stakeholders to discuss specific regional issues and obstacles. Additionally, the ACC will organize more dialogues with stakeholders to discuss online counterfeiting and continue working with INTA’s Enforcement Committee and Internet Committee to update the Association’s best practices document, “Addressing the Sale of Counterfeits on the Internet.”

Here are select events that have taken place or are upcoming in March:

  • INTA held a three-part virtual customs training in coordination with India’s Cell for IPR Management and Promotion and the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs on March 3, 10, and 17.
  • A regional customs training organized in coordination with Mauritius Customs has been ongoing from March 16 to 18 for French-speaking customs officials in East and South Africa.
  • INTA is organizing a virtual customs training with Spanish Customs on March 22 and plans a second training with the Customs Office in April.
  • Representatives from Mercado Libre will organize a session for brand owners to discuss the platform’s online counterfeiting policies on March 31. Mercado Libre will present its Brand Protection Program and new initiatives implemented on the platform.

INTA members interested in participating in these events are encouraged to reach out to Maysa Razavi, INTA’s Anticounterfeiting Manager. Brand owners are always encouraged to provide input on anticounterfeiting priorities for advocacy. To be included on the mailing list for the ACC’s monthly newsletter, which lists current activities and upcoming events, please reach out to Tiffany Pho, INTA’s Anticounterfeiting Advisor.

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

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