INTA Holds First Unreal Campaign Event in Russia

Published: June 2, 2021

Svetlana Lashuk Patentus Moscow, Russia INTA Bulletins—Europe Subcommittee

Unreal event in Russia participantsINTA’s Unreal Campaign, an initiative that raises awareness among young consumers about counterfeits and the importance of trademarks and brands, got off the ground in Russia with a hybrid online and in-person presentation to 83 students on May 17. The event marked the first time the Unreal Campaign presented to students in the country.

The in-person aspect of the event took place at the Federal Service for Intellectual Property (Rospatent). The event included a guided tour of the Patent Office library.

The students were from eight universities: Higher School of Economics, Moscow State University; Moscow State Law University; Piekhanov Russian University of Economics; Russian Academic for Foreign Trade; Russian Presidential Academy of the National Economy and Public Administration; Russian State Academy of Intellectual Property, Tomsk State University; St Petersburg State University; and Ural State Law University.

INTA Anticounterfeiting Committee member Dmitry Markanov (PATENTUS, Russia) led the combined online/in-person meeting. In an opening address, Vladislav Mamontov, counselor in Rospatent’s Department of Multilateral Cooperation, expressed respect for educational initiatives such as the Unreal Campaign. Daria Biryukova, head of the International Competence Center at the Russian State Academy of Intellectual Property, remarked on the high turnout and stressed the importance of anticounterfeiting.

Unreal Campaign Committee Chair Lorenzo Litta (BrandIT, Italy) and Committee members Deirdre Clarke (Novartis Pharmaceuticals, USA) and Todd Adler (Oracle Legal, USA) shared their views on the growing harm of counterfeiting, giving way to an open dialogue with participants. Mr. Adler opened the presentation with facts about trademarks, while Ms. Clarke focused on counterfeit goods and ways they can be distinguished from the originals. Mr. Litta also described the campaign and highlighted its unique history and progress to date.

“The principal goal of INTA’s Unreal Campaign is to share why it is important to make smart decisions when you are buying goods,” said Mr. Litta. “To fight the problem globally, people should change their attitude and mentality with regard to brands and owning brands in particular.”

Ms. Clarke pointed out: “One of the things this presentation makes people think about is the cost to society from buying counterfeit. It’s not a victimless crime that nobody cares about. It really does put money into the pockets of criminals who are doing other things that are much more damaging in many cases. And also to think about those who are making those products—in many cases they are much worse off than people who make legitimate products—they are not paid fairly, they are working in terrible conditions, and may even be in some cases slave labor or people who are forced to work. And you should always keep in mind the effect that such counterfeit goods may have on you—the consumer.”

Citing an example of counterfeit products, Mr. Adler noted the dangers posed by counterfeit medicines and explained the actions brands and local authorities take to try to stop these activities. The speakers encouraged students to change their attitude toward owning expensive brands. Noted Mr. Markanov: “The most important thing is to stay true to yourself. If you cannot afford an expensive bag by a world-renowned designer yet, it’s okay—just find an alternative in the mass market. This way you will not lie to yourself, and anyway, your personality matters, not the bag. Remember that.”

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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