What sort of improvement do you expect in combating European counterfeiters following the new MOUs with Guardia di Finanza and PIPCU?
Authorities in the EU and UK have done a stellar job in being proactive and staying vigilant on enforcing brand protection in their region. Yet, as we all know, counterfeiting is a persistent and pervasive problem. Last year, nearly €650 million worth of fake goods were seized at EU borders.
These memorandums of understanding will help fight counterfeiting in the region by improving collaboration between the public and private sectors. It gives our members an opportunity to share information about their products with authorities, and it allows us to pass along best practices and trends in anti-counterfeiting.
How will these deals work? What sorts of initiatives will be bolstered or put in place?
We will help facilitate access to brand experts throughout the EU when requested. These agreements will also have a focus on identifying and fighting online counterfeiting.
For example, the International AntiCounterfeiting Coalition (IACC)—through its RogueBlock programme—will be able to send .uk sites that rights holders have identified as selling counterfeit goods to the City of London Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit for action through its existing anti-counterfeiting programmes.
Does the IACC expect to enter more partnerships like these in the near future?
Collaboration and partnerships are key components in our anti-counterfeiting strategy, and our efforts go beyond Europe. We just signed an agreement with Saudi Arabia’s Consumer Protection Association (CPA).
The agreement reflects both organisations’ commitment to partnering with one another in advancing anti-counterfeiting initiatives both in Saudi Arabia and the broader region.
The memorandum of understanding was signed at an IP crime workshop in Riyadh, which we organised in partnership with Underwriters Laboratories (UL) and CPA. A few days before this event, we held a similar workshop in partnership with the Emirates IP Association (EIPA) and UL in Dubai.
Last year, we entered a partnership with EIPA to promote areas of cooperation, including information exchange and joint events, as well as education on the harms of IP crime.
How has the IP Crime Coordinated Coalition be received?
There has been a lot of industry support for the IP Crime Coordinated Coalition (IPC3). As a member of the IPC3’s stakeholders advisory group, the IACC is committed to lending its support to ensure its success and to share its global programmes, expertise and the voice of its members with the IPC3.
How important are international agreements in an increasingly globalised IP world?
With international IP systems in effect, complementary enforcement systems are needed. International agreements such as IACC’s are one way to support IP protection systems and to ensure an exchange of information and best practices between law enforcement across countries.