WASHINGTON, April 23, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- In recognition of World IP Day 2021 April 26th - the International AntiCounterfeiting Coalition (IACC) will celebrate the contributions, innovations, and successes of the small business community around the world - highlighting the continuing challenges that counterfeiting poses to Small- and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs). Throughout the week of April 26, the IACC will feature SME perspectives in brand protection, including how they have effectively leveraged IACC resources to protect themselves; share advice about fighting counterfeiting on a budget, and announce exciting new initiatives designed to bring practical, operational assistance to SMEs.
The IACC recognizes the unique challenges and perspectives that SMEs have to offer, and we want them to have a seat at the table. In fact, we want them to have two seats at the table – which is why the IACC Board of Directors voted unanimously to create two new board seats for SMEs. "The IACC has been laying the groundwork to offer SMEs expanded resources, networks and leadership opportunities at the IACC since 2019, when the Board of Directors approved the addition of these two seats," stated Dawn Atlas, IACC Board Chairperson. "The ability for SMEs to take a governance position and have a seat at the table with the biggest brands in the world underscores the IACC's commitment to SMEs and the importance of their participation on the global brand protection stage."
In addition to board seats, the IACC has done a tremendous amount over the last two years to facilitate SME participation in the organization by establishing a new SME membership category, an IACC SME Task Force, an SME Ambassador role, and expanded access to IACC programs.
"Our SME members have identified counterfeiting to be one of the top challenges to growing their brand. They asked for our help and we delivered by leveling the playing field through pragmatic operational programs such as the IACC MarketSafe SME Program, IACC-Amazon Program and RogueBlock initiative," said Bob Barchiesi, IACC President.
The SME participants' consistently enthusiastic feedback highlights the value of this approach. An IACC MarketSafe SME Program participant, A Jillian Vance Design, recently exclaimed "Thank you so much for all your help! Like you have taken our stress over counterfeits and reduced it by a TON…" Sholdit, another SME participant noted "Been great seeing the takedown process through IACC. You guys are great and efficient…"
Looking ahead, the IACC, in consultation with its SME Task Force and with the support of the IACC Board, will produce an SME Brand Protection Toolkit focused on best practices, and practical tips on enforcing against counterfeits, engaging with law enforcement and other operational topics. The toolkit will be complemented by a virtual workshop series delving more deeply into those areas, as well as networking opportunities to allow for deeper engagement.
Small businesses are the lifeblood of the global economy. In the United States, SMEs create two-thirds of all new jobs; in Europe they represent 99% of all businesses, and account for 96% of businesses across Asia. According to the World Bank, SMEs make up 90% of all businesses and contribute more than 50% of worldwide employment.
"All large brands start out small. And while not every small business will grow into a global powerhouse;" said Mr. Barchiesi, "every small business should have that opportunity. We're working every day to make sure that they do."
About the IACC The IACC (www.iacc.org) is a not-for-profit organization representing the interests of companies concerned with intellectual property theft. The IACC's members includes many of the world's best-known brands across every product sector. The IACC is a leader in cross-industry voluntary agreements that address the online trafficking of counterfeit and pirated goods, including its IACC MarketSafe™ and RogueBlock™ initiatives.