WASHINGTON, Sept. 19, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- In an unprecedented display of public-private collaboration, the International AntiCounterfeiting Coalition (IACC) with the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center (IPR Center) has launched the HSI/IACC Intellectual Property (IP) Advisory Board. The IP Advisory Board's goal is to enhance operational effectiveness in the fight against counterfeiting and piracy. Brands representing 19 industry sectors are currently participating in the IP Advisory Board.
Counterfeit and pirated products plague the US market, and the problem has been an enormous challenge for legitimate businesses that work hard to develop quality products and trust among their customers. Last year, US Customs and Border Protection seized 33,810 shipments of fake goods. The total estimated manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP) of the seized goods, had they been genuine, was $1.4 billion, an increase from over $1.2 billion in FY 20171.
More than 30 participants attended the first meeting of the IP Advisory Board held today at the IPR Center. The Board will enhance both government and industry's IP enforcement efforts by acting as a platform for leaders to share industry-specific knowledge and priorities regarding operations in brand protection. The group will also hear from experts on relevant innovations, findings and best practices.
ICE Acting Deputy Director Derek Benner said, "I am very excited that the IPR Center is co-chairing this Advisory Board with the IACC. This endeavor will only enhance our existing efforts and partnerships with the IACC and industry partners. For the last decade, the IPR Center has been responsible for coordinating a unified U.S. government response to the growing threat of counterfeiting and piracy. Through these efforts, HSI protects the public's health and safety, safeguards our war fighters, and stops predatory and unfair trade practices that threaten the global economy."
IACC President Bob Barchiesi stated, "The IP Advisory Board will break down communication barriers between sectors, spur groundbreaking discussions, and facilitate partnerships that enhance IP enforcement. Bringing parties together to collaborate, innovate, and educate is at the heart of the IACC's anti-counterfeiting strategy, and we are honored to partner with the IPR Center on this landmark initiative."
IPR Center Director Steve Francis added, "HSI and the IPR Center have long realized that traditional law enforcement methods alone will never successfully solve the IP crime problem. The IPR Center has always looked for innovative ways to partner with the private sector in this fight. The IP Advisory Board is the next step to look strategically at this problem and identify effective solutions for both law enforcement and the private sector."
The IP Advisory Board also includes federal/state prosecutors, as well as a group for intermediary businesses, such as marketplaces, payment providers, shippers, search engines, and social media platforms. As an integral part of the fight against fakes, they will provide valuable perspectives in trends, challenges and potential solutions.
The IACC and IPR Center will coordinate and oversee the initiative, with IACC President Bob Barchiesi, and Homeland Security Investigations Executive Associate Director, Derek Benner, acting as co-chairs. Board participants are comprised of IACC members and non-members.
The global trade in counterfeit and pirated goods is worth over half a trillion dollars, with e-commerce constituting a significant portion of these transactions2. These purchases pose a risk to both businesses and consumers as fake goods are often made of harmful, substandard components.
The IACC (www.iacc.org) is a Washington, DC-based not-for-profit organization representing the interests of companies concerned with trademark counterfeiting and the related theft of intellectual property. The members of the IACC include many of the world's best-known brands across all product sectors. The IACC has played a leading role in the development of cross-industry voluntary agreements, to address the illicit trafficking of counterfeit and pirated goods online, including its IACC MarketSafe® and RogueBlock® initiatives.
About National IPR Center
The ICE–led National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center (IPR Center) stands at the forefront of the United States government's response to combatting global intellectual property (IP) theft and enforcement of its international trade laws. With its 25 U.S. and international partners, the IPR Center utilizes a three-pronged approach to combat IP theft which includes interdiction, investigation and training. Safeguarding IP underpins every aspect of our nation – from jobs and the economy to the military and national security. For more information about the IPR Center or its partner agencies, please visit iprcenter.gov.
To Report Violations of intellectual property rights, please visit the IPR Center Home Page and click the Report IP Theft Button
SOURCE International AntiCounterfeiting Coalition