This year, the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center (IPR Center) commemorated their 10th anniversary with an open house celebration at their Washington D.C. headquarters, coinciding with the observance of World IP Day.
AppDetex’s Customer Success Manager, Gara McCutchen Aragon, attended the event. Gara’s recap of the event follows:
The open house celebration officially kicked off with a keynote in which agency directors from past and present spoke on the inception and evolution of the Center over the last decade. The room was packed with industry representatives, stakeholders from the public and private sectors, partnering agencies such as Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and IPR staff.
Bruce Foucart, former director for the National IPR Center.
The event provided a great opportunity to get first-hand knowledge of the breadth and depth of counterfeiting – a trillion-dollar industry. Following the keynote, the Center opened its doors for tours, complete with table exhibits, cake and refreshments, giving the public a once-in-a-lifetime chance to learn about the fight against counterfeit activity. Enforcement initiatives highlighted included “Operation Chain Reaction” (supply chain), “Operation Plastic Beauty” (cosmetics), “Operation Team Player” (sports merchandise), “Operation Apothecary” (pharmaceuticals), and “Operation Surge Protector” (electronics), just to name a few. Each table included evidence from actual counterfeit seizures by the U.S. Government, alongside its legitimate, trademarked counterpart.
Side by side comparisons of counterfeit electronics and genuine products.
There was special attention paid to current events in the automotive industry, specifically the recall of millions of counterfeit airbags and the consequential safety concerns. The Automotive Anti-Counterfeit Council’s (A2C2) President, Andy Forsythe, who is also Nissan’s head of Brand Protection & Parts Loyalty, was present to educate attendees on the many areas of infiltration and safety hazards caused by unlicensed auto parts. Brakes, wheels, glass, spark plugs, doors, headlights; when a vehicle’s well-designed structural integrity and safety features are compromised, it is the consumer and passengers that ultimately suffer.
My discussions with IPR’s Program Managers and Section Chiefs unearthed a potential for collaboration between authorities and brand protection companies like AppDetex to share information in the pursuit of shutting down counterfeit manufacturers and sellers. Including brand protection companies provides a valuable resource to reconcile findings, creating a comprehensive digital fingerprint for counterfeit criminals and making it harder for them to operate in the shadows of the dark web.
To learn more about partnering with AppDetex or to learn more about our Brand Protection Services, contact us today!