Anti-Counterfeiting news from Dubai | Feb 2020
Counterfeiting in 1997 vs 2020
In 1997, the US Customs seized Intellectual Property infringing goods worth USD 54 million. The top five suppliers of counterfeit goods to the US, were China, Korea, Taipei, Hong Kong and the Philippines. The main sources of fake good imported to the European Union were Poland, Thailand, Turkey and the US. The most common counterfeit products were CDs, videos and computer games (The economic impact of counterfeiting ,1998).
Fast forward to 2013, the international trade of counterfeit products has increased to USD 461 billion, represented 2.5% of the world trade. It was then increased to USD 509 billion in 2016. Types of counterfeiting goods have also expanded to include footwear, clothing, leather goods, electrical equipment, medical equipment, toys, pharmaceuticals and more.
The continuous growth of counterfeit goods can be explained by the rapid digital transformation. With the widespread adoption of digital technologies, it enables firms to internationalise at a lower cost, allowing more small parcels to cross borders. As a result, counterfeit and pirated products can be shipped by virtually every means of transport. To illustrate, small parcels accounted for 69% of global total customs seizures by volume over 2014-2016, up from 63% over the 2011-2013 period.
Compared to 1997, more countries have become the top producers and transition points for trade in counterfeit, such as India, Malaysia, United Arab Emirates and Turkey. Four transit points – Albania, Egypt, Morocco and Ukraine – are of particular significance for redistributing fakes destined for the EU. Finally, Panama has also become an important transit point for fake products to the United States (Trends in trade in counterfeit and pirated good, 2019).
Counterfeiting and trademark infringements are serious Intellectual Property (IP) crimes. For consumers, “fake” or “forged” products pose a significant threat to their safety, by unsuspectingly putting their health in jeopardy each time they use counterfeited products. For businesses and IP rights holders, the rise in counterfeiting results in revenue loss and negative brand image. For governments, it also means huge losses in tax revenues and increase in unemployment.
Counterfeiting has yet seen slowdown, compared to 25 years ago. The amount of counterfeiting globally has reached to USD 1.2 trillion in 2017 and is bound to reach USD 1.82 trillion by 2020 (Global Brand Counterfeiting Report 2018-2020, 2018).
Member of the AIPPI
We have become an active UAE member of the International Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property, generally known as the AIPPI.
The AIPPI is a politically neutral, non-profit organisation, domiciled in Switzerland, which currently has over 9,000 members representing more than 100 countries. As the world’s leading international organisation dedicated to the development and improvement of legal regimes for the protection of Intellectual Property (IP), its objective is to improve and promote the protection of IP on both an international and national bases. It pursues this objective by working for the development, expansion and improvement of international and regional treaties and agreements and national laws relating to IP.
Learning is Key
To keep abreast of all the developments, updates and services provided by Interpol in the region, members of our team recently attended the Interpol and the Emirates Intellectual Property Association (EIPA) Crime Conference held in Dubai.
The conference provided a forum to discuss ways to address the challenges brought about by IP crimes and current practices deployed in the region. Our attendance at such an event allows us to continue our strong collaborative links with Dubai Police, Dubai Customs and brand owners.
In early December, Dubai Police confiscated counterfeit fire prevention products worth Dh2.5 million (around USD 680,000) in a police raid. The anti-counterfeit operation was conducted by the Department of Combating Economic Crimes of the General Department of Criminal investigations at Dubai Police in association with technology security firm UL (Underwriters Laboratories) and our TenIntelligence team.
Following our success in 2019, our team will continue to work alongside with Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) in the different Emirates for the safe removal of counterfeit products. For more updates, you can follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter @TenIntelligence.
You can also visit our website at www.tenintel.com/brand-protection, where you can find out how we support clients in the identification, gather intelligence and the execution of enforcement notices on counterfeit branded goods found in the UAE.
To protect your brand and keep your customers safe, contact our brand protection team in Dubai at firstname.lastname@example.org, so we can work collaboratively for the identification and safe removal of counterfeit products.