The Intellectual Property Office has published its annual IP Crime report, showing that the sale and distribution of counterfeit and pirated goods over the internet has increased over the last year. It cites a number of major counterfeiting cases including an £11m confiscation order secured by Enfield Trading Standards in May 2010 and the jailing of six men who used high-tech equipment to produce 24 fake bottles of vodka a minute.
The report highlights that counterfeiting is a continuing problem for brands in a wide variety of industries and that much more needs to be done to prevent the production, import and sale of counterfeit goods.
Published June 2011, the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) executive guide to “Addressing Sexual Offenses and Misconduct by Law Enforcement” raises some troubling questions for law enforcement agencies across America and beyond. Failure to maintain adequate management oversight of officers’ actions can be an important factor contributing to the risk of sexual misconduct. Law enforcement agencies looking for a solution to the problem should consider abmpegasus – a leading software system for law enforcement that improves management oversight of undercover policing activity.
Reported on this blog just yesterday was the case of Vancouver Police Department (WA), where four officers have been disciplined after it was revealed that a confidential informant handler was having an inappropriate relationship with his informant. Such behaviour seriously damages the reputation of law enforcement agencies and it is essential that agencies take strong action to prevent such transgressions.
Major brands are increasingly being targeted by unscrupulous Chinese businesses seeking to profit from other companies’ brand reputation. Following the recent outing of several fake Apple Stores in Kunming, CTV have reported on other fake stores across China, ranging from furntiture outlets to coffee shops.
This kind of forgery damages brand reputation and value. The Chinese government and brand owners need to take steps to overcome this apparently increasing phenomenon.
According to the China Daily, analysts say that a third of local seed companies sell normal seeds, claiming that they are superior breeds or genetically modified. Such activity leaves farmers disappointed with poor crop yields and global biotechnology giants, like Monsanto and Pioneer, out of pocket from lost sales.
This is yet another example of the threat to brand protection that all sectors currently face. Brand owners need to think carefully about how they can protect their brand reputation and the perceived value of their product.
A blogger in China has photographed a number of allegedly fake Apple stores in Kunming city, China. This shows the lengths that people will go to in order to make money out of illicit products. It also supports those that suggest the problem of counterfeiting is indemic in Chinese society. Go to BirdAbroad to see the photos and all the comments.
The European Commission has published its 2010 Report on EU customs enforcement of intellectual property rights, stating that there were 79,112 detentions of goods suspected of infringing Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) leading to 103.3 million seized items with a domestic retail value of €1.1 billion.
What were the most frequently seized articles?
- Cigarettes – 34%
- Office stationary – 9%
- Other tobacco products – 8%
- Labels, tags and emblems – 8%
- Clothing – 7%
- Toys – 7%
85% of the seized goods originated from China. The report illustrates the continuing problem of counterfeit smuggling into the EU.
Louis Vuitton and Burberry, the two well known luxury fashion brands, have been awarded a total of CAD $2.5m in the Federal Court of Canada following their successful action against three companies that had been manufacturing and selling counterfeit designer handbags in Canada.
Valerie Sonnier, Global Intellectual Property Director for Louis Vuitton said, “This is a landmark award and decisive victory for Louis Vuitton. We are pleased that the Federal Court in Canada recognizes the importance of protecting intellectual property, and awarding high compensatory damages as well as full punitive and exemplary damages as a strong punishment and an equally strong deterrent against counterfeiting and infringing activity. This decision also serves to highlight the need to make trade-mark counterfeiting a crime in Canada and grant Customs in Canada much needed ex officio authority to seize counterfeit goods at the border. We hope this decision will send a message to counterfeiters the world over that Louis Vuitton will aggressively implement its zero tolerance policy against counterfeiting.”
You can read the full press release at BusinessWire
In a twist of irony, a machine designed to identify counterfeit money has allegedly caused a fire in a Bank of America branch that caused $1 million (USD) of damage. According to ABC News, the bank is suing the faulty machine’s manufacturer…
The American Civil Liberties Union has published a report criticising the way that confidential informants (CIs) are used in the state of New Jersey. The report finds that some law enforcement agencies do not have policies regarding the proper management of CIs, while many of those that do have proper policies have failed to ensure that officers are trained to ensure that policies are adhered to. The report suggests that there are too many opportunities for deliberate or accidental misuse of CIs, leading to potential for injustice to occur.
Just three months ago, ACLU published a similar report criticising the state of Mississippi’s drug enforcement system, stating that the incentives for confidential informants need to be more carefully managed.
Such lack of confidence in the management of CIs should be a cause for great concern among law enforcement agencies. It is important that officers properly asses the risk and reliability of information provided by CIs before acting upon it. If law enforcement agencies want to ensure that this is achieved, it is vital that proper policies and procedures are in place and properly communicated to officers. Managers need to have oversight of all interaction with CIs.
In the United Kingdom, legislation and best practice has helped to ensure that CIs are managed in a safe and compliant way. Software, such as abmpegasus Source Management, helps to make sure that proper procedures are followed and that the use of CIs is fully assessed for risk and authorised accordingly.
ACLU’s report, “An Exploratory Study of the Use of Confidential Informants in New Jersey” can be found at http://www.aclu-nj.org/downloads/0611ACLUCIReport.pdf and “Numbers Game: The Vicious Cycle of Incarceration in Mississippi’s Criminal Justice System” can be found at http://www.aclu.org/prisoners-rights/numbers-game-vicious-cycle-incarceration-mississippis-criminal-justice-system
The Chinese embassy in Washington is apparently refusing to give visas to US officials wanting to visit China to investigate counterfeit electronic parts, as reported by the Lincoln Tribune. US Senator Carl Levin, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, has hinted at the Chinese embassy’s reluctance to grant US access without an official Chinese escort. The US wants to investigate Chinese electronics manufacturers after it emerged that the U.S. Defense Department has unwittingly purchased counterfeit components for use in various crucial systems, including missile defense and flight control computers.