International – Only a quarter of brand owners participate in anti-counterfeiting coalitions, survey reveals
Data shared at last week’s Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO) annual meeting in Boston suggests that too few trademark owners are contributing to a united front against counterfeiting. Companies participating in this year’s IPO corporate benchmarking survey were asked whether they belong to anti-counterfeiting groups or associations, including industry coalitions that pool money to take action against counterfeiters. Of those companies that responded, just 26% said that they were members of such anti-counterfeiting groups. WTR has previously covered the challenges that brand owners face in getting consumers on side to help counter the copycats. The ultimate success of anti-counterfeiting lies in ending the demand for fakes, as well as cutting off the supply. To achieve this, consumers need to be educated on the socio-economic impact that counterfeiting can have on their everyday lives and those of others around the world; though for that to be a success, trademark owners need to provide better evidence of the links between counterfeiting and harmful activities such as organised crime, unsafe working practices and tax evasion, among others. Speaking to WTR back in issue 38, True Religion Brand Jeans general counsel Deborah Greaves suggested that the most effective way of getting this message across to the public is via “a wide-scale, media-based campaign… But a brand like ours just doesn’t have the resources to go out there and spearhead one by ourselves.” There may be compelling reasons for a brand owner to refrain from participation in a broad-based anti-counterfeiting association – for some, the prospect of being open and vocal about their counterfeit problems may feel like they would be offering an invitation to further copycats.