The Global Anti-Counterfeiting Awards 2017

(Sponsored by the Global Anti-Counterfeiting Group and Managing Intellectual Property)

2017 sees the nineteenth year of the Global Anti-Counterfeiting Awards judged annually by delegates from Managing Intellectual Property, the GACG Network Members and representatives of previous winners (see background note).  The 2017 Awards ceremony will be held in Paris, France on 7th June 2017 on World Anti-Counterfeiting Day.

PRESS RELEASE: There is a diverse range of GAC Awards announced today.  The eight winners represent a broad spectrum of anti-counterfeiting and IPR enforcement activities from the continuing success of national customs services to the growing importance of international co-operation to combat fraud linked with IP Crime.  The significant contribution of pro-active law enforcement agencies; a new initiative in Public Awareness of the damages of counterfeiting and piracy; and the growing sophistication of product security technology are also recognised.

The winners of the nineteenth annual Global Anti-Counterfeiting Awards, co-sponsored by Managing Intellectual Property and the Global Anti-Counterfeiting Group (GACG) Network were announced in Paris today on World Anti-Counterfeiting Day.  The awards are made as a continuing recognition of special achievements by organisations, companies and individuals.  The winners (details in attached note) announced today, are:

Individual Achievement

Lasse Ryyttari - Finnish Customs (see Press Release)

National Public Body Award
Dwana ta’ Malta (Malta Customs)
National Public Body (Local Authority)
Shanghai People’s Procuratorate

International Public Body Award
European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF)

Company Award
Royal Philips

Association Award
UNIFAB - see article here

Media Award
Authenticity Project – ANDEMA INDICAM UNIFAB

Technology Award
PSA Group

John Anderson, Chairman of the GACG Network of national and regional anti-counterfeiting organisations said “The awards this year again highlight the wide range of co-operation that is needed – and provided - by different organisations and individuals and especially across the public/private sector divide, in the campaign against the international trade in fakes. I am especially impressed once again with the emphases on both co-ordination between the public and private sectors and the importance of raising public awareness that was evident in many of the nominations.”

James Nurton, Managing Editor of Managing Intellectual Property, said: “We are pleased to once again sponsor and support the Global Anti-Counterfeiting Awards. Counterfeiting is a significant and growing challenge for all intellectual property owners, and tackling it requires a mixture of investigative resources, technology, enforcement and education. All those companies and individuals recognised in this year’s Awards have demonstrated achievements that go beyond the norm, and they deserve congratulations on their recognition.”

The awards presentations were made in Paris on 7th June at the Museé de Contrefaçon, housed at the Headquarters of the Union des Fabricants (UNIFAB) on World Anti-Counterfeiting Day.  Some of the award winners were present to receive their trophies.

For further information contact: 

Managing Intellectual Property
James Nurton
Phone: +44 (0)20 7779 8685

GACG Network
John Anderson
+44 20 7152 4479
+44 77 71860101

Note to Editors: Details of 2017 Award Winners

Individual Achievement
Lasse Ryyttari has been involved with anti-counterfeiting work at the Finnish Customs since 2001 and has been one of the driving forces in developing strong co-operation between customs officials and the intellectual property community in Finland.  He has organised very many seminars and meetings on behalf of Finnish Customs especially with the Finnish Anti-Counterfeiting Group and with the Copyright Information and Anti-Piracy Centre.  He is also very active in international co-operation and has been involved in many activities with other customs services especially the neighbouring territories in Scandinavia and around the Baltic Sea.  The FACG consider Mr Ryyttari to be ‘The Godfather of the Finnish Anti-Counterfeiting Community’ and well deserved of an individual achievement award for a lifetime of service.

National Public Body Award
Dwana ta’ Malta (Malta Customs) – Although being the smallest members state of the European Union, Malta is a key player when it comes to the fight against the trade in counterfeit products.  In 2004 for example the customs authorities (Dwana ta’ Malta) of this small island of less than 500,000 inhabitants detained the second highest number of fake articles in the EU.  And in 2015 they seized more than 1.2 million articles.  The work of Malta Customs was central to the crackdown on fake goods transiting EU territories and representatives of Malta Customs have for many years been active in international organisations dealing with IP infringements – most recently and most successfully as a public sector stakeholder in the EU Observatory on Infringements of IPRs.

National Public Body – Local Authority
Shanghai People’s Procuratorate – In 2012 the SMP set up a Financial and IP Department  which was the first of its kind in China and brought together the two traditional functions of Procuratorates: Inspection and Supervision; and Public Prosecution.  This change significantly increased the efficiency of prosecutors against IP crimes.  In particular it improved the transparency of public prosecution against IP crimes and supported IPR owners to participate in criminal proceedings; it strengthened public awareness of respecting IP by publishing a white paper on IP crimes and model IP crime cases; it initiated the ‘Shanghai People’s Procuratorate Online Platform for IP Protection’ and finally it strengthened collaboration with IP owners with an open-minded attitude.

International Public Body Award
European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) Although initially set up to investigate fraud in the EU accounts and budgeting system, OLAF has gradually taken on responsibility for investigating all forms of financial fraud and has been very successful recently in cases concerning counterfeiting and piracy.  The ‘Office de la Lutte Anti-Fraud’ has recently investigated cases involving millions of counterfeit goods such as pharmaceuticals, auto spare parts such as airbags or brakes, ball bearings and – significantly – pesticides.  Following investigations into trade in fakes FMCG products such as shampoo and washing powder, illegal factories have been dismantled.  OLAF is noted for co-operation with EUROPOL, the EU member and Associate states and importantly with brand holders.

Company Award
Royal Philips  - the Royal Philips Brand Protection Team has achieved considerable success recently especially with regard to online defence of the main brand PHILIPS; defence of trade marks in China and company names in Hong Kong.  The Brand Protection team leads the activities developing interdisciplinary insights to combat all forms of copying and goodwill identity theft – most recently focussing on their design registration base.  In the same context they developed new initiatives to defend the brand in Africa and worldwide including a better customs recordation system.  The team has worked closely and for many years at the heart of the international campaign against the trade in fakes with private sector groups such as AIM, REACT and QBPC and with international government organisations such as the WCO.  The team has also been at the forefront of the  development appropriate product security technologies.

Association Award
UNIFAB – The Union des Fabricants (Pour La Protection Internationale de la Properiete Intellectuelle) – was founded in 1877 and has been a ceaseless campaigner for the protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights both in France and throughout Europe and the world.  On behalf of the 300 (multinational) company members of UNIFAB and in collaboration with other like-minded groups and Associations, the Union has been at the centre of nearly all significant developments in legislation, law enforcement and public awareness for many years.  Most recently noted for a ‘brilliant’ report on Counterfeiting and Terrorism – a vehicle for much successful government lobbying and as a justification for increased resources for law enforcement.  UNIFAB is a founder member of the Global Anti-Counterfeiting Group and plays a leading role in its activities.

Media Award
Authenticity Project (ANDEMA, INDICAM AND UNIFAB)  The three leading GACG members have put into practice a complex project to create a network of ‘authentic cities’, that is to say cities that strongly believe in the need to protect commerce and trade marks from the unfair competition that constitutes the trade in  fakes. The project was supported directly by the EUIPO as part of the public awareness initiatives of the EU Observatory on Infringements of IPRs to create awareness about the role that cities play in defending intellectual property rights – as public administrations that are closest to citizens.  The groups are now looking to extend the project to other cities in Europe and internationally.

Technology Award
The PSA Group in partnership with Tesa Scribos has set up an efficient anti-counterfeiting programme in 2016 notably with the initiation of a new authentication system for its spare parts.  In view of the reality that counterfeits looked almost identical to the real thing – especially to the non-technical – it was important to develop a new effective identity label and to make the labelling consistent across the range of products under threat.  The new system was created with a web-tool to order secure labels which would ensure PSA suppliers and PSA sites a visual authentication of spare parts (as well as with other sophisticated and specific tools).  The system provides for a single world-wide printer of labels; a web platform for ordering the labels and complete traceability from production to delivery to suppliers.

The Global Anti-Counterfeiting Awards are presented for outstanding achievement by organisations, companies or individuals involved in combating counterfeiting and piracy, either to protect their own brands or products or in the development of an environment which encourages the combating of counterfeits and pirate products. The Awards are given in seven categories – National Public Body, International Public Organisation, Company, Association, Technology or Professional Services User, Media and Individual Achievement,

Counterfeit and pirated goods could cost the global economy up to €1.5 trillion per year according to some estimates, and this translates into loss of legal employment, lack of investment in new jobs and increased prices of legal goods. It also means less public funding for services such as health, education and social welfare.  Many organisations, companies and individuals are taking effective action against these illicit, dangerous and sub-standard goods to protect consumers, promote investment in new jobs and increase government revenues, and to combat the involvement of organised crime.  Some of them ‘go the extra mile’ and the GAC awards are recognition of these outstanding performances.

The awards are open to nominations from anyone with an interest in brand protection, anti-counterfeiting, and anti-piracy activities, particularly in the international context, ensuring a wide spread of nominations from across the world. The awards are judged by a panel from Managing Intellectual Property, the GACG Network, and representatives of previous award winners.

World Anti-Counterfeiting Day also now in its nineteenth year, was established by the GACG Network members to enable the organisation of local, national and regional events under the umbrella of an international campaign which could focus on the particular problems of counterfeiting and piracy in the countries or regions involved.  The WAC Day events are usually held on the same day in summer each year but are individually organised by the national or regional associations themselves who may or may not take up themes suggested by the GACG or being used by other associations.  Some industry associations have also organised publicity.  In 2017, some events have already taken place on World IP Day – 26th April – in Germany for example, and many more are expected to co-incide with the event organised in Paris by the Union des Fabricants – including the UK Spain and Finland.  There are also related events, activities and publicity in several other countries including the USA, Norway ,Ukraine, Denmark and Nigeria. 


Individual Achievement
Lorne M Lipkus
Kestenberg Siegal Lipkus LLP
Canadian Anti-Counterfeiting Network

National Public Body Award
The Enforcement and Supervision Department of the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection, and Quarantine of the People’s Republic of China

International Public Body Award
Building Respect for IP Division
World Intellectual Property Organisation

Company Award
IP Team

Association Award
Ukraine Alliance Against Counterfeiting and Piracy

Media Award
Kathy Chu
Wall Street Journal

Technology Award
Custodian Solutions
For Unilever


National Public Body Award 
Public Order Department
Ministry of Public Security
People’s Republic of China

International Public Body Award
Intellectual Property Crime Unit
(Focal Point COPY)

Company AwardGlobal Brand Protection

Association Award
BASCAP - An initiative of the International Chamber of Commerce

Media Award
"Turn Back Crime” - Interpol

Authentication User Award
Investigation and Enforcement Directorate
National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) Nigeria

Special Award for Lifetime Individual Achievement
David Butler GSK