The winners of the twentieth annual Global Anti-Counterfeiting Group (GACG) Network awards, sponsored by Managing Intellectual Property, were announced in Paris today on World Anti-Counterfeiting Day. The awards are made as a continuing recognition of achievements by organisations, companies and individuals. This year the GACG Network presented a special individual award. The winners (details in attached note) announced today, are:
National Public Body Award:
Lebanese Internal Security Forces
Office of Financial Crimes and Money Laundering
Company Award 1
Company Award 2
Global Brand Protection Team, Harley-Davidson Motor Company
Association AwardAnti-Counterfeiting Committee
The Counterfeit Report
Individual Award for Services to IP Protection
Benoît Battistelli, INPI/EPO
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.”
Michael Loney, managing editor of Managing Intellectual Property, said: “We are pleased to once again sponsor 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 organisations recognised in this year’s Awards have demonstrated their commitment to tackling IP infringement, and they deserve congratulations on their recognition.”
The awards presentations were made in Paris on 6th 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.
The GACG Network would like to thank Managing Intellectual Property for its assistance in producing the trophies. For the avoidance of doubt, this is not a Managing IP award and Managing IP does not endorse or support any of the winners.
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Note to Editors: Details of 2018 Award Winners
National Public Body Award
The Office of Financial Crimes and Money Laundering of the Lebanese Internal Security Forces Judicial Police under M. Colonel Bashar el Khatib have been actively engaged in fighting counterfeiting in Lebanon and have won the praise of several international brands for a high level of operations in difficult circumstances resulting many big seizures of illicit products. They have built up very good working relationships with many brand owners and exchanged best practices with the French Police.
The Judges made an honourable mention for the Intellectual Property unit of the Uruguay Customs
Company Award 1
Groupe SEB - Innovation and creation is part of the DNA of Groupe SEB. Patent infringement cases are increasing and Groupe IP teams (legal IP team and research IP team) have been working jointly to defend innovative and flagship products in China, Europe, and the US. These long term litigations combining both administrative invalidation actions and civil lawsuit infringement actions imply a good coordination and determination of the teams in many countries to keep Groupe SEB’s patents valid and to be able to stop infringement of its patents. Customs seizures, freezing infringers accounts, destroying moulds are the results of long fights against infringers. The IP legal team developed a global anti-counterfeit strategy focusing on actions in China as well as developing a better protection in Middle East such as more three dimensional trademarks and a better custom recordation system in this area, and accelerating brand protection in market places, social media and working closely with national anti-counterfeiting group QBPC in China. The research IP team closely cooperates with Research and Development teams to develop the more efficient and strategic patent portfolio in line with both Innovation and Legal strategies, for example by protecting patentable connected products and filing earlier patents.
Company Award 2
The Harley-Davidson Motor Company’s Global Brand Protection Team is made up of three Brand Protection Managers - Jennifer Dopke (Americas), Abel Low (Asia Pacific) and Mark Bearfoot (EMEA). Paul O’Connor undertakes the majority of online enforcement activities on Asian B2B platforms, such as Alibaba and DHGate, as well as on social media. The focus has been on disrupting the manufacture of counterfeit Harley-Davidson products in Asia through successful partnerships with local law enforcement agencies and government. In Europe and North America, the strategy has been disrupting distribution including a customs training programme which has resulted in a year on year increase in seizures of 168% in 2017 alone. Online, we have recently had a number of successful judgements from the federal district court in Chicago where we have been awarded permanent injunctions and statutory damages against counterfeit websites being operated from Asia. These actions have been overseen by Chief Trademark Counsel, Linda Heban.
The Anti-Counterfeiting Committee of AIM – The European Brands Association. This committee has consistently been at the forefront of promoting IP protection and enforcement for genuine competition in the market. Inspired by the objectives of the Association, the committee – of multinational IPR owners and IP enforcement groups – has worked closely with European and International government organisations to promote better legislation and better procedures to combat the trade in fake products. The committee and committee members have co-operated with and participated in most of the fora for advancing the knowledge of the impacts of counterfeiting and piracy and using this experience to influence governments and institutions in order to better regulate the trade in fakes.
The Counterfeit Report published by Craig Crosby is a resource that allows the public to understand the harm, dangers, and pervasiveness of counterfeit goods. The Counterfeit Report explains that counterfeit goods not only harm consumers but also businesses and the economy. Furthermore, The Counterfeit Report works with individual companies who have had their products counterfeited with market surveys and test purchases. When fake products are identified they are listed in The Counterfeit Report to warn consumers.
In this award category, the Judges have made and honourable mention of the Anti-Counterfeit Network Africa for a strong ongoing campaign to raise awareness in Uganda.
Webdrone is a French company specialised in the online fight against counterfeiting. In 2017 they have had several significant successes including the dismantling of a large network of fake watch counterfeits in the Paris region working closely with the Gendarmerie. This operation also revealed an extensive money laundering operation leading to several arrests and the seizure of nearly EUR2million in criminal assets. Webdrone have also had considerable success in suppressing fakes sales websites hosted in the USA and identifying illicit pharmaceutical manufactures and distribution.
Individual Award for Services to IP Protection
Benoît Battistelli has during the last twenty years of his career, through various positions at both national and international levels, engaged tirelessly in efforts to improve the IP system by providing the owners of IP rights with a more secure business environment. At the French IP Office (INPI), he multiplied initiatives to more effectively fight counterfeiting, especially through the National Anti-Counterfeiting Committee, involving the users and the different administrations concerned. More recently as President of the European Patent Office, he has continued his efforts to support IP protection by working with patent office users and their representatives to improve patent protection in Europe and beyond. Battistelli was instrumental in the preparations that led to the Unified Patent Court Agreement in February 2013 and making the EPO ready for the planned unitary patent system.
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 normally given in seven main categories: National Public Body, International Public Organisation, Company, Association, Technology or Professional Services User, Media and Individual Achievement. This year the GACG Network presented a special individual award for long-term services to IP protection.
Counterfeit and pirated goods could cost the global economy up to €2 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 the GACG Network, representatives of previous award winners and Managing Intellectual Property (acting as an observer).
World Anti-Counterfeiting Day also now in its twentieth 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 2018, 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 and Spain. There are also related events, activities and publicity in several other countries including the Finland, South Africa, Norway, Ukraine, Uruguay, Denmark and Nigeria.