Fighting Product Piracy on the Manufacturing Seas

By June 16, 2007General

There was good coverage of Thursday’s news conference announcing the six-point legislative agenda of the Coalition against Counterfeiting and Piracy (NAM news release here). Makes sense — Consumers and industry alike are getting hurt by fake products and hijacked intellectual property.

Agence France Presse:

June 15, 2007 — Executives representing some of America’s biggest companies urged the government on June 14 to aggressively clamp down on a tidal wave of fake products, many of which come from China and Russia. Leaders of several industry associations, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Motion Picture Association of America, and the Coalition Against Counterfeiting and Piracy, a network of over 300 U.S. companies and trade associations, said the government should urgently adopt tougher legal penalties against counterfeiters and boost efforts to combat foreign piracy of U.S. brands.

“It is an epidemic,” John Engler, the president of the National Association of Manufacturers, told a news conference at a congressional office building. The groups also called on President George W. Bush to appoint an intellectual property enforcement czar to the White House staff to help police the global fight against fake goods.

From Variety, covering the perspective of the entertainment industry:

Together, counterfeiting and piracy constitute “a pernicious epidemic threatening the future economic growth of the U.S. in all sectors,” said Rick Cotton, CACP chairman and general counsel for NBC Universal. Bootlegging is “the new face of crime” both domestically and internationally, Cotton added, noting the increasing role that organized gangs have been playing.

Reuters, covering the toothbrush angle:

Concerns about “filthy” imports from China heightened after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned that it found a poisonous chemical in toothpaste made in China.

But few Americans realize that their new toothbrush could be counterfeit.

Oral-B was just one brand among a myriad of fake products displayed by the groups, including faux Louis Vuitton bags, New Balance shoes, DVDs, brake shoes for cars, prescription medication for cancer, erectile dysfunction and mental illness, and polypropylene mesh used in surgery.

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