Enforcement on the ground: an introduction

Concrete anti-counterfeiting action relies on close collaboration between brand owners and the authorities. In this section, we hear from those on the enforcement front line, exploring the world’s most nefarious counterfeit hotspots and celebrating the most lucrative raids – and we take a closer look at what makes a successful partnership tick.

Here, we highlight 32 of the world’s most high-risk markets, malls and retail streets notorious for local opportunists peddling fakes. From Egypt to Thailand, Greece to Colombia, experts from each country identify the types of goods uncovered in their area and the best course of action for brand owners policing their neighbourhoods.

Focusing specifically on efforts in Asia, Lazada’s head of assortment, content and ads governance, Kostas Fintrilis, reveals how the company is collaborating with local governments and associations to strengthen IP protection across e-commerce platforms. A representative from Canon then expands on the Japanese multinational’s strategy for fighting counterfeits through innovative enforcement, an ROI approach to international lawsuits and consumer awareness campaigns, in an exclusive interview.

Moving westwards, we hear from Gary Robinson, detective chief inspector at the City of London Police’s specialist Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU). Robinson reveals what goes into the types of investigations that succeed in uncovering £200 million in counterfeit designer goods, £500,000 worth of fake football shirts and over 12,000 illegal website domains, to name a few. The UK Intellectual Property Office’s (UKIPO) deputy director of intelligence and law enforcement, Marcus Evans, then explains how a long-lasting and award-winning partnership with PIPCU forms part of the office’s broader Counter Infringement Strategy.

Across the Atlantic, Duty Free World Council president Sarah Branquinho explains why the duty and tax-free industry has become a target for counterfeiting, arguing that enhanced cooperation, better regulation and consumer education are the only ways for stakeholders to join forces to combat illicit trade. Vice president of intellectual property Matthew Winterroth reveals how Wrestling Entertainment Inc – the brand that everyone wants to collaborate with – employs a multi-pronged approach to work closely with international associations, local law enforcement and, crucially, online platforms.

But where does it all end? We unpick the latest US district court data to find out whether counterfeiting claims before the courts are an increasingly effective way to protect brands and consumers.

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