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INTA Applauds Third Anniversary of Operation in Our Sites Initiative

15-Jul-2013 | Source : AG-IP News | Visits : 4859
NEW YORK, NY - The International Trademark Association (INTA) commended the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center (IPR Center) Operation in Our Sites (OiOS) initiative for its advancements in combating online intellectual property theft and protecting consumer health and safety. According to the Association, OiOS serves as an effective enforcement effort, addressing the challenges in online anti-counterfeiting and anti-piracy efforts.

The OiOS’s most recent operations, American Icon and Trans-Atlantic 2, identified and stopped counterfeiting and piracy in 177 domestic sites and 151 foreign sites for a total of 328 domain names. These operations were conducted with IPR Center partner agencies, the US Department of Justice Computer Crime and IP Section (CCIPS), as well as with enforcement agencies in four countries and Europol.

In recent years, the availability of fake products over the Internet has made anti-counterfeiting efforts even more challenging. Some websites are open about the counterfeit nature of their products, but many promote their products as highly discounted genuine items, which trick consumers into buying fake goods. Efforts by law enforcement officials to catch these criminals are hampered by the anonymity provided by selling on the Internet. The Fall 2012 MarkMonitor Shopping Report on online apparel and luxury goods shopping behavior found that “one in five bargain hunters in the US and Europe mistakenly shopped on e-commerce sites selling counterfeit goods while looking for deals online.”

The losses suffered by industry and the economy to trademark counterfeiting are substantial and continue to increase. In many industry sectors, fake products ranging from medicines and food to cosmetics and apparel continue to pervade marketplaces across the globe. OiOS reports that the total global economic impact of counterfeit and pirated products is $650 billion annually, and this number could grow to $1.77 trillion by 2015. According to the US Department of Commerce, over 40 million American jobs and two-thirds of US exports depend on IP–intensive industries.

While the Internet is an important marketplace for legitimate business, it is also a magnet for criminal theft of IP, which siphons billions of dollars annually from innovative industries, robs workers of manufacturing jobs, and leaves consumers vulnerable to fake and otherwise unsafe products.

Counterfeiting is a global challenge that requires interagency cooperation at an international level. The successful and sustained efforts of initiatives like OiOS are critical to ensure that consumers and businesses are protected from online counterfeiters and pirates. INTA commends OiOS and the agencies involved for their strategic and collaborative approach.

Founded in 1878, the International Trademark Association (INTA) is a global association of trademark owners and professionals dedicated to supporting trademarks and related intellectual property in order to protect consumers and to promote fair and effective commerce. Members include more than 6,200 trademark owners, professionals and academics from more than 190 countries, who benefit from the Association’s global trademark research, policy development, education and training, and international network. Headquartered in New York City, INTA also has offices in Shanghai, Brussels and Washington, D.C., and representatives in Geneva and Mumbai.
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