June 9, 2022
Scoring major blows against counterfeiting of imaging and printing consumables, ICCE and its members report on strong achievements in 2021.
As part of ICCE’s actions to protect businesses and unsuspecting customers in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa from illegal and often risky trademark infringing printer consumables, the ICCE and its members have helped remove thousands of illegal products and offers from the markets.
ICCE said: “We have also given a strong voice against the theft of intellectual property by supporting the European Union’s upcoming Digital Services Act. For 2022, ICCE and its members will continue to work together to combat counterfeit imaging consumables.”
Against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, counterfeiting trade is booming. Current estimates by OECD and EUIPO say that every year, fake goods worth approximately €464 billion ($497 billion) are traded across borders globally, this alarming figure, which only includes cross-border trade of counterfeits, is almost as large as the gross domestic product of countries such as Austria or Belgium.
ICCE takes strong stance against fakes in discussed legislations
Working together, ICCE and its members effectively advocated against counterfeit imaging consumables. A prime example is ICCE’s support of the European Union’s Digital Services Act (DSA). This upcoming legislation will have a profound impact on online trade throughout Europe.
ICCE said: “Providing expert input, ICCE argued that effective measures to fight illicit trade and to protect consumers in Europe should be included in the DSA. For this, we issued a joint position paper for the imaging supplies industry and provided further feedback.”
ICCE also commented directly to the European Commission on two occasions and met with relevant attaches to further highlight our support of this important legislation.
ICCE continued: “Looking back, we are pleased to see that much of this input, which ICCE had suggested, along with associations representing other industries, was adopted by EU officials. ICCE made it possible to support crucial legislation to protect intellectual property rights and to take a unified and powerful position in the imaging supplies industry.”
The importance of strong legislation against illicit online trade is evident, as online sales of counterfeits skyrocketed during the COVID-19 pandemic. In Europe, officials estimate half of all seized imports of fakes between 2017 and 2019 were related to e?commerce. ICCE said its members accordingly ramped up their online enforcement initiatives in 2021, sharing best practices with each other, helping drive effective actions against these online sellers.
For example, one member acted against more than 44,000 infringing and misleading online listings, as well as against approximately 90 misleading websites in Europe, and removed more than 1,000 product offerings across key European marketplaces. Another ICCE member reports having triggered de-listings of more than 175,000 online offers in 2021 from marketplaces across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, including actions on leading global online marketplaces.
At the same time, many ICCE members successfully cooperated with law enforcement authorities, removing illicit products from the markets before they could be sold to customers.
Using intelligence and support from ICCE members, officials across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa have carried out numerous targeted raid actions against fraudsters and seized hundreds of thousands of trademark infringing counterfeit printing supplies in 2021.
This also includes noteworthy successes where several ICCE members worked together. For example, during three extensive enforcement actions in the UAE, based on intelligence provided by HP, large quantities of counterfeit printing supplies and packaging infringing HP’s trademark were seized, these three cases also resulted in more than 150,000 items being confiscated that illegally carried the Canon brand.
“When brands work together, they can deliver particularly effective actions and messages. As an ICCE member, we know the other ICCE partners are working with us”, said Glenn Jones, Director of HP’s Global Anti-Counterfeit Programme.
“Next to the UAE, we for example also cooperated with HP on some noteworthy seizures in Egypt. We were very pleased with these joint actions, which help to effectively protect HP’s as well as Canon’s customers”, said Alex Dodge, IP Director at Canon Europe.
For 2022, new anti-counterfeiting activities are underway.
ICCE said: “ICCE and its members will continue this dedicated stance against counterfeiting in 2022, new activities are already being planned. ICCE will drive new communications initiatives, working to raise awareness of the risks of counterfeits for all its member brands, with dedicated articles and social media activities. Plans are in place for additional joint efforts to support law enforcement investigations and seizure activities and to drive online brand protection.”
Categories : World Focus