The Label Printers’ Chief Executive, Bill Kane, and Chief of Operations, Lori Campbell recently returned from Dublin, Ireland where they attended the 2013 International Law Enforcement Intellectual Property (IP) Crime Conference – co-hosted by INTERPOL and An Garda Síochána in partnership with UL. The Label Printers was a Gold Sponsor of the Conference, which brought together hundreds of attendees from around the world, representing the law enforcement community, IP and brand owners, anti-counterfeiting solution providers, and others interested in combating the global menace of counterfeiting and piracy.
The conference theme – “Borderless Enforcement – Empowering Those Who Combat Transnational Organized Crime Through Training” – reflects the conference goals as explained in Secretary General of INTERPOL, Ronald K. Noble’s, Welcoming Comments, “The challenges presented by intellectual property crime cannot be met by law enforcement alone: cross-sector cooperation is essential We are proud to bring together…participants to share experiences, learn from each other and return to their organizations better equipped to deliver operational successes. As well as crossing industry sectors, IP crime also crosses geographical borders. The transnational nature of IP crime is reflected in this year’s conference theme.”
UL President and CEO Keith Williams’ Welcoming Comments outlined new training tools in the anti-counterfeiting fight. “[UL] is pleased to highlight…the recently launched multi-lingual Learning Management System for the International IP Crime Investigators College. [And], as promised at last year’s Panama Conference, UL and Disney have worked together in cooperation with INTERPOL to launch “Honest and Real”, aimed at teaching anti-counterfeiting messages to school-aged children. This new platform is part of the award-winning Safety Smart® program that was developed in partnership with the Walt Disney Company.”
The 2013 International Law Enforcement Intellectual Property (IP) Crime Conference featured plenary sessions, operational workshops and interactive round tables sessions. The conference displays and exhibitions included information about the International IP Crime Investigators College (an on-line IP crime training facility), as well as new initiatives such as UL/Disney’s “Honest and Real”. Said Kane, “One of the highlights of the conference for me – combining an important message with a very entertaining delivery – was the “Honest and Real” video. The video’s simple message “all counterfeiting is Bad – it’s all Stealing”, delivered by Disney’s world-renowned animated characters Timon and Pumbaa is a clever and effective way to make this important point to a mass audience.” Kane adds, “But for companies like The Label Printers who supply anti-counterfeiting solutions, having the opportunity to listen to the conference’s multi-national speakers – who are very knowledgeable people doing a very difficult job – and interact with so many people from around the world who are focused on the same objective, is key.”
Campbell said, “We heard about the fight against anti-counterfeiting from the perspectives of countries ranging from Namibia to the UAE, from Italy to Vietnam and Panama – literally all over the globe. And their stories and situations were very similar – we need to strengthen the message of the economic and social benefits of strong IP protection through laws, enforcement, communication, and awareness. We need to balance enforcement with trade growth, and we need to be aware of legislative issues impacting the nature of available punitive actions. For example, in Namibia, $3,000,000 in proceeds from criminal activity is countered by the threat of a penalty that is a mere fraction of that amount. And, closer to home, we heard a truly outstanding presentation – compelling, comprehensive, and logical – by David Lake, a sergeant in the Business and Economic Stability Team in the Phoenix Police Department. He helped us see, in a common sense and relatable way, “the business of crime” – giving us data and information that made clear the current size and future potential for counterfeiting as an organized crime. Organized crime is “investing” in counterfeiting because the penalties are small and the income potential is huge. And too many people continue to see counterfeiting as a “victimless” crime. Sergeant Lake gave us a recent example of the $ impact – over a 90 day period, $1,000,000 in counterfeit goods seized by law enforcement equated to $224,000 in lost tax revenue, 9 lost jobs, $216,000 in lost wages, and $643,000 in lost profits. Anti-counterfeiting is such a large topic – he was able to bring it down to the local level where you can start to make an impact. He didn’t give us the executive ‘60,000 foot’ level view – he gave us the street level view.” Campbell summed up the challenges outlined by conference presenters and attendees, “First you have to get people to admit that it’s a problem, understand the impact of the problem, and then find resources to combat the problem. The problem is truly global.”
Kane and Campbell both agreed that this conference, now in its’ seventh year is unique in its focus and deliverables. Said Kane, “We have developed contacts with many people involved in the fight against anti-counterfeiting. And it’s not just the contacts but the opportunity to get to know attendees at a level that allows us to become resources for each other.”