IACC, Homeland Security Meet to Fight Fakes

September 30, 2008 § Leave a comment

Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Julie Myers, met with members of the International AntiCounterfeiting Coalition in New York City last week. Ms. Myers and Robert Barchiesi, president of the IACC, held a press conference to discuss how to strengthen government and industry ties to better combat counterfeit goods.

“Are we seeing places where more cooperation is needed?” Myers rhetorically asked Women’s Wear Daily. “Yes.”

Federal enforcement agencies and intellectual property owners have fortified their efforts to cut down on the counterfeit goods market, which costs the American retail industry over $30 Billion yearly.

Concerning its role in increasing consumer awareness about the consequences of purchasing counterfeits, Barchiesi said “In many cases, these are produced by forced labor or in sweatshops. We can get to the consumers and say, ‘Listen, the $5 you just spent, you don’t want to think about where it went.”

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Bipartisan Bill Aims to Fight Fakes

September 18, 2008 § Leave a comment

On September 10, Congress proposed legislation that would secure more money to enforce intellectual property laws and create greater penalties for offenders.

In addition to stopping fakes domestically, the bipartisan bill would allow the U.S. Trade Representative to crack down on foreign countries ignoring U.S. intellectual property.

“We can’t stamp ‘Made in America’ on an idea, but Congress can do more to protect American intellectual property around the world,” said Senator Max Baucus.

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Counterfeit Cigarettes Seized in Canada

September 18, 2008 § Leave a comment

Nearly $2 million worth of fake cigarettes—38,000 cartons—were seized in Ontario on August 6, leading to unlawful possession charges against four Canadian men.
In addition to the loss of taxes to local economies, officials warn that counterfeit cigarettes are particularly worrisome. In a scientific study of counterfeit cigarettes in 2004, Dr. Ed Stephens, a geoscientist at the University of St. Andrews, discovered sky-high levels of cancer causing heavy metals such as cadmium, and arsenic. “The results were unexpected and worrying,” said Dr. Stephens of the findings. “Almost all counterfeit [cigarettes] are seriously contaminated with heavy metals.”

The Blinding Truth of Counterfeit Vodka

September 18, 2008 § Leave a comment

Dublin city officials have shut down an illegal factory producing dangerous counterfeit Spar Imperial Vodka, distributed through street vendors.

Produced in unhygienic conditions, experts say the counterfeit vodka may smell like acetone or nail varnish, and could contain potentially harmful levels of methanol, which could lead to blindness.

No recall has been issued at this time. The Food Standards Agency of Ireland warns consumers that the only legitimate route of purchase is through licensed liquor stores.
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