IACC Applauds the U.S. IP Enforcement Coordinator’s Joint Strategic Plan
Elements of Plan Underscore IACC’s Collaborative Approach
Washington, DC – December 13, 2016 – Yesterday, the White House's Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator (IPEC)
announced the publication of the U.S. Government's Joint Strategic Plan (JSP) for Fiscal Years 2017 - 2019. The International AntiCounterfeiting Coalition
(IACC), which provided comments prior to the publication,
applauds IPEC for its thoughtful efforts and diligent work in providing a road map for anti-counterfeiting work in the coming years.
The plan acknowledges the importance of voluntary collaborative approaches to addressing the growing threats of counterfeiting online. This has long been at the core of the IACC’s strategy in fighting fakes. In 2016, the IACC has created new partnerships and strengthened existing ones with groups in different sectors and industries, from intermediary companies to associations to law enforcement agencies. The IACC believes that intermediaries, in particular, must be a partner in the fight against counterfeits, as they are an integral part of the solution.
The IACC is also pleased with a number of the JSP’s proposed action items. Among the plan’s recommendations are increased efforts to combat the trafficking of counterfeit goods via mail or in small express consignments, and for the development of best practices for express shipping operations. The JSP also noted the need to further assess the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Voluntary Abandonment Program and to ensure rights-holders’ access to information vital to their own investigative and enforcement operations. Both items were reflected in the IACC’s comments to the office.
Lastly, the IACC considers the JSP’s recommendation to “follow the money” when catching operators of illicit websites to be a smart and strategic approach. In fact, this has been the approach that the IACC has taken through its RogueBlock Initiative. RogueBlock was created in partnership with the world’s largest credit card companies and is an example of how brands can collaborate with intermediary companies to achieve results. Through it, program participants have reported online sellers of counterfeit goods directly to credit card and financial services companies. As a result, the program terminated more than 5,100 merchant accounts owned by counterfeiters.
The IACC believes the publication of the JSP is a positive step toward developing an integrated approach to fighting counterfeits, and it looks forward to working with IPEC and other agencies to determine ways to better protect both consumers and legitimate businesses.
The IACC (www.iacc.org) is a Washington, DC-based not-for-profit organization representing the interests of companies concerned with trademark counterfeiting and the related theft of intellectual property. The members of the IACC include many of the world’s best-known brands across all product sectors. The IACC has played a leading role in the development of cross-industry voluntary agreements, to address the illicit trafficking of counterfeit and pirated goods online, including its IACC MarketSafe® and RogueBlock® initiatives.