The conference’s expected attendance was more than 500 delegates representing law enforcement, regulatory and custom agencies, private sector IP crime investigators, and prosecutors from more than 50 countries. The conference title – “East Meets West: Working with the Americas to Combat Counterfeiting” – reflects the depth and breadth of those attendees, as well as the conference goal as explained in Secretary General of INTERPOL Ronald Noble’s, welcoming comments, “Fighting intellectual property crime stretches beyond law enforcement, and an effective campaign requires cross-sector cooperation at all levels. The need to work together at the national and regional levels was consistently highlighted at our previous conferences, held in Asia, Europe and North America. This necessity has not diminished; on the contrary, it is greater than ever before.”
UL President and CEO Keith Williams, who spoke at the Conference’s Opening Ceremony, focused on three important steps to ending counterfeiting: "Education on the danger of counterfeit products and the damage they cause to consumers and business; information sharing among law enforcement professionals to analyze trends for more effective targeting of on-the-ground intervention; and interdiction operations by law enforcement, customs and regulatory agencies to curtail counterfeiting activities."
The 2012 International Law Enforcement Intellectual Property (IP) Crime Conference featured operational workshops and operational round tables. The conference displays and exhibitions included information about the International IP Crime Investigators College (an on-line IP crime training facility), and a new initiative from UL and the Walt Disney Company – an [award-winning] program entitled Safety Smart, which, says UL’s Williams, “has an initial focus on children and families [and] will raise awareness of the negative consequences of counterfeiting and piracy.”
“The Safety Smart presentation was excellent. Of course you couldn’t think of a better combination to reach children on the subject of safety than Walt Disney and UL," Kane said.
Campbell added, “The presentations on various countries’ enforcement efforts were, as usual, fascinating. Clearly, counterfeiting is a global issue affecting most industries to one degree or another. And I’m encouraged to see that the enforcement efforts continue to increase on a global scale.”
Kane’s principal takeaway from the Conference was that the fundamental goal of information sharing and cooperation between all of those involved in the fight to combat counterfeiting is a real challenge. "But everyone involved in this conference understands how important that [cooperation] can be in the anti-counterfeiting fight – it’s one of the main reasons they came to Panamá," he said.
Kane and Campbell both agreed that this conference, now in its’ sixth 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.”
More information about the 2012 International Law Enforcement Intellectual Property (IP) Crime Conference may be found on UL’s website.