UL outlined the event’s purpose in its registration/welcome materials: “For over 15 years, UL has taken an aggressive stance against product counterfeiting through a comprehensive program involving enforcement, education and partnerships with key IP crime stakeholders from around the world. As a leader in product safety testing and certification, as well as a rights holder, UL knows the detrimental effects IP crime can have on a company’s resources, reputation and to its corporate goals.
As part of our public service and safety-oriented mission, UL is organizing the 2013 Conference to serve as a catalyst to strengthen and enhance brand protection programs, provide best practices for combatting IP crime and to strengthen global partnerships against this growing threat. The Conference is a great opportunity for UL customers and other IP rights holders to meet one-on-one with law enforcement personnel and IP crime experts to gain valuable insights into all aspects of brand protection.
International, national and local experts will be on hand to provide a dynamic two-day training forum with innovative learning sessions that will include; operational workshops, interactive roundtables and a networking lounge. Additionally, we will offer rights holders the opportunity to set up exhibition tables where they can provide product identification training to law enforcement attendees. This benefit will also be extended to service providers so they may provide participants with the latest brand protection solutions.”
More than 150 attendees, split nearly equally between brand owners, suppliers, and law enforcement officials, attended the event. Says Campbell of her round table, “We talked principally about the major challenges facing rights holders. The first of which is the budget. And the second of which is “selling” the need for anti-counterfeiting internally – which, incredibly, with the prominence of the discussion about anti-counterfeiting and brand protection, is hard to do.” She goes on, “I think [the problem] is a head versus gut thing. Brand owners have an intellectual understanding of the problem, but they have to balance that with the problem of finding resources to address the problem – it’s like the game “Whack a Mole” because their products are sold through so many channels. And, to make it even tougher, there are SO many suppliers to be sifted through. What technology? What company? And it’s hard to keep track of what’s new.”
About the conference in general, Campbell says, “There were a lot of presentations on rights holders’ enforcement issues, and their legal remedies – criminal vs. civil. Overall, UL has done a good job covering the major IP topics, and they’ve kept the conference relatively small, allowing for more focused conversations. Which is just what brand owners need.”
Conference participants included brand owners such as Louis Poulsen Lighting and Eaton; providers such as The Label Printers and Digital Evidence International; government and law enforcement agencies such as the US Department of Justice, US Customs and Border Protection, INTERPOL, EUROPOL, the FBI, and Homeland Security; and many other intellectual property and anti-counterfeiting experts.
In addition to her role as a round table leader, Campbell has also been chosen to be part of a working group, called the IP Crime Joint Action Group, which has been broken into subcommittees such as enforcement, training, etc. working on best practices to share with a larger audience.