Brand Owners Protection Group elects new Board of Directors

Press release
Published December 26th, 2010 - 04:00 GMT
BPG during its Annual General Meeting
BPG during its Annual General Meeting

The Brand Owners Protection Group (BPG), the largest non-profit organisation in the Gulf committed to combating counterfeit trade, recently held its Annual General Meeting at the Fairmont Hotel on December 15, 2010. The important event celebrates another milestone for the organisation as the meeting witnessed the second election of the group's board members.

Following a tally of votes by 17 voting members for nine nominees, a new board has been elected, which now includes brand owners Nokia, Nestlé, BAT, Nissan and Ford Motor Company. The election also named a set of alternate board members: Beiersdorf, Daimler and 3M. Meanwhile, Al Tamimi & Company and Rouss have been named service providers on the Board. The new board will reconvene in another meeting later in January to determine who will be the Chairman of the BPG for the next year.

After the voting session, Mr. Omar Shteiwi gave the Chairman's presentation, which looked back on the successful initiatives undertaken by the BPG in 2010 and show appreciation for the involvement and cooperation of several government departments in the GCC in the organisation's fight against counterfeit trade. Afterwards, Omar Obeidat, Partner at Al Tamimi & Company and BPG board member, gave a presentation about the gaps in the Intellectual Property (IP) system and the efforts of the BPG regarding the issue of re-exporting. Also on the agenda was a general discussion that examined official feedback on the group's cooperative agreements with government departments.

Mr. Omar Shteiwi, first Chairman of the BPG said "After five years of leading the BPG, I admit that it has indeed been a great pleasure for me personally to work closely with all stake holders from the public sector, such as the Ministry of Economy, Customs, Departments of Economic Development, and consumer protection administrations) and also with the private sector, including brand owners, legal firms and service providers," he said.

Other brand owners will take on the challenges of the coming years. I am proud of the BPG, its objectives, its members, and everything it has accomplished. I still remember the old days when there were six founding members and when I look at the BPG and see 37 members today, I consider the organisation is a real and major success in protecting Intellectual Property Rights, continuing to combat counterfeit trade and protect the interests of our loyal consumers. The BPG will certainly continue fostering its existing relationships with law enforcement authorities in the GCC and forging new ones to take our battle against counterfeit trade to the next level," Mr. Shteiwi further commented.

Over the years, the BPG has signed five Memoranda of Understanding with various customs and law enforcement bodies in the Gulf and beyond: the UAE Ministry of Economy, Dubai Customs, Sharjah Customs, Ras Al Khaimah Customs, the Chinese Quality Brand Protection Committee and the Japanese International Intellectual Property Protection Forum.

Today's meeting is very important because it has the BPG election for the new Board, and because we host officials from Dubai Customs, Dubai Department of Economic Development and Dubai Municipality and BPG appraised their efforts in protecting the Intellectual property Rights of the Brand Owners and also there excellent efforts in combating counterfeits and destroying the counterfeited items, such meetings will continue in the future and its due to the real partnership between the public and private sector.

Furthermore, the organisation has successfully conducted over 100 training workshops, equipping more than 1,000 customs inspectors and law enforcement officers across the GCC states. In addition to working with various government departments and private brand owners, the BPG has spearheaded a number of public awareness campaigns, educating communities on the detrimental impact of purchasing and using counterfeit merchandise on their health, the economy and the state treasury. In the UAE alone, the group provided training to more than 1,000 students and housewives on intellectual property rights and counterfeit items. 

Background Information

Brand Owners Protection Group

In 2005 a group of those alarmed at the continuous illicit replication of genuine goods and interested in the enforcement of intellectual property rights joined hands to form “The Brand Owners’ Protection Group”.

The Brand Owners’ Protection Group (BPG), a non–profit organization aims to use all legal means at its disposal to achieve improvement in the brand protection environment across the Gulf Region. The group focuses on education of the business community, consumers, media and interaction/collaboration with authorities – local, regional, and international – to strengthen the enforcement of those laws governing illicit trade in all its forms.

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