Battle against counterfeit trade comes under the spotlight at BPG's Annual General Meeting
The Brand Owners Protection Group (BPG), the largest non-profit organisation committed to combating counterfeit trade, has called for stricter Intellectual Property law enforcement and closer collaborations among brand owners and government departments to ramp up the battle against counterfeit trade in the GCC region, as the issues came under the spotlight during the group’s Annual General Meeting held on October 6, 2011.
The call for stricter regulation enforcement relates to the transit shipping of counterfeit goods, a critical area in which the BPG now plans to engage in order to boost the quality of IP protection in the region.
To achieve this, BPG Chairman Mr. Abdulla Hasayen pointed at initiatives aimed at increasing the level of cooperation between brand owners and various governments across the GCC, and further expanding the BPG’s regional footprint. With a program of activities now being developed for the Saudi Arabia and Qatar markets, representatives of the group are poised to meet with government enforcement officials in those countries to explore areas of further collaboration in terms of training and establishing IP enforcement practices.
The BPG is also aiming to improve communication with the public through educating consumers on the personal and economic risks of purchasing counterfeit goods in order to create awareness on the importance of IP protection and the negative effects of counterfeit products. The BPG website will be improved to reflect vital information that is relevant to the public and to the brand owners.
Mr. Hasayen also acknowledged UAE government departments who have tremendously supported the causes championed by the BPG and created a nurturing environment for the group’s anti-counterfeiting initiatives to thrive. “Our group wishes to recognise the great efforts of government enforcements officials in the UAE. Having transparent and advanced enforcement practices in place is a great benefit to brand owners here in the UAE and is something that deserves recognition,” Hasayen commented.
During the yearly gathering of the BPG’s member brands, attendees were also briefed on the progress that has been achieved through the introduction of a cluster setup earlier this year to streamline the group’s processes.
Under the new scheme, BPG members work closely together within clusters to drive the activities of the BPG, including strategy setting, expanding the coverage of the BPG activities to countries in the GCC, and maintaining partner relations throughout the region. To ensure that clusters are operating in line with the organisation’s overall objectives, the BPG Board of Directors constantly reviews and supports the activities of each individual cluster.
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.