BPG enters Kuwait to enhance anti-counterfeiting efforts in the Gulf

Published October 25th, 2009 - 01:57 GMT

The Brand Owners Protection Group (BPG) is entering Kuwait for the first time to reinforce its continuous anti-counterfeiting initiatives across the Gulf region. In cooperation with the Kuwaiti Customs, the BPG is organising its inaugural training sessions in the country which are poised to educate 100 inspectors from Kuwait Customs on the procedures of combating counterfeit trade. The training sessions, slated for October 26th and 27th, are the first of their kind to be arranged by the BPG or any independent brand protection organisation in Kuwait.

Following the Kuwaiti Customs' initiative to create an Intellectual Property (IP) unit, headed by Mr. Osama Al Shami and responsible for monitoring and acting against the proliferation of counterfeit products, the BPG is launching a series of pioneering training sessions with the main objective of equipping the inspectors with critical knowledge and developing their expertise in distinguishing counterfeit products from authentic merchandise. Cultivating these skills is crucial in curbing the illegal trade of counterfeit items and safeguarding the intellectual property rights of legitimate brand owners operating within the Gulf state.

The Intellectual Property unit by the Kuwaiti Customs is a pioneering initiative that creates a leading practice across the GCC region for the protection of national economy as well as the consumers from the deception and dangers posed by selling imitation products in the country.

Commenting on the announcement, Omar Shteiwi, Chairman of the Board at the BPG and Regional Intellectual Property Advisor for Nestlé Middle East, said,  “On behalf of the BPG members, it is my pleasure to thank the Kuwait Ministry of Commerce and Industry and express my gratitude to the Minister, His Excellency Ahmed Rashid Al Haroon, the Kuwaiti Customs Authority and its Director General Mr. Ibrahim Adullah Al Ghanim for this very important event and also for their visible roles and responsibilities in combating counterfeits.”

“We as the leading investors are looking forward to seeing tangible results from these training sessions which will most certainly protect the Intellectual Property rights of the brand owners, improve confidence levels within the investment environment, and comply with applicable laws and regulations,” Mr. Shteiwi further explained.

This event carves a milestone in the history of the BPG and illustrates the organisation’s determination and hard work to protect the rights of brand owners and consumers across the GCC region. Represented by leading multinational companies from the food and beverage, fast-moving consumer goods, telecommunications, and automotive spare parts industries, the BPG is dedicated to spreading awareness on the harmful socio-economic impacts of the illicit trade of counterfeit goods and mitigating these effects through education, prevention and constant vigilance.

Furthermore, the non-profit organisation is the only active NGO that has been initiated by brand owners themselves to educate the consumers on the dangers of supporting counterfeit merchandise.

The Brand Owners Protection Group, a non-profit organisation established to fight illegal replication of genuine goods and other forms of illicit trade and strengthen the enforcement of intellectual property rights, boasts of a membership roster which includes Beiersdorf Middle East, BMW Group Middle East, British American Tobacco, Cisco Systems, Daimler Middle East, Estee Lauder Middle East, Ford Motor Company, GlaxoSmithKline, Hewlett Packard, Kao Brands Company, Kraft Foods, Mars, Nestle Middle East, Nike, Nokia, Philip Morris, Philips, Procter & Gamble, Robert Bosch Middle East, Sanofi-Aventis and Unilever.  The Group is chaired by Mr. Omar Shteiwi, Regional Intellectual Property Advisor at Nestlé Middle East.

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