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Anti-Counterfeiting Strategies & Enforcement

On behalf of its motor vehicle parts manufacturer members, the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA), with input from its Brand Protection Council, submitted comments on March 24 recommending that more resources be devoted toward the enforcement of anti-counterfeiting regulation and intellectual property rights violations to Victoria A. Espinel, the first-ever U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator, Office of Management and Budget.

“MEMA supported and applauded the passage of the Prioritizing Resources and Organization for Intellectual Property (PRO-IP) Act in 2008. While it strengthens the nation’s trademark and copyright laws and increases domestic enforcement efforts to protect intellectual property rights (IPR), it does not directly address international issues relating to counterfeit goods, including trans-shipment, border, and port issues. International issues remain a critical component to motor vehicle supplier efforts to combat counterfeit goods,” the MEMA statement noted. The Act created the position of U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator (IPEC) within the Office of Management and Budget.

Specifically, MEMA calls on Espinel and the Obama administration to:

·        support the Customs Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Reauthorization Act of 2009 (S. 1631), which will strengthen IPR enforcement by amplifying targeting efforts of the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to detect goods that violate IPR and will require CBP to dedicate port personnel with a primary responsibility of enforcing IPR;

·        provide appropriate agencies with access to more resources – human, financial, technical – to ensure enforcement of existing laws; and

·        establish the IPEC as the centralized authority to coordinate activities, information sharing, and resource and enforcement collaboration.

“The magnitude of the overall global counterfeit problem is significant. According to private sector estimates, annually motor vehicle suppliers lose an estimated $12 billion worldwide and $3 billion domestically in sales to product counterfeiting,” the statement added. “MEMA appreciates the opportunity to present comments regarding the IPEC’s Joint Strategic Plan and IP enforcement efforts. Intellectual properly is critical to the success of motor vehicle parts manufacturers, who continually innovate and develop new technologies.”

Source: MEMA