Maja Szumarska to Moderate New Technologies, New Threats, New Opportunities: AI and Brand Protection at IACC

Maja Szumarska will also moderate the panel: New Technologies, New Threats, New Opportunities: AI and Brand Protection at IACC. This session will cover how AI has impacted counterfeiting and piracy challenges and how it is being used to facilitate the detection and enforcement of IP infringement. Speakers include Saleem Alhabash, Associate Director of Research, Center for Anti-Counterfeiting and Product Protection (A-CAPP), Michigan State University, Daniel Shapiro, Senior Vice President, Strategic Partnerships and Brand Relationships, Red Points and Rick Farnell, CEO, Tracer.

Angelo Mazza to Speak at IACC Fireside Chat on IP Enforcement

IP Partner Angelo Mazza will speak at the IACC Annual Conference 2024 on May 16, 2024 in Orlando, FL.

Angelo’s session will take place from 9:30am – 10:15am on May 16, 2024. His session is titled “IP Enforcement in One of the Busiest US Ports – A Fireside Chat with
Salvatore Ingrassia, Port Director, New York JFK Airport”. Angelo Mazza will moderate the session and Mr. Ingrassia will discuss IP Enforcement in a commercial environment like JFK including the special challenges and how the rights-holders can work with CBP to address issues like de minimis shipments and create more effective enforcement opportunities.

Learn more and register.

European Commission Adopts Toolbox to Combat Counterfeiting

The European Commission has adopted a toolbox to combat counterfeiting and help brands enforce their intellectual property rights. The toolkit builds on the Commission’s 2020 Intellectual Property Action Plan to enhance IP enforcement and the 2022 Digital Services Act.

The goals of the toolbox are to foster collaboration between rights holders, service providers, and law enforcement, and encourage best practices, including using modern tools and technologies. The toolkit also offers special recommendations for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Toolkit Features
Key recommendations include:

  • Single contact: designating a key point for IP enforcement matters and extending the use of tools such as the IP Enforcement Portal
  • Memorandum of Understanding: Encouraging signatories to the Memorandum of Understanding on the sale of online counterfeit goods to seek ‘trusted flagger status’ under the Digital Services Act to be given priority when submitting notices of illegal content
  • Adapting procedures to combat counterfeiting: addressing issues like mirror websites with dynamic injunctions, optimizing information sharing in court proceedings, and ensuring appropriate compensation for damages
  • Promoting alternative dispute resolution (ADR): promoting ADR as a cost-effective and efficient option for IP disputes, particularly for cross-border disputes and SMEs
  • Increase penalties: Maximum sanctions on serious criminal IP offences
  • Empower market surveillance authorities to further detect and combat counterfeiting.
  • Counterfeit products disposal: More cost-effective and ecological storage/disposal practices
  • AI and virtual worlds: using blockchain for supply chain traceability and content recognition systems to detect counterfeiting and pirated goods
  • Training: Integrating IP content in national training and education curricula for law enforcement

Resources for SMEs
Recognizing SMEs are particularly vulnerable in this landscape than larger companies, there are a number of specific recommendations:

  • New “IP scan enforcement voucher” service: reimburses the costs incurred by SMEs seeking experts’ advice on enforcement and protection
  • A Cybertheft Prevention Toolkit: Provides awareness-raising materials and trainings
  • AI checklist: guidance on how SMEs can use AI without compromising their intangible assets

For more information, view the fact sheet.

For questions about counterfeiting protection and best practices, email info@gibney.com.

Angelo Mazza Featured in Loss Prevention Magazine on IP Counterfeiting

IP Partner Angelo Mazza was quoted in the article “When Did Counterfeit Become Cool?” in Loss Prevention Magazine. The article explores the rise of counterfeit products in the retail industry.

Angelo notes that the “quality of the counterfeits has improved over the years as certain technologies become more available and cheaper to use” and that the “internet and the boost from the pandemic significantly improved the ability of sellers to reach and sell to consumers directly.”

Angelo also discusses recent legislation to combat counterfeiting and best practices and strategies for brands to to protect against anticounterfeiting.

Read the full article here.

IP Partner Angelo Mazza to Speak at the EUROPOL IP Crime Conference on Combatting Counterfeit Goods

Intellectual Property Partner Angelo Mazza will speak at the EUROPOL IP Crime Conference in Lisbon, Portugal on October 26. His panel is titled “US Based, International Impact: Combatting Counterfeit Goods Posing a Threat to Health & Safety”.

This conference is designed law enforcement and private sector brand protection representatives to gain insight into issues surrounding counterfeit goods that pose significant risks to health, safety, and the environment. A specific focus will be placed on the role of advanced technology in combating Intellectual Property (IP) Crime. This event will provides attendee with the unique opportunity to engage in discussions and knowledge-sharing with experts from law enforcement and the private sector, facilitating the exchange of experiences and best practices.

Learn more.

 

Modified SHOP SAFE Act Introduced to Combat Anticounterfeiting

On September 28, 2023, Senators Chris Coons (D-Del.) and Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) introduced the Stopping Harmful Offers on Platforms by Screening Against Fakes in E-Commerce (SHOP SAFE) Act. This bill is being introduced in modified form for the third time—it was introduced first in 2020, and again in 2021.

The bill, if passed, would: (1) modify the Trademark Act of 1946 to establish contributory liability for e-commerce platforms when a third party lists counterfeit goods; (2) require brand owners to provide platforms with advance notice of their trademarks so that they can proactively prevent sales; and (3) provide safe harbor for platforms that vet sellers to ensure legitimate and proactively take down counterfeit listings.

The SHOP SAFE Act would transform the current landscape of contributory liability claims against e-commerce platforms, and would undermine the landmark case Tiffany v. eBay, which established that, under certain circumstances, online marketplaces cannot be held liable for third-party listings offering counterfeit goods.

Gibney will continue to monitor developments. For questions, please contact info@gibney.com.

IP Partner Angelo Mazza is a Featured Guest on The Protectors Podcast

Podcast Anyone? While participating at the CCROC Conference last month, IP Partner Angelo Mazza was a featured guest on the The Protectors Podcast presented by the International Association of Financial Crimes Investigators (IAFCI) for the episode: A Pirate’s Ransom: The Battle Against Intellectual Property Theft. Angelo joined hosts Mike and Mark to discuss intellectual property crimes and scams, and how to protect a brand’s most valuable IP assets.

Episode Overview:
According to the Commission on the Theft of American Intellectual Property, the theft of trade secrets costs the U.S. between $180 billion and $540 billion annually. And with advanced technology and the Internet, stealing intellectual property has become easier than ever before. Intellectual Property, or IP, can be movies, music, content on the web, software, patents, and more.

Today’s episode of The Protectors Podcast is brought to you from the 2023 CCROC Conference in Chicago, IL. Mike and Mark sit down with Attorney Angelo Mazza. Angelo is an expert in the field of Intellectual Property Theft, with over three decades of experience battling the ever-evolving challenges that artists, inventors, and creators face. As a legal expert, lecturer, and advocate, Angelo has been at the forefront of protecting intellectual property rights, ensuring that the creative minds behind innovations and artistic works receive the recognition and compensation they deserve.

Whether you’re an aspiring artist, a tech entrepreneur, or simply curious about the evolving landscape of intellectual property, our podcast will provide you with the knowledge and insights to navigate this intricate terrain.

 

INFORM ACT Takes Effect June 27: What Businesses Need to Know

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced the INFORM Act will take effect on June 27. Businesses with an online presence should understand what the new law means and how to prepare to avoid penalties. See Gibney’s prior update for more details on the Act requirements.

Background

Congress passed the Integrity, Notification, and Fairness in Online Retail Marketplaces for Consumers Act – or the INFORM Consumers Act. To combat against online counterfeiting, the goal of the Act is to add more transparency to online transactions and deter criminals from acquiring stolen, counterfeit, or unsafe items and selling them through online marketplaces.

INFORM Consumers Act Guidelines

Under the new law, online marketplaces where high-volume third party sellers offer new or unused consumer products must:

  • Collect, verify, and disclose certain information about those sellers
  • Suspend high-volume non-compliant third party sellers
  • Provide a clear reporting mechanism for consumers to report suspicious conduct

What are the penalties for violations?

A violation of the law is treated as a violation of an FTC rule and can result in civil penalties of $50,120 per violation. The statute also gives enforcement authority to State Attorneys General and other officials authorized by the State to file an action in federal court to enjoin further law violation, seek civil penalties, and obtain damages.

How Businesses Can Prepare

  • Review read the new business guide to determine if you are covered by the statute
  • Review and implement privacy and security safeguards
  • Update their Terms and Conditions
  • Consult with an IP Attorney to ensure compliance

For questions or more information, email info@gibney.com.

Gibney Partners to Speak at Skyline Program on U.S. Legal Issues for Energy Industry Emerging Businesses

Gibney Partners David Johnson (Immigration), Kristen Smith (Corporate), Maja Szumarska (IP) and Robert Tracy (Employment) will speak on legal considerations for emerging businesses in the energy industry at the SKYLINE event on May 11.

The Swedish Energy Agency and the SwedishAmerican Chamber of Commerce in New York (SACCNY) launched the SKYLINE program for small and medium-sized companies with energy and climate relevance in the real estate and PropTech sectors that are looking to effectively enter the US market. 

Through a tailored acceleration program, the program aims to provide participating companies with the necessary information and knowledge to effectively establish themselves in the US market; establish direct contact with major players and potential customers in the real estate sector in both Sweden and the US; and open up opportunities for raising capital. The participants are leading real estate investors, property owners, and developers in both the Swedish and US markets.

Learn more about the program here.

Amazon Launches Anti-Counterfeiting Exchange to Combat Online Counterfeits in the Retail Industry

On April 20, 2023 Amazon launched the Anti-Counterfeiting Exchange (ACX) to combat the sale of counterfeit goods on its platform and make it safer for consumers to shop online.

What is the Anti-Counterfeiting Exchange (ACX)?

The program will allow participating stores and marketplace sellers to share information about confirmed counterfeiters who attempt to sell counterfeit products. In accordance with industry standards and best practices, an independent third party provides anonymized data and access for participants to share and receive information. Retailers can then make their own independent decisions about whether and how to use the information. Amazon has indicated that they have already detected hundreds of counterfeiters through the exchange.

The initiative has received support from the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center and the Center for Data Innovation.

Amazon has indicated that it is working with other members of ACX to pilot the exchange and that it invites other retailers and marketplace service providers to join the Anti-Counterfeiting Exchange and collaborate on the retail industry’s collective efforts against counterfeiters.

Tracking Amazon’s Ongoing Anticounterfeiting Efforts

ACX is partner of a larger effort by Amazon in recent years to combat anticounterfeiting. In 2020, Amazon unveiled its Counterfeit Crimes Unit, a global, multi-disciplinary team of former federal prosecutors, experienced investigators and data analysts. The role of the Unit is to investigate counterfeiters on the platform, more effectively pursue civil litigation against counterfeiters, work with brands in joint or independent investigations; and aid law enforcement in criminal actions against counterfeiters. In March 2019 Amazon launched Project Zero to detect fake products before they are purchased.

Joining ACX

More information on becoming a member of ACX is available here.

Gibney will continue to monitor this initiative. For questions, please contact John Macaluso, Partner, Intellectual Property at jmacaluso@gibney.com.