Washington, DC - The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global Intellectual Property Center (GIPC) and the International Trademark Association (INTA) applauded the recent Senate passage of S. Res. 542, designating July as National Anti-Counterfeiting Consumer Education and Awareness Month. The Resolution recognizes the 70th anniversary of the first federal U.S. trademark law, the Trademark Act of 1946, commonly referred to as the Lanham Act, and was introduced by co-chairs of the Senate Congressional Trademark Caucus, Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles “Chuck" Grassley (R-IA) and Senator Chris Coons (D-DE).
“The U.S. Chamber commends the Congressional Trademark Caucus for its work to combat counterfeits and promote the importance of intellectual property,” said David Hirschmann, president and CEO of GIPC. “Counterfeits are a growing global concern, yet many consumers are still unaware of the dangers they pose. Designating July as National Anti-Counterfeiting Consumer Education and Awareness Month will provide us with even more opportunities to educate the public on how to fight fake medicines, bad brakes and lead-laden toys.”
The resolution is the result of an April 2016 Senate Judiciary Committee hearing where representatives from GIPC and INTA testified to the impact of counterfeit goods on consumer health and safety and provided recommendations on how Congress can assist in educating the public. It designates July as the official month for national education and awareness campaigns to assist the public in navigating the harms posed by counterfeit products.
“Educating the public about the potential harms of counterfeiting is critically important to the efforts of policymakers, law enforcement, brand owners and consumer groups to eradicate counterfeit goods from the marketplace,” said INTA CEO Etienne Sanz de Acedo. “INTA is pleased to have had the opportunity to assist in the drafting of the Resolution. We commend and congratulate Senate Congressional Trademark Caucus Co-Chairs, Senators Charles “Chuck” Grassley (R-IA), Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee and Chris Coons (D-DE) on this important bipartisan Resolution.
GIPC recently released a report, Measuring the Magnitude of Global Counterfeiting, which provides a breakdown of the share of physical counterfeiting for the 38 world economies and sheds insight on the growth of the problem. The report suggested that customs authorities are only seizing as little as 2.5 percent of the value of total estimated counterfeits.
Criminal activity associated with the counterfeit industry strips away legitimate jobs, erodes tax dollars from the national and state governments and poses real threats to consumer health and safety. The Resolution lays the proper foundation needed to unite the anti-counterfeiting community as a whole around the shared goal of eradicating potentially harmful counterfeit products from the marketplace.
The Chamber’s Global Intellectual Property Center is working around the world to champion intellectual property (IP) rights as vital to creating jobs, saving lives, advancing global economic growth, and generating breakthrough solutions to global challenges.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations.