A report suggests that governments globally lose about USD 1 billion each year due to the influx of counterfeits in the markets out of which roughly 1/5th constitutes of Cosmetics, Pharmaceuticals and Packaged Food bought by the unwary consumers.* It goes without saying that such fake and spurious goods pose a serious threat to health and safety of millions. Rapid advancement in technology and liberalization of the Indian economy have created an ideal
market for the miscreants to misuse the existing brand values that have been cultivated and nurtured over the time. The swelling of counterfeit and pirated goods is a universal problem that requires vigorous collaboration between the Customs and right-holders. A well-organized and effectively enforced Intellectual Property infrastructure is essential to ensure the continuous stimulation of investment in innovation.
The right-holders are experiencing an ever growing increase in the inflow of counterfeits through the Indian borders which have created the need for conducting terminal training on detection and assessment of counterfeit/infringing goods. The most recent training was organized for Customs authorities in Bengaluru on 27th September 2017 which was presided over by the Learner Additional Commissioner of Customs Mr D. Anil and attended by approximately 30 Custom Officials including Appraisers, Superintendents, Examiners, Inspectors and other officers from the Air Cargo and Inland Container Depot, Bengaluru. While all the attending Officers shared an emphatic written feedback on the conclusion of the training, the learned Additional Commissioner shared his views on the overgrowing importance of IP enforcement via Customs and how adequate steps are required to prevent imports of any suspicious IPR infringing consignments. He also delved on the importance of the initiative taken by the right-holders to enhance the capacity of the customs officers in curtailing the penetration of fakes through the Indian territorial borders.
Amongst the participating right-holders, there were popular brands like Apple, Nike, Coty, Procter & Gamble, Nivea, LVMH Watches (Tag Heuer, Hublot and Zenith), GHD (Good Hair Day), L’Oreal brands (L’Oreal, Garnier, Maybelline and Matrix), Limited Brands (Victoria’s Secret, La Senza, Pink, Henri Bendel and Bath & Body Works), Audemars Piguet, Burberry, Polo Ralph Lauren, G-Star and Tom Ford.
The training aimed to streamline the IPR enforcement proceedings, increase the number of interdiction on account of IPR violations, equip the customs officers with the relevant contact points, identification tips and develop an intelligence against fakes based on the inputs shared by the right-holders.