BPG rallies industry to stamp out fake goods

Dubai-based Brand Owners’ Protection Group (BPG) has received strong support from key international Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) and anti-piracy organisations in its fight to eliminate counterfeit goods trade in the Middle East.

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By  Aaron Greenwood Published  January 9, 2007

Dubai-based Brand Owners’ Protection Group (BPG) has received strong support from key international Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) and anti-piracy organisations in its fight to eliminate counterfeit goods trade in the Middle East. The BPG recently met with leading organisations at the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) Sub-Regional Workshop on the Implementation of Intellectual Property Rights, which was was recently staged in Dubai. The event was organised by WIPO in conjuntion with the French National Patent and Trademark Office (INPI), Dubai Customs and the Dubai Department of Economic Development (DED). Participants at the event included members of the BPG GCC & Yemen, BPG Lebanon, officials representing authorities from Dubai, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, and Interpol. Speaking at the event, the French Minister for External Trade, Christine Lagarde, called on local industry stakeholders to work together to stamp out the illicit trade of counterfeit goods in the Middle East. “Counterfeit products amount to nearly 10% of total worldwide trade,” she said. “Local stakeholders need to cooperate to initiate measures that will ensure consumers receive only the legally manufactured products through appropriate channels.” Ahmed Butti, Director-General of Dubai Customs, said the Dubai Government was keen to tackle issues relating to the protection of IP rights and “fight the counterfeit menace”. “We are eager to support any private sector initiative in this regard,” he added. Hoda Barakat, BPG board member and chairperson for the Middle East, Africa and South Asia sub-committee of the International Trademark Association (INTA) and Anti-Counterfeiting and Enforcement Committee (ACEC), said the BPG was determined to forge closer ties with governments across the region to protect the interests of its brand owner members. “Illicit trade and counterfeit infringements are daily challenges for the manufacturing industry,” she said. ”We are confident that with the support of government, BPG will be able to defend the integrity of our members by seeking the enforcement of existing IPRs, namely copyright and licensing laws.”

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