• Publications

March 31, 2022

Anti-Counterfeiting 2021 Year in Review

Counterfeit products – products made or sold under a brand name without permission of the brand owner – are sold virtually everywhere legitimate goods are sold. Read more about our efforts throughtout 2021 to advance a safe, fair and fake-free world through education, collaboration and advocacy.

Educating the Public

Be Safe Buy Real campaign

Originally designed as an annual, pre-holiday campaign, in 2021 Be Safe Buy Real was expanded to a quarterly campaign organized around four key themes: consumer safety, human health, digital safety and home safety. Each theme’s message kicked off with a video that highlighted the dangers of counterfeit products, and the steps consumers can take to safeguard against those dangers. Thanks to our 32 partners, the videos reached over 1 million people on social media.

Reaching a global audience

The Be Safe Buy Real campaign understands that counterfeiting is a borderless crime. In 2021, the campaign began to develop a strong foundation to be able to communicate to an international audience. It began to lay the groundwork by translating the website into Spanish and French along with 30 pieces of campaign content. While not yet officially launched internationally, we are proud to report that, in 2021, the website received over 800 international visitors.

Educating Global Law Enforcement

International IP Crime Investigators College (IIPCIC)

INTERPOL and Underwriters Laboratories continue their partnership by delivering key learning modules through the International Intellectual Property Crime Investigators College (IIPCIC). The IIPCIC educates global law enforcement and stakeholder groups to effectively combat transnational intellectual property crime.

Convening Global Stakeholders

Anti-Counterfeiting Virtual Research Symposium

This symposium features prominent researchers, scholars and leaders in the field of anti-counterfeiting to discuss relevant research. The 2021 event, the second annual virtual symposium, focused on the relationships between counterfeit goods, their environmental impact and intersection with social media. 240 registrants represented 39 countries.

Intellectual Property Crime Conference

The 14th Intellectual Property (IP) Crime Conference gathered expert speakers and participants from around the world to address the enforcement challenges posed by digital piracy, the health and safety aspects of IP crime, and the COVID-19 pandemic. The event reached an audience of 1,092 registrants across 121 countries and 315 law enforcement agencies. Terry Brady was an opening keynote speaker, along with Carlos Alvarado Quesada, the president of the Republic of Costa Rica.

Sharing our expertise

Lithium Battery Air Safety Advisory Committee Meeting

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Lithium Battery Air Safety Advisory Committee held a meeting to discuss the potential safety hazards posed by lithium batteries. Anti-Counterfeiting team was invited to present about the additional health and safety concerns counterfeit batteries pose to the industry. There were 120 virtual attendees.

FICCI Consumer Protection in the COVID Age

This virtual event focused on the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on counterfeiting and anti-counterfeiting. The panel was hosted by the leadership team of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry Committee Against Smuggling and Counterfeiting Activities Destroying the Economy (FICCI CASCADE). The panel included representatives from the Indian government as well as industry partners such as Johnson & Johnson, Amazon and Underwriters Laboratories. At the session, Underwriters Laboratories highlighted the global Be Safe Buy Real campaign.

International Trademark Association Annual Meeting

The Anti-Counterfeiting team was invited to present at the International Trademark Association 2021 Annual Meeting session titled “Educating the Marketplace About the Dangers of Counterfeits: Ideal World Versus the Real World.” The session topics included how imperative it is to educate consumers and all stakeholders in the supply chain to effectively combat counterfeits in both an online and brick-and-mortar world. We reached more than 3,000 virtual attendees.

Future of Safety Science webinar

The Future of Safety Science is a webinar series that will highlight the world-class research and thought leadership of Underwriters Laboratories. The webinar series also aims to increase access to opportunities in safety science for students from the overlooked talent pool of minorities and underrepresented groups in STEM fields. Anti- Counterfeiting team was invited to discuss how safety science research can be applied to mitigate the risk of counterfeit products.

Uniting With Partners

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)

Monica Mena, director of the Education and Outreach, interviewed Laurie Dempsey, director of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) on how counterfeiters have been taking advantage of the pandemic to spread fraudulent goods. She also shared her insights on how educating consumers and working with them is the best way to keep counterfeits out – and health and safety in.

Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI)

The Anti-Counterfeiting team conducted an interview with Anil Rajput, chairman of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry Committee Against Smuggling and Counterfeiting Activities Destroying the Economy (FICCI CASCADE). He shared his insights and highlighted India’s inspiring campaigns and efforts against counterfeits. This collaboration between our team and FICCI CASCADE has set the tone for future collaborations to further our work in combating counterfeits.