During a special hearing before Italy's Parliamentary Committee Inquiry on Counterfeiting, Bob Barchiesi, IACC President, shared how the IACC is combatting counterfeiting and piracy through collaborative efforts in e-commerce and beyond.
The testimony focused on the IACC's strategy of engaging with both SMEs and large multinationals, as well as ISP's, advertising agencies, marketplaces, and payment providers. The Committee, which focuses on intellectual property rights enforcement and policies, organized the hearing as part of its objective to better understand the scope of and efforts to address online counterfeiting. During the testimony, there was particular interest in the role of international agreements in creating solutions to counterfeiting as well as the impact of the IACC's flagship program RogueBlock.
The RogueBlock program was developed to target counterfeiters where it hurts the most – their wallet. The Program works with the world's largest credit card companies and payment processors to terminate counterfeiters' merchant accounts to stop the flow of money to e-commerce sites selling illicit goods.
"RogueBlock is the first and only program of its kind developed to enforce intellectual property rights by 'following the money,' even when that money flows beyond national borders and traditional jurisdictional lines," said IACC President Bob Barchiesi at the hearing. Since launching in 2012, the Program terminated more than 5,300 merchant accounts used by counterfeiters and impacted more than 200,000 websites linked to these accounts.
The IACC also updated the Committee on its recent successes including international trainings and the IACC MarketSafe Expansion program, which is geared at enforcement on Alibaba marketplaces.
The IACC called on Members of the Parliament to support collaboration among all stakeholders, as the counterfeiting problem is too pervasive and complex for a single company or industry to combat on its own.
"We will surely need support in the future in convening relevant partners and encouraging buy-in among key participants. I would welcome your assistance in that regard, and your input in ensuring that Italian businesses and consumers reap the full benefit of our efforts." Mr. Barchiesi said.
Developing effective and impactful partnerships is an integral part of the IACC's anti-counterfeiting strategy. The organization believes that all legitimate stakeholders in the e-commerce sector must be included as part of the solution in the fight against counterfeiting. The IACC looks forward to continuing its global outreach and engagement with government, industry, and association partners to work towards a safe and trusted marketplace for consumers.
Read Mr Barchiesi's full testimony here.
The IACC is a Washington, DC-based not-for-profit organization representing the interests of companies concerned with trademark counterfeiting and the related theft of intellectual property. The members of the IACC include many of the world's best-known brands across all product sectors. The IACC has played a leading role in the development of cross-industry voluntary agreements, to address the illicit trafficking of counterfeit and pirated goods online, including its IACC MarketSafe and RogueBlock initiatives.