Today marks the opening of yet another Licensing Expo in Las Vegas. And personally speaking, it represents my 17th show. When I first` started attending, kids were asking their parents to go find Nemo, the SuperSonics were in Seattle, 50 Cent was “In da Club” and my flip phone didn’t have a single picture on it. (I was still a few months from getting my Blackberry.) My, how times have changed.
Every Spring, IP Professionals from around the world have the opportunity to join together and collaborate on new ideas, trends and solutions. This year, both the International Anti-Counterfeiting Coalition’s Spring Conference and International Trademark Association’s Annual Meeting were held in Boston, Massachusetts. OpSec attended both meetings and spent eight days attending roundtable discussions, panel topics, marketplace workshops all aimed towards best practices and constantly evolving procedures in the anti-counterfeiting space.
What is it?
The illicit tobacco trade produces many problems for both consumers and those who try to completely avoid anything to do with smoking. It is commonly known that cigarettes are a detriment to health, but illicit tobacco is even more so. The unregulated nature of illicit tobacco means they can contain even more harmful substances while avoiding contributing to a countries tax revenue and fuelling organised crime at the same time.
Last week 180,000+ people converged into Las Vegas for the annual CES conference. CES is the world's gathering place for all things tech related and where brands introduce their next-gen products for the consumer marketplace.
This was my 7th year attending and when I saw the billboard that stated “It’s like a backstage pass to the future” it caused me to pause and think about the changes and evolvement of tech products I’ve seen over the years.
I sit in my office today preparing to attend Brand Licensing Europe (BLE) week after next. An article comes across my desk celebrating counterfeit seizures in the European Union (EU) exceeding 31 million items in 2017. And this is why BLE is such an important show for OpSec Security.
Over 31 million items seized. A statistic definitely worth celebration. That’s hundreds of millions of Euros that do not make their way back to the hands of criminals. That’s 31 million potentially unsafe items that do not make their way into the hands of unsuspecting consumers.
I’ve been in the brand protection industry for 12+ years and every so often there’s a “buzzword” that most of my clients are asking questions about. Sometimes the chatter was about RFID, or about China and Alibaba but most recently the buzzword for not only the brand protection space but other industries seems to be Blockchain.Now I will admit, until OpSec partnered with Blockpool, a UK-based blockchain developer, to add blockchain technologies to OpSec’s Insight platform, I didn’t know much about the technology.
Successful consumer brands have spent time, money and effort in promoting themselves, by and large, to the more affluent members of our global society. Good for them!
The scale of the demand thus created, attracts criminal elements who wish to capitalise on the higher margins that the brand owner has striven to gain and maintain.
Topics: Brand Protection
I am active on professional social media and I focus on groups and organizations involved with authentication technologies, anti-counterfeiting, diversion, anti-piracy, customer engagement, licensing, trademark protection, and supply chain management − the big umbrella of Brand Protection. Over the past couple of years, I’ve read statements from inside and outside of the brand protection industry that question and sometimes disparage the usefulness of overt technologies or Optical Variable Devices (OVD). Some have labeled overt solutions as a “DEAD” technology. The death of overt technology has been greatly exaggerated!
In late June, New York State (U.S.) gubernatorial candidate, Cynthia Nixon, of Sex and the City fame, criticized America’s Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE) agency for the manner in which they were handling immigration on the U.S.’s southern border. She went as far as labeling the agency a “terrorist organization” and called for its abolishment.
I’m not here to debate whether or not Ms. Nixon makes a valid point. I’m not even here to debate U.S. immigration policy. But I do want to highlight that ICE does a lot more than enforce immigration law… and for that, we should be thankful.
Before you take a sip from that glass of water, you may want to consider where it came from. The sale of counterfeit water filters is becoming a huge industry problem. Unfortunately, many consumers searching for bargains on OEM water filters may inadvertently find themselves buying counterfeits that can not only damage their refrigerator, possibly voiding out the warranty, but also severely put their health at risk.