In the world of anti-counterfeiting, 2011 proved to be an eventful year. With 2012 now upon us, we wanted to take a look back at some of the stories that made headlines as we move forward into what’s sure to be a busy year in our industry.
In January, Google began blocking piracy terms in its instant search feature. Users searching for words such as "rapidshare", "utorrent", or "megaupload" were led to a blank page. For the complete story, please visit TechEye.
February saw tougher counterfeit drug laws from the EU Parliament, which included the introduction of new safety and traceability measures, as well as sanctions against counterfeiters. For full article, please see Pharma Times.
Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour and state lawmakers passed new anti-counterfeiting legislation last March which provides tools for the seizure and forfeiture of property while providing due process to lien holders and parties with security interests. For the full story, please visit INTA
In April, a British man was sentenced to eight years in prison for what law enforcers described as the "most serious known breach" of the regulated UK medicines supply chain. More than two million doses of counterfeit life-saving medicines were imported into the country and half were later captured by the Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency. Nearly 900,000 doses, however, initially reached pharmacies and patients. For the full story, please see the Pharma Times.
Luxury lifestyle brand Tory Burch was awarded $164 million in damages last June when hundreds of rogue websites were caught selling counterfeit versions of Tory Burch footwear, handbags, and accessories. For the complete story, please visit PR Newswire.
In September, luxury retailer Chanel sued 399 websites selling counterfeit Chanel-branded products. The counterfeit goods included handbags, wallets, shoes, boots, sunglasses, scarves, tee shirts, watches, and jewelry. For the complete story, please visit the Retail Business Review.
In October, OpSec Security, Inc. launched its Landmark IP Litigation Series, which aims to bring industry leaders together to address how businesses can prevent the damaging effects of counterfeiting. Each seminar analyzed landmark cases, developments, challenges, and corresponding best practices for protecting intellectual property. The first seminar in the series, which took place in Boston on October 4, 2011, reviewed Roger Cleveland Golf Company, Inc. v. Prince. This is the first verdict against a web hosting services provider for contributory infringement without prior notification of counterfeit sales from a third party. The second seminar took place in New York City in November, and focused on The North Face Apparel Corp. and PRL USA Holdings, Inc. v. Fujian Sharing, et al. For more on the Landmark IP Litigation Series, please visit Opsec’s blog.
On Black Friday, the FBI seized 150 sites they believed were selling counterfeit goods. The FBI said they made undercover purchases of counterfeit sports jerseys, golf equipment, handbags, DVDs and more. The FBI was joined in the operation by Immigration and Customs Border Control and the Department of Homeland Security. For the complete story, please see Boston.com.
Last, but certainly not least, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations announced the seizure of more than $76.8 million in counterfeit goods last week, in a six-week operation called Operation Holiday Hoax II. Officials targeted stores, flea markets, and swap meets involved in the importation, distribution, and selling of counterfeit and pirated goods. For the complete story, please visit U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Best wishes for a Happy New Year! Learn more about OpSec’s Anti-Counterfeiting and Brand Protection Solutions.