OpSec Blog

 Insights on Anti-Counterfeiting & Brand Protection Solutions

Bill Patterson

Bill is responsible for protecting the royalty payment stream and brand names of our licensing clients. Bill has had prior responsibilities at OpSec, which included selling protection for government passports, voter registration and personal identification cards, as well as vehicle registration labels. His career has spanned the industries of telecommunications, home improvement retail chains, direct marketing agencies, and video gaming. Bill learned to juggle at age ten and hasn’t missed a Van Halen tour in twenty-three years.
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Recent Posts

Counterfeiters Want to Abolish ICE Too

Posted by Bill Patterson on Jul 10, 2018 9:00:00 AM

ICE SeizuresIn 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.

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Topics: Counterfeiting, Intellectual Property, In the Headlines, Brand Protection & Enhancement

Playboy Lives On

Posted by Bill Patterson on Oct 2, 2017 11:35:45 AM
Playboy Store_Adjusted.jpg
Clothes are displayed at the Playboy store in central London.

I read an article today asking if Playboy was going to survive the death of its founder, Hugh Hefner. The answer is: it already has… and long before Hef’s passing on September 27th at the age of 91.

In 1953, Playboy launched itself as a men’s lifestyle magazine. The best clothes, the best music (Jazz was Hef’s favorite), the best furnishings, the best stereo equipment… and of course, the ladies for which every adolescent boy tried to sneak a peek.

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Topics: Licensing, In the Headlines

It Takes a Team to Tackle Counterfeits

Posted by Bill Patterson on May 26, 2016 7:51:41 AM

tackling_counterfeits_blog.jpgA colleague of mine recently shared an online article with me called “Can the NFL Ban on Marketplace Sales Succeed?”  Within the article, the writer describes a recent quoted policy by the NFL restricting distributors and retailers from selling to other online sellers and retailers. While the article leans towards the effect this will have on smaller retailers attempting to survive, it actually highlights a bigger issue that the NFL, and all brand owners, want to encourage: accountability.

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Topics: Online Brand Protection, Licensing, Brand Protection

Counterfeiters likely to crack into the NCAA's seasonal windfall of cash

Posted by Bill Patterson on Apr 2, 2015 2:11:03 PM
Every year counterfeits take advantage of various popular sports in operations that draw money away from the leagues and organizations sponsoring the athletic events, and into the hands of criminals, and this time of year can prove fruitful for the more opportunistic dabblers in the knock-off apparel market.

Every year counterfeiters take advantage of popular sports in operations that draw money away from the leagues and organizations sponsoring the athletic events and into the hands of criminals, and this time of year can prove fruitful for the more opportunistic dabblers in the knock-off apparel market. 

Football, baseball, basketball and soccer - whatever the sport, chances are it's respective leagues have had to deal with counterfeiters cutting into their profits at one point or another. 

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Topics: Counterfeiting, Licensing, In the Headlines

NFL fans warned about counterfeit Super Bowl merchandise

Posted by Bill Patterson on Jan 28, 2015 8:07:00 AM
NFL Fans warned about counterfeit Super Bowl merchandise
NFL fans warned about counterfeit Super Bowl merchandise

While counterfeiting is a problem all throughout the year, there are certain events that present a particular risk. Major sporting events like the Super Bowl routinely attract a lot of spending on tickets and merchandise, and wherever there is a lot of consumer spending, the counterfeiters aren't far behind.

In anticipation of the Super Bowl, we'll be taking an in-depth look at the counterfeiting that surrounds it and the extensive brand protection activities that help to protect the league, the teams and most importantly, the fans.

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Topics: Licensing, In the Headlines, Brand Protection, Royalty Protection

Why Licensors Should Adopt a Brand Protection Program

Posted by Bill Patterson on Aug 27, 2014 7:14:00 AM


A brand protection program provides licensing brands with two big advantages: anti-counterfeiting and royalty protection. Experience has taught us that typically a given brand is likely to be more concerned about one of these issues than the other, but both play a vital role in every licensing brand protection solution. These two components are like two sides of the same coin, and they support and benefit each other.

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Topics: Counterfeiting, Licensing, Brand Protection, Royalty Protection

Why Entertainment Licensing is The Toughest Gig in Show Business

Posted by Bill Patterson on Jun 3, 2013 11:44:00 AM

Entertainment_Licensing_Blog_PostWhat is a brand’s return on investment for its licensing program? In most cases, there are virtually no hard costs for the licensor: the brand merely grants authority to various licensees and associated vendors to execute on a licensing agreement, and the brand receives a percentage of the generated revenue in exchange. In other words, the brand achieves revenue after expending virtually no up-front costs. So, while the ROI can’t be quantified in normal terms, it’s clearly an attractive result even if the program generates only modest revenue..

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Topics: Licensing, Brand Protection, Royalty Protection

How a Hangtag can Save Your Sports League’s Gear

Posted by Bill Patterson on Apr 29, 2013 9:58:00 PM


I’ve always been a hardcore Baltimore-based sports fan, so you can imagine how thrilled I was when the Ravens played against the 49ers in this year’s Super Bowl. Yet, for all my excitement, I still cringed when I attended the game and could easily spot the difference between the officially sanctioned memorabilia and those items that weren’t.

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Topics: Licensing, Brand Protection, Royalty Protection, Hangtags

Commentary: OpSec participates in NBA Cares "Day of Service"

Posted by Bill Patterson on Feb 28, 2011 9:20:09 AM

As part of the NBA All-Star game celebrations, NBA Cares holds a week long event with current and former members of the NBA family.  Collectively, the group works on local community projects to leave the area a little bit better than when they arrived. This year’s events included building playgrounds, fitness clinics for teens, and planting of community gardens.

OpSec was thrilled to participate in the NBA Cares ‘Day of Service’ last Friday, February 18th.  Our day began at Franklin Douglas Elementary School in downtown Los Angeles.  The crew, which consisted of approximately 200 people, helped the charter school in conjunction with an organization called KaBoom, to work on the most-needed projects.  Our task was to build a large playground from scratch for the children of the school.

Some teams poured the concrete for the playground, others built the jungle gym and monkey bars, and still others worked on projects for the school’s interior.  I came to LA with Jamie Chilcoat, our Master Planner who has supported the NBA program for the 20+ years he’s worked at OpSec.  Jamie and I were assigned the job of building storage cubbies for classrooms.  We worked alongside NBA stars Robert Horry and Derek Harper.  The WNBA was also on hand along with Olympic runner Marion Jones.

Although the highlight of the week for many NBA fans was the All-Star game, the best moments for us were to be a part of giving back to the LA community.  The playground we helped to build will be shared and prized by many families.

Just as the project was completed, a rare Los Angeles occurrence took place…it poured; we were soaked but the job was done. The sun came out again, and with it, an extra ray of brightness for the children at the Franklin Douglas School.
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Topics: Uncategorized

Commentary: The NBA Scores Big Against Counterfeiters

Posted by Bill Patterson on Feb 18, 2011 9:12:48 AM
Flying west at 34,000 feet, I’m headed to Los Angeles to attend the NBA All-Star Weekend.  Looking forward to the activities, I’m reminded of how lucky I am to be doing what I am doing.  However, I’m also reminded of why I’m even involved.   Like so many brand owners these days, the NBA is on constant vigil to stop the proliferation of unauthorized products across the globe.

Regularly, the NBA has a target on its back.  Basketball is a global sport.  It is played across Europe, Africa, Latin America, North America and Asia.  For those players with the skill to be at the pinnacle of the sport, the NBA is the dream.  Pulling the best of the best into one city for a flagship event attracts celebrities and avid fans alike looking to be a part of the action.

As always, the counterfeiters are on the scene to take advantage.  Now by choosing Los Angeles, a major Pacific port city, as the location of that flagship event, and suddenly your issues are compounded because the counterfeiters have a direct supply route.

But those counterfeiters are dealing with a well-oiled machine in the NBA.  The team that runs intellectual property and enforcement at the NBA are some of the best of the best in their game too.  And it’s fun to watch them in full force taking down the street vendors around the venue.  I just hope the rest of the public notices too.

Buying counterfeit merchandise is more than getting a cheap t-shirt.  It’s funding a criminal organization that you know nothing about.  A criminal organization that could be laundering drug money, lining the pocket of nefarious individuals, or raising funds for terrorist activities… not to mention that the products that they’re making may actually be harmful to your health.

As a country, we’ve spent a lot of money on public service announcements telling us not to litter, that our brain on drugs is like an egg in a frying pan, and within the last decade, if you see something… say something.  But what about the effects of counterfeiting?  Sure, when the event comes to town, the news stations will give three to four minutes about it.

But is it a business issue or a public safety issue?  I tend to side on the public safety issue.  Good public policy leads to good business.  And keeping the counterfeits off the street will actually employ more workers in legitimate companies.  There’s so much rhetoric about creating jobs… we don’t talk about the things we can do to protect the ones that we’ve lost due to ignorance.  Stopping unauthorized product can do just that.  If more people realized that, perhaps it could garner a little more attention in the press… and the general public.

Learn more about OpSec Security's Brand Protection Solutions for the Licensing and Entertainment Industry.
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Topics: Counterfeiting