Wednesday, July 14, 2010 12:25 pm | By Anthony Lizan
As counterfeiting has become easier and more prevalent, copyright holders have increasingly turned to advanced technology to protect their interests. The anti-counterfeiting technology market has boomed over the past few years as a result. According to a new study conducted by Global Industry Analyst Inc, “the global market for anti-counterfeiting technologies could reach $82.2 billion by 2015.” This is great news for the economy and for the safety of millions of people world wide.
The results of the GIA analysis bolster a point that PRA has made many times: strong IP protection promotes innovation. According to the report, “Having realized the need to protect brand integrity and increase sales, brand owners are willing to spend more on anti-counterfeit solutions and the trend is prompting suppliers to offer innovative products that help stretch the inclination further.” Increased innovation leads to better products, more profits, and a stronger economy.
The report also notes that the food and drug industries are the hardest hit by counterfeiting. This has serious health implications because counterfeit drugs can be extremely dangerous. Unfortunately, many of these drugs have infiltrated the supply chain worldwide. Better technology like holograms and tamper-evident seals can save lives.
It is important that these companies continue to do well, to counteract governments that are actively pushing for policies that make counterfeiting more prevalent. Take the Anti Counterfeiting Trade Agreement for example. The agreement would reduce counterfeiting globally, but powerful up and comers like India and China are actively working against its enactment.
Click Read More to continue...
Cracking Down on Counterfeits
Tuesday, July 13, 2010 4:51 pm | By Kelsey Zahourek
Criminals can make upwards of $450,000 off the production and sale of counterfeit medicines with just $1,000 in seed money, more than 20 times the profit made from selling heroin with the same investment.
These startling figures, compiled by Interpol, were cited in a recent article about Pfizer’s efforts to combat the proliferation of counterfeit medicines. The manufacturer of Viagra, one of the most copied drugs, has hired a team of former law enforcement officials to track down counterfeiters in order for Pfizer to bring the producers of fake drugs to civil court rather than relying on local authorities and criminal courts to find them and prosecute. According to Simeon Bennett of Bloomberg Businessweek:
“Since 2007, Pfizer has spent $3.3 million on investigations and legal fees and recovered about $5.1 million. It expects to collect an additional $5.3 million from ongoing cases. Pfizer says it has prevented about 58 million counterfeit pills from reaching patients since 2004.”
The trade in counterfeit medicines has skyrocketed in recent years. According the Markmonitor, a firm that works with companies on brand protection, sales of counterfeit goods via the internet will reach $135 billion this year. Weakening of IP rights not only is detrimental to the economy, but also puts the public’s health and safety at risk. The WHO estimates that counterfeit drugs constitute up to 25% of the total medicine supply in less developed countries. These medicines could either contain no active ingredients, very little active ingredients that will do nothing to fight the disease and may even make it more resistant to treatment, or in the worst case scenario the counterfeit could contain toxic materials. The International Policy Network estimates that around 700,000 deaths per year from only malaria and tuberculosis are attributable to fake drugs.
This move by Pfizer is welcome not only because the company is taking proactive steps to protect its brand but also its customers who risk being harmed from substandard drugs.
Schools Risk Losing Funds for Tolerating Piracy
Tuesday, July 6, 2010 2:13 pm | By Anthony Lizan
Copyright infringers can’t seem to catch a break this week, thankfully. As noted in the previous post, the government successfully launched an initiative that closed nine websites notorious for trafficking stolen movies. Just as important, new policies are being enacted to curb internet piracy on college campuses. Now, schools that don’t implement anti-piracy provisions risk losing money for federal student aid.
The provisions result from the Higher Education Opportunity Act, which states that schools must enact plans to, “ effectively combat the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material by users of the institution's network.”
The new rules will make a huge impact in fighting illegal downloading, because college age students makeup the largest demographic of internet pirates. According to a study commissioned by the MPA, “The typical pirate is age 16-24...” and “44 percent of MPA company losses in the U.S. are attributable to college students.” Cheryl Asper Elzy, Dean of University Libraries at Illinois State University, found that more than 50% of dorm residents with broadband connections have illegally downloaded copyrighted material. Furthermore, the House Committee on Science and Technology found that, “In 2006, some 1.3 billion music tracks were downloaded illegally in the U.S. by college students, compared with approximately 500 million legal downloads.”
Yet, there is hope for the younger generation. In the same study, Dean Elzy found that most students will stop downloading illegally if warned or threatened by their school. Stricter anti-piracy laws do work. They can save thousands of jobs a year and protect whole businesses from going bankrupt. It is imperative to remain vigilant when it comes to copyright infringement. For the sake of the economy, we can’t afford not to.