Increased collaboration key to stopping counterfeiting

With the support of the American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA), US Trade Representative Susan Schwab announced plans to pursue an Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) with US trade partners. The agreement will consolidate international intellectual property rights (IPR) enforcement activities through unified standards, sharing of best practices and overall increased collaboration.

‘The prevalence of knock-offs is a serious threat to the apparel and footwear industry’s companies, workers and consumers,’ said Kevin M. Burke, president and CEO, AAFA. ‘Footwear and apparel products represented 36% and 14%, respectively, of all seized counterfeit goods by US Customs in the first half of 2007.’

‘The AAFA is at the forefront of IPR issues,’ continued Burke. ‘And the ACTA will become an important tool in our fight against counterfeiting.’

In addition to supporting pro-active, comprehensive IPR legislation, AAFA studies and addresses IPR issues year-round. On November 6 and 7, AAFA will host its annual two-day counterfeiting and IPR conference in Long Beach, California. The conference, Knock if Off! Brands and the Counterfeiting Quandary, will begin with a tour of the US Customs and Border Protection’s Container Examination Station at the Port of Long Beach. The seminars will develop greater dialogue between the private and public sector, as government representatives participate alongside industry IPR experts.