IP Key SEA and EUIPO experts shared insights at the ‘Workshop on Trade in Counterfeit Food, Beverages, Cosmetics, and Fast Moving Consumer Goods’ in Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam, on 2-5 April. The workshop highlighted the prevalence of global trafficking in infringing fast-moving consumer goods (FMCGs) and its economic impact, as well as measures and technologies to address the problem.
Team Leader Enforcement Valerio Papajorgji, EU Observatory on Infringements of IP Rights, contributed to several panel discussions during the four-day workshop. For a discussion on available laws to use against trade in counterfeit goods, Mr. Papajorgji detailed IP enforcement legislation in the EU, noting that the powers provisioned to EU customs agencies have been effective in intercepting counterfeit goods. In another panel discussion on organized crime, he demonstrated their effectiveness using examples of successful enforcement operations in partnership with international agencies and private sector companies. Mr. Papajorgji also outlined the structure and reach of EU law enforcement, EUROPOL, and its IP Crime Coordinated Coalition (IPC3) during a panel discussion on transnational law enforcement.
Other topics included the challenges of counterfeit FMCGs for consumers and IP rightsholders, and evidence gathering and capacity building, with representatives from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), US Food and Drug Administration, US Customs and Border Protection, US Department of Justice, the International Trademark Association (INTA) and other government agencies contributing.
FMCGs or consumer packaged goods are categorised as products that are sold quickly, including food and beverage, tobacco products, toiletries and cosmetics, non-prescription medicines, and general consumables. The large volume of trade, limited consumer awareness and relative ease to enter markets, particularly online, exacerbates the trade in counterfeit FMCG products.