3rd Community Safety Conference highlights importance of public-private partnerships in combating counterfeit goods trade
December 13, 2017: Under the patronage of Lt. Gen. Dhahi Khalfan Tamim, Deputy Chief of Police and Public Security in Dubai and Honorary President of the Emirates Intellectual Property Association (EIPA), the Dhahi Khalfan Intellectual Property Center hosted its 3rd Community Safety Conference at the Dubai Police Officer Club on December 12, 2017. The event was held under the theme of ‘Combating Counterfeiting Through Standardization and Metrology’ in collaboration with Dubai Police and Underwriters Laboratories (UL), the international safety testing, certification and inspections company. The conference provided local and regional stakeholders and other high-profile participants with an effective platform to discuss systematic ways to fight counterfeiters and enhance community safety in the UAE and the wider region.
The latest edition recommended important measures for strengthening efforts to protect intellectual property (IP) rights, with delegates unanimously agreeing on their pivotal role as a cornerstone for the protection of creative work and a key pillar for the advancement of the knowledge-based economy. The forum called for standard specifications in the framework of cooperation between the public and private sectors, leading to a secure economy that supports complete development.
The meeting recommended the unification and intensification of control measures for the quality and safety of products approved by the Emirates Authority for Standardization and Metrology (ESMA). The final recommendations called for greater cooperation with intellectual property authorities to enforce laws to prevent illegal practices – including the establishment of a national database covering all IP rights data registered within the UAE for easy identification of counterfeiting issues.
The recommendations also included assisting government employees working in intellectual property units to distinguish between counterfeit and original goods through specialized training workshops and the exchange of knowledge and experience, as well as tightening penalties for all parties involved in the promotion of counterfeit goods online. Initiatives aimed at spreading community awareness on the dangers of counterfeit goods on human life and public health were also endorsed.
The final recommendations further focused on supporting the unification of customs laws and procedures practiced by GCC states by adding articles related to the protection of intellectual property rights and enhancing partnerships between customs authorities and concerned government agencies. This will increase the efficiency and effectiveness in enforcing the relevant legislation to safeguard intellectual property rights to be applied in various customs ports of the UAE and Gulf countries. The recommendations emphasized the need to raise legal awareness among customs inspectors on intellectual properties by employing smart technological innovations and adopting artificial intelligence strategies in customs work to combat counterfeiting and fraud.
Major General Dr. Abdul Quddus Abdul Razzaq Al Obaidly, Assistant Commander-in-Chief for Dubai Police’s Quality and Excellence and Chairman of EIPA’s Board of Directors, emphasized the importance of the final recommendations in supporting national efforts to combat counterfeiting and piracy. He collectively referred to them as a step forward in raising the productivity and competitiveness of the national economy and making it the best in the world through the protection of IP rights. He also highlighted the continuous commitment in supporting the UAE's achievements in combating trade in counterfeit goods, as well as providing an investment-friendly, competitive and safe economic environment that is ideal for business growth.
Major General Dr. Al Obaidly said: “The 3rd Community Safety Conference is an ideal opportunity to address the most important issues related to combating counterfeiting, at a time when economic, social, security and health risks due to the trade of counterfeit goods are increasing. This requires preventive actions to be taken through compliance with international standards, amid expectations that counterfeiting, and piracy will negatively impact the global economy by incurring a loss of USD 4.2 trillion, with 5.4 million jobs endangered by 2022.”
“We are pleased to come out with important recommendations that will pave the way to developing new mechanisms and innovative methodologies. These will combat counterfeiting and piracy and reduce their impact on the economic, social and security levels with a focus on the role of the public and private sectors in developing clear frameworks to drive growth based on human creativity. This complements UAE Vision 2021’s goal of building a highly competitive, productive and knowledge-based economy driven by entrepreneurs supported by a stimulating business environment that encourages effective public-private partnerships,” he further added.
For his part, Dr. AbdelRahman Al Obaidly, General Secretary of the conference, said: “The 3rd Community Safety Conference has proven to be a strong boost for ongoing efforts to protect IP rights and human creative output. It calls for activating fruitful partnerships between the public and private sectors to adopt effective methodologies for reducing the economic, social and security risks resulting from the propagation of counterfeit goods.”
“We look forward to the final recommendations to support the national directive towards establishing solid foundations for drafting legal and legislative frameworks preventing counterfeiting and piracy. They will stimulate creativity which is one of the most prominent features of comprehensive development and a strong pillar for joining the ranks of the best countries in the world in the field of intellectual property protection by the year 2021,” he added.
The 3rd Community Safety Conference was hosted by the Dubai Police Officer Club and featured three panel discussions. The first session discussed ‘Imitation and Piracy and their Impact on the National Economy,’ ‘The Role of Customs in Protecting the Community,’ ‘A Safer Society Without Counterfeiting,’ and ‘Protecting the Market from the Electronic Promotion of Counterfeiting Goods in Accordance with IP Rights.’ The second session touched on ‘Innovation and Its Impact on Society from a Cybersecurity Point of View’ and ‘Impact on Public Safety from Counterfeiting of Fire and Life Critical Products.’ The third and final panel discussion was devoted to the private sector, highlighting ‘Risks of Counterfeiting in Gas Directors and Sprinkles,’ ‘Parallel Imports in Foods Products,’ and ‘P&G Experience with Counterfeits: Is It Safe for Consumers?’
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