July 27, 2016

GIPC Hosts Young Leaders Luncheon on Global Counterfeiting

image1The GIPC hosted its first Young Leaders Luncheon today at the Chamber Headquarters. The event included a roundtable discussion on the global counterfeiting industry and intellectual property protection.

Nearly 70 D.C.-area interns gathered to discuss the damaging effects of the global counterfeit trade and the importance of intellectual property protection to a variety of industries, from pharmaceutical innovators to luxury clothing producers. As interns for GIPC, we were given the opportunity to lead conversation alongside GIPC policy experts, and we invited our fellow interns to share their own thoughts and experiences with counterfeit goods and intellectual property.

The idea for this lunch was born out of the realization that many of our peers engage in the counterfeit market on a daily basis, with little thought to the harm they are exposing themselves and others to. We wanted to shine a light on the threats counterfeiting imposes upon consumers, laborers, companies, and the global economy alike.

Interns attended on behalf of a wide-range of organizations, including: NBC Universal, the American Apparel & Footwear Association, Third Way, Americans for Tax Reform, Merck & Co., the Recording Industry Association of America, the American Enterprise Institute, the Washington International Trade Association, the Republican Attorneys General Association, the Hohlt Group, and the National Taxpayers Union, to name a few. The diverse backgrounds of the attendees certainly contributed to a unique and substantive dialogue on the dangers of counterfeit and the value of intellectual property protection.

Attendees discussed how costs impact purchasing decisions, but also expressed concern over the counterfeit industry’s ties to child labor and terrorism. Several shared stories about personal experiences where they were sold faulty or broken counterfeit goods; and the group generally agreed that the personal and financial safety risks of online purchases were often enough to deter them. Participants seemed particularly versed in the rights of creative producers, with most subscribing to legal music platforms as opposed to illegal file sharing sites.

We thank all who attended this event, and GIPC looks forward to hosting more engaging Young Leaders Luncheons in the future.

Patrick Regan is an IP policy intern for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Global Intellectual Property Center. He studies Business Administration at Cabrini University. William Martin is also an IP policy intern for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Global Intellectual Property Center. He studies Law and Public Policy at Indiana University.

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