With a global reach of over 45 million companies, the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) created Business Action to Stop Counterfeiting and Piracy (BASCAP) to raise awareness of the economic and social harm of piracy. As part of ICC’s mission to enable businesses to secure peace, prosperity and opportunity, BASCAP petitions for greater commitments by local, national and international authorities in the enforcement and protection of intellectual property rights.
Since publishing Roles and Responsibilities of Intermediaries: Fighting Counterfeiting and Piracy in the Supply Chain, BASCAP has worked with intermediaries to implement recommendations and jointly identify additional best practices and voluntary actions.
Recently, BASCAP targeted landlords who both knowingly or unknowingly provide premises to manufacture, store and sell fake goods. Physical marketplaces are exploited by criminals for trade in counterfeit goods in massive scales, using properties that are easily accessible to consumers. Physical premises are also used to manufacture, assemble and act as storage units to facilitate counterfeit trade via e-commerce platforms.
As landlords are typically not involved in inspecting goods on their premises, they might allow illicit activity to continue unchecked until they receive notice from rights holders or go on to be raided by law enforcement and held accountable.
To find solutions and work closer with landlords and governments, BASCAP published Measures to Engage Landlords in the Fight Against Counterfeit and Pirated Goods: Best Practices for Landlords, Governments and Enforcement Agencies, to address the wide range of challenges faced by landlords and it presents measures designed to assist landlords and governments in keeping fakes out of physical markets.
ICC and the anti-counterfeiting network React also signed a Memorandum of Understanding to develop a global Landlords Liability Programme. BASCAP and React will collaborate with participating brand owners to identify notorious marketplaces. They will also cooperate with landlords to facilitate removal of counterfeits and engage with landlords to stem availability of counterfeits. The programme has received participation from 16 brands in 34 European markets and will gradually expand to other regions with more brands participating.
If rights holders, trade inspectors and landlords work together to address identified risks and implement clear policies, they can effectively refuse premises, thereby substantially and negatively impacting counterfeiters’ ability to continue operating.
Consistent and enduring application of BASCAP’s best practices is the best defence for disrupting the trade in counterfeit and pirated goods in order to protect shoppers from potentially dangerous fakes. ν