JIPO encourages citizens to know dangers of counterfeit productsWednesday, May 12, 2021
KINGSTON, Jamaica – The Jamaica Intellectual Property Office (JIPO) is encouraging citizens to familiarise themselves with the dangers of intellectual property (IP) crimes, such as the distribution, manufacture and sale of counterfeit items.
Deputy Director/Legal Counsel at JIPO, Dr Marcus Goffe, said the use of counterfeit products not only robs IP owners of profits, but can pose serious health risks.
“When you engage with counterfeit products, you are oftentimes affecting the sales and business of local producers because many of these counterfeit items are foreign items,” he pointed out.
He was addressing a recent webinar on IP enforcement hosted by JIPO in recognition of IP Week, from April 23 to May 2.
Dr Goffe said that JIPO “sees IP as an important part of the economy and we see our role as creating an environment for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) to thrive, through the protection of their intellectual property, so enforcement is very critical. However, effective enforcement comes when citizens are aware of the dangers counterfeit products pose to health, livelihood and economies”.
Representative from the European Union Intellectual Property Office, Laurent Szymkowiak, who also spoke during the webinar, noted that the top counterfeited items over the last four years include clothing, shoes, cosmetics, perfumes and cigarettes, noting that lately there has been an increase in counterfeit drugs.
“In recent times, counterfeit pharmaceuticals have become a problem for the European Union, affecting several member states. Since the pandemic, criminals have become crafty in their distribution of such products,” Szymkowiak reported.
He highlighted the importance of government bodies and citizens monitoring their markets for counterfeit pharmaceuticals and other products. He also shared that counterfeiting has resulted in mass job loss in European states.
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