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News

Brand protection enforcement subject of AGMA forum

AGMA (Alliance For Gray Market And Counterfeit Abatement) : 13 November, 2008  (Technical Article)
October forum of the Alliance for Gray Market and Counterfeit Abatement focused on best practices, law enforcement and brand protection in the Chinese market
The Alliance for Gray Market and Counterfeit Abatement (AGMA), a non-profit organisation dedicated to addressing the gray marketing and counterfeiting of technology products around the globe, held their quarterly industry forum on gray market fraud and counterfeit issues on October 15 and 16. The October quarterly meeting, hosted by QLogic Corporation in Aliso Viejo, California, provided members with insight into the art of enforcement in China, templates for successful best practices and tips on partnering with law enforcement.

Additionally, AGMA announced that it has appointed Joanne Cooke as the organization's new executive director. Cooke is responsible for AGMA's strategic development and global membership growth, as well as driving the worldwide membership events, including AGMA's EMEA and APAC regional councils, and managing the day-to-day activities and operations of AGMA. Prior to joining AGMA, Cooke was employed by Water Standard Management (US), Inc. and Allis-Chalmers Energy Inc. where she was corporate secretary and assistant corporate secretary, respectively. Cooke has experience in investor relations, marketing, risk management, intellectual property and contracts.

AGMA is committed to providing members with education and a forum for sharing best practices. In keeping with this commitment, a presentation from law firm Baker McKenzie focused on current approaches for conducting business in China. Knowledge of the Chinese legal landscape, thorough preparation and 'outside of the box' thinking were all cited as key factors in successfully prosecuting or defending brand protection cases in China.

Roger Klein, vice president and general manger of QLogic, suggested that AGMA members develop a multifaceted plan to address gray market and counterfeit product issues. Klein warned that there are no "silver bullet" remedies that will cure all of the issues at once. Identifying prevention techniques, implementing discouragement tactics, vigorously pursuing offenders, and taking punitive action when appropriate were all mentioned by Klein as key elements of a successful multifaceted plan.

"AGMA's primary focus is on sharing and developing best practices to effectively render gray market and counterfeit activities more difficult, undesirable and unprofitable throughout the entire industry," noted Ram Manchi, AGMA president. "AGMA's quarterly meetings are key for sharing strategic ideas to help in the development of these best practices, as we work together to mitigate these activities."

AGMA members often work closely with government agencies and a presentation from the Federal Bureau of Investigations provided identifiers for achieving successful prosecutions when working with the agency. By identifying the loss, determining its value, defining a chain of custody and realizing the value of partnering with the FBI and other agencies, companies have a greater chance of achieving their desired outcomes through prosecution. In addition, Bob Kruger, AGMA's government affairs consultant, was on hand with representatives from the Bureau of Industry & Services to discuss counterfeiting. Topics covered included the pervasiveness of counterfeit electronics in the government supply chain; the types of counterfeit products that are uncovered; the process of counterfeit detection; the origins of counterfeit goods; the efficacy of testing for counterfeits and recommended best practices to prevent the infiltration of counterfeit goods into the supply chain.

AGMA's quarterly meetings provide an opportunity for members to share best practices, case studies and expertise in the prevention of global product diversion and counterfeiting of branded merchandise. AGMA's next quarterly meeting will be hosted by Cisco on January 21 and 22 in San Jose, California.
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