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Anti-counterfeiting technologies workshop: protecting intellectual property and economic development, 9 September 2015

Venice -

The United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI), the World Bank, the Italian Ministry of Economic Development and Assonime are organizing a workshop on anti-counterfeiting technologies.

The workshop, that will be held at the EXPO Venice 2015 on 9 September 2015 from 14:30 to 18:30, will focus on the positive impact of anti-counterfeiting technologies on the protection of Intellectual Property Rigths (IPRs), economic development and the fight against organized crime.

Perceived as a victimless crime, counterfeiting presents a very favourable ratio between potential profits and assumed risks compared to other criminal activities such as drug trafficking. Transnational criminal groups are increasingly involved in counterfeiting. This illicit business, grown to unprecedented proportions, is usually linked to several other criminal activities such as frauds, customs and excise contraventions, tax evasion, money laundering, and several forms of illicit trade and trafficking.

Counterfeiting affects every product category, from consumer goods to medicines and spare parts, posing severe challenges for the protection of public health and safety, tax and customs income, jobs losses and intellectual property rights.

Statistics published on July 2014 by the European Commission show that almost 87,000 shipments were detained by EU Customs in 2013 over charges of counterfeiting. Almost 36 million articles were concerned, while the value of the equivalent genuine products was estimated at 768 million Euros.

Given counterfeiting high level of profitability, organized crime is increasingly developing sophisticated methods to produce counterfeit goods. A high level of specialization is therefore needed to counter the phenomenon. In this respect anti-counterfeiting technologies are crucial in the fight against a phenomenon which is undermining development and security. The availability of these technologies and the exchange of information are fundamental to ensure all countries and relevant stakeholders are in the position to properly tackle counterfeiting.

During the workshop in Venice, high level speakers from the public and private sector will present different perspectives on the use of anti-counterfeiting technologies and will discuss the positive effects that these technologies produce by decreasing IPRs infringements, increasing taxes and revenues’ collection and protecting legitimate trade.

With a view to encourage the exchange of views among participants on these topics, a roundtable discussion will be held at the end of the workshop.

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