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Intellectual Property

INTA Targets Teens In Anti-Counterfeiting Campaign

By Ashlee Froese of Gilbert's LLP

With the International Chamber of Commerce's recent report stating that the counterfeit goods industry may reach $1.75 trillion (US) by 2012, INTA has decided to step up its game.  (For those of you not in the know, the International Trademarks Association is a global non-profit organization comprised of trade-mark and branding professionals.)

INTA will launch a program at its AGM in May 2012 aimed at making youth aware of the ramifications of counterfeit goods.  In the initial stages, INTA is focusing on 14 to 18 year olds in the US with plans to expand the program internationally. 

In the lead up to launching the program, INTA hired a marketing agency to conduct some research into teens' perception of counterfeit goods.  The results provided some interesting insights into the purchasing behaviour of teens:

  • Teens respond well to philanthropic activities and social issues;
  • Not surprisingly, the analysis confirmed that teens communicate through social media platforms, which also act as a source of influence and information;
  • The vast majority of counterfeit goods purchased by teens were in the fashion and electronics industries; 
  • Those that purchased counterfeit goods were aware that they were not legitimate goods; 
  • However, there was a lack of understanding of the true implications of purchasing counterfeit goods; 
  • Morality with respect to purchasing counterfeit goods was not a big concern; 
  • Interestingly, teens trust their peers.  Celebrity-endorsements or celebrity-centric educational programs did not resonate with teens as well; 
  • Gender played a role in teens' aversion to counterfeit goods.  Whereas, female teens tended to have stronger responses to the social effects of counterfeit goods, male teens took issue with how counterfeit goods affected them directly.

INTA intends on launching a two-tiered approach.  The first stage aims at educating teens on the immediate consequences of purchasing counterfeit goods (i.e. poor quality products, job loss etc.).  The second stage takes a wider look at the ramifications (i.e. child labour, significant health and safety concerns, etc.).

As always, INTA is looking for volunteers to assist with the spreading the anti-counterfeiting word.  

View more from Canada Fashion Law and @BrandFashionLaw

(C) Ashlee Froese, 2011. All rights reserved.

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