Brand agents help customs officials fight back against fake goods

Workshops held to share intelligence on the latest methods used to spot rip-off merchants

Brand agents have been working with Dubai Customs officials to pass on the latest techniques to spot fake goods.
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Top brands like Lacoste and Fossil have been working alongside Dubai Customs officials to step up their war against fake goods on sale in markets across the emirate.

Workshops hosted by the Intellectual Property Rights Department of Dubai Customs have been attended by 24 enforcement officers committed to eradicating fake goods form the city

It is the third similar project this year to help share intelligence and pass on information of best practice when spotting fake goods.

Agents from five leading brands, including Lacoste fashion, Fossil watches, Philip Morris cigarettes, Borg Warner automotive technologies and Hindustan Pencils.

“Dubai Customs is keen to join efforts with our partners and trademark owners in the business sector by organizing this kind of educational workshops,” said Yousef Ozair, director of IPR Department.

“It is important to update concerned staff and professionals and provide them expert knowledge on the newest, ever-changing techniques counterfeiters and pirates often resort to and ways for clamping down on the illicit trade.”

IPR presented a working paper by Mahbooba Baqer, head of Awareness and Education Section, who highlighted the concept of intellectual property and the procedures put in place by Dubai Customs to handle cases of trademark infringements.

Participants also learned about the techniques used by specialists to identify fake products from good ones.

Law firms’ representatives presented common methods employed by intellectual property infringers to produce fake copies of genuine brands, and answered the audience’s questions on latest global trends in counterfeiting.

In 2016, millions of fake mobile phones, cigarettes, cosmetics and other items valued at Dh1.6 billion were seized in raids by consumer protection officers.

The Department of Economic Development said mobiles topped the list of confiscated goods and 14.6 million handsets – worth about Dh429 million – were seized.

Accessories came second, with 11.4 million pieces worth more than Dh130m, followed by 6.2 million pieces of cosmetics with a value estimated at Dh105m.