The Anti-Counterfeiting Collaboration of Nigeria (ACC) & INTA Anti-counterfeiting Committee (MEASA) organized a Policy Roundtable on "Fostering Investment by Ensuring Protection of IP Rights and Making the IPCOM Bill a Reality" on 5th December 2013. The event was sponsored by several brand owners; Microsoft, Unilever, Guinness Nigeria, Vlisco, Pfizer, and GlaxoSmithKline. Other sponsors include the SON (Standard Organization of Nigeria) as well as IP practitioners such as Aluko & Oyebode; AELEX; Banwo & Ighodalo; Jackson, Etti & Edu and O. Kayode & Co. At the Roundtable, regulators and brand owners discussed the challenges encountered in the fight against counterfeit and the effect counterfeit has on the Nigerian economy. There were also suggestions on means of overcoming these challenges. Some of our regulators and brand owners had this to say:
"The major reason illicit trade exists is the economic opportunity it offers for the smuggler and illicit vendor to make money and also for the consumer to save money. There is an economic benefit to be obtained. The economic benefit is perceived to outweigh the risks." - Sola Dosunmu, Head of Regulatory Affairs, British American Tobacco (West Africa).
"Do Rights Holders know they can partner with Customs? BAT signed an MOU with NCS in 2001 to Stamp out smuggling and local distribution of illicit Tobacco products. In 2001, 87% of cigarette locally consumed was smuggled. By 2009 trend brought down to 20% and even less currently". DC Aliyu Galadima Saidu, Nigeria Customs Service.
"Purpose of Anti-counterfeiting Solutions are to enable authentication of an item by Government, industry investigator or the wider public; to act as a deterrent to counterfeiters by making it more difficult and costly to copy". Bunmi Femi-Oyekan, Regulatory Affairs Director (Pfizer).
"One of the most important functions of the Nigerian Copyright Commission is to fight piracy on all fronts. The Commission aims at protecting creativity and has zero tolerance to piracy". Obi Ezeilo, Nigerian Copyright Commission.
IP practitioners also provided a critique on the IPCOM bill and as a result of this session, a committee was set up and given the mandate to work on the IPCOM bill accordingly. This committee shall meet regularly towards achieving this goal.
NAFDAC Destroys Fake Products worth N525 Million in Ogun State
The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) carried out a destruction exercise between 3rd and 6th of December, 2013 at the NAFDAC destruction site in Shagamu, Ogun State. NAFDAC destroyed fake products it confiscated from counterfeiters. These fake products worth N525,000,000 (Five Hundred and Twenty Five Million Naira) include counterfeit food products, drugs, cosmetics, household items and other regulated products.
Reckitt Benckiser Nigeria Ltd in conjunction with the NAFDAC hold Summit in University of Ibadan1
Reckitt Benckiser Nigeria Ltd in conjunction with the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) held a three (3) day summit at the University of Ibadan. This summit was aimed at developing more strategies on hygiene and healthcare products' regulation.
NAFDAC was charged to increase the speed of product registration and it was agreed that regulatory agencies, the academia and manufacturers must collaborate to promote better hygiene and health. This is no doubt one of the ways brand owners and regulators can partner.
NCC Impounds N3.5 Million Suspected Pirated Optical Disc Works in Calabar
Officials of the Nigerian Copyright Commission, NCC, Uyo Liaison Office have impounded Suspected Pirated Optical Disc Works worth over Three Million Naira in a raid carried out in Calabar, Cross River State on November 22, 2013.
The operation was carried out based on intelligence and surveillance report targeted at checking the activities of suspected pirates involved in illegal duplication, distribution and sales of pirated optical disc works2.
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