November 10, 2009 09:00 ET

IBM, Oracle and Samsung Electronics America Join AGMA

Alliance Bolsters Member Roster; Discusses Gray Market Fraud, Counterfeiting and Service Abuse at Quarterly Conference

HOUSTON, TX--(Marketwire - November 10, 2009) - The Alliance for Gray Market and Counterfeit Abatement (AGMA), a non-profit organization dedicated to addressing the gray marketing and counterfeiting of branded goods around the globe, today announced that its base of member companies continues to grow as some of the biggest names in the high tech industry unite behind its cause. IBM, Oracle and Samsung Electronics America have joined AGMA.

AGMA provides a platform for sharing collaborative strategies, brand protection programs and effective processes which address the growing threats of counterfeiting, gray market fraud and service and warranty abuse in the IT sector. Ultimately, AGMA and its member companies, now including IBM, Oracle and Samsung Electronics America, strive to reduce the risks these threats present to consumers and the IT industry as a whole. The goal is to render these illegal activities more difficult, undesirable and unprofitable for the perpetrators.

"Samsung Electronics America is pleased to join with other leaders in the technology industry as a member of AGMA," said Jeff Sampson, supplies marketing manager for Samsung Electronics America ITD. "The goals and activities of AGMA are in alignment with our ongoing efforts to mitigate the negative economic and social effects of gray marketing, counterfeiting and service abuse on Samsung's unsuspecting customers. Samsung is dedicated to taking aggressive actions to protect our customers, our reseller channels and the value of the Samsung brand against these abuses."

AGMA conferences are an open forum to discuss trends, issues and approaches to gray market fraud, counterfeiting and service abuse in the technology sector. Members and guests receive invaluable insights to combat, deter and prevent the global impact of the gray market and counterfeiting on their intellectual property rights. AGMA's recent quarterly conference held October 21-22 and hosted by Juniper Networks in Sunnyvale, Calif. is one example:

--  Mitch Gaynor, senior vice president and general counsel for Juniper
    Networks, presented his perspective on gray market fraud and
    counterfeiting, noting several keys to combating these issues while
    maximizing revenue and maintaining a solid corporate reputation;
--  Cisco's Jeff Bonham, senior manager of service abuse investigations,
    provided members with a case study that detailed service abuse in action,
    as well as ways to identify and combat the problem;
--  Marla Briscoe, HP's brand protection, Americas manager and AGMA vice
    president, discussed the importance of having executives sign on to
    implement policies and procedures that can prevent and detect gray market

The conference also featured a collective discussion about the recent whitepaper issued by AGMA and PricewaterhouseCoopers LLC, titled "Service Blues: Effectively Managing the Multi-Billion Dollar Threat from Product Warranty and Support Abuse." This whitepaper is intended to help raise awareness of the issue of warranty and service abuse, as well as offer strategies, programs and effective processes to combat this growing problem. Click here to obtain a copy of this whitepaper from the AGMA website: Service Blues: Effectively Managing the Multi-Billion Dollar Threat from Product Warranty and Support Abuse.

According to AGMA president Ram Manchi, "We look forward to a positive, synergistic relationship with our new member companies, all of whom are leaders in their respective fields and have much to offer, including unique educational resources and best practices. Our mission to mitigate the counterfeiting of IT products and stem the unauthorized flow of goods into the gray market cannot succeed without our members."

There are many benefits to becoming a member. AGMA uses a variety of avenues to get its message out and cultivate change in the marketplace, including event speaking, educational initiatives, benchmark studies, whitepapers, industry guidelines, and, as appropriate, public policy advocacy in areas like law enforcement and customs.

To learn more about AGMA's initiative or to become a member, please visit

About AGMA

AGMA is a non-profit organization comprised of influential companies in the technology sector, including founding members Cisco Systems, Hewlett-Packard and Nortel. Incorporated in 2001, AGMA's mission is to address gray market fraud, parallel imports, counterfeiting, software piracy, and service abuse of technology products around the globe. The organization's goals are to protect intellectual property and authorized distribution channels, improve customer satisfaction and preserve brand integrity.

AGMA welcomes any technology manufacturer, as well as persons or entities that own or hold intellectual property rights to finished goods outside the technology industry; product and service providers, government and law enforcement who provide goods and/or services to combat gray market fraud, counterfeiting and warranty and service abuse threats. AGMA uses a variety of avenues to cultivate change in the marketplace, including event speaking, educational initiatives, benchmark studies, industry guidelines, and, where appropriate, public policy advocacy. To learn more about AGMA's initiatives or to become a member, please visit

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