February 09, 2010 09:00 ET

AGMA Gathers Technology Leaders, Law Enforcement Agencies to Examine Brand Protection Best Practices

Industry Association Holds Annual Member Meeting; Reinforces Importance of Gray Marketing and Counterfeiting as Global Issues

HOUSTON, TX--(Marketwire - February 9, 2010) - The Alliance for Gray Market and Counterfeit Abatement (AGMA), a non-profit organization dedicated to addressing the gray marketing (also unauthorized resale and parallel imports of branded goods), counterfeiting and warranty and service abuse of branded goods around the globe, kicked off the new year by holding their annual member meeting on January 20 and 21. The conference, hosted by Hewlett-Packard in Palo Alto, California, provided members with insights into many issues related to these topics, including best practices to mitigate gray market fraud and how to engage and partner with law enforcement agencies.

Additionally, AGMA announced the re-election of Cisco's Ram Manchi as AGMA's president for another three year term, while EMC's Tim Holland and Juniper Networks' Lorne Morris have been newly elected to the alliance's executive team. As new board members, Holland and Morris will add to AGMA's current leadership with their respective areas of expertise. Holland and Morris will also direct the organization's educational initiatives, benchmark studies, formulation of non-binding industry guidelines, and, as appropriate, public policy advocacy.

According to Morris, "I am extremely pleased to join with the AGMA Board of Directors to advance our goal of mitigating gray market fraud, counterfeiting of technology products and service abuse around the globe. I will work diligently to build upon AGMA's relationships with governmental policy makers, as well as federal and local law enforcement agencies to combat crimes which erode brand integrity and cost manufacturers, partners and customers billions of dollars annually. It is a pleasure to join forces with the leading technology firms in the world, led by a group of dedicated and highly professional executives, to implement industry best practices and influence the development of policies aimed towards the stricter enforcement of our laws."

AGMA provides a platform for sharing collaborative strategies in the technology sector. AGMA facilitates a forum for information sharing on a variety of topics including brand protection programs and effective processes to address the growing threats of counterfeiting, gray market fraud and service and warranty abuse. Manufacturers seek to limit gray marketing of their product, to protect both their brand and their legitimate partner ecosystem -- as well as end users. According to Manchi, "Perpetrators of counterfeiting, gray market fraud, service abuse, and IP theft never rest. We at AGMA know this, and our quarterly conferences are great forums for sharing knowledge and best practices to help make committing these illegal activities more difficult, undesirable and unprofitable for the perpetrators."

At AGMA's quarterly conferences, members and guests receive invaluable insights to combat, deter and prevent the global impact on their intellectual property rights. At the January quarterly conference, the following topics were among those addressed:

 --    AGMA vice president, Marla Briscoe, delivered survey results and
       detailed statistics on industry practices related to dealing with
       documentation requirements for special pricing on behalf of the
       end consumer;
 --    Cisco's senior corporate counsel, Bill Friedman, along with
       Sideman & Bancroft's Jeff Hallam and Rick Nelson, gave a
       presentation outlining best practices for managing a
       multijurisdictional criminal initiative;
 --    Brandon Gregg, investigations manager for Seagate Technology,
       provided insights into conducting brand protection investigations
       with little to no budgetary resources.

Representatives from several high-profile law enforcement agencies were also on hand at the conference, including members of the FBI, Department of Homeland Security -- Customs and Border Protection and the R.E.A.C.T. Task Force.

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. 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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