SOURCE: AGMA

AGMA

March 15, 2011 10:00 ET

Technology Industry Experts Join Forces at AGMA Annual Member Conference

Brand Protection Issues, Anti-Counterfeiting and Best Practices for Working With Third Party Business Partners Addressed

LOS GATOS, CA--(Marketwire - March 15, 2011) - The Alliance for Gray Market and Counterfeit Abatement (AGMA), a non-profit organization dedicated to addressing gray market, counterfeiting and warranty and service abuse of branded goods around the globe, recently held their quarterly industry forum on gray market fraud, counterfeit issues, intellectual property rights and warranty and service abuse. Hosted by Deloitte at the company's Silicon Valley office in San Jose, AGMA's annual member conference addressed key brand protection issues including anti-counterfeiting and effectively working with third party business partners.

Counterfeiting is a pervasive problem in the IT sector. AGMA and KPMG estimate that approximately $100 billion of global IT industry revenue is lost to counterfeiters annually, and as many as one in 10 IT products sold may actually be counterfeit. As they are not authorized by the original manufacturers, online auction sites can be a hotbed for counterfeit activity. Front and center in the fight against counterfeiting, eBay takes a proactive approach to the problem. In a presentation titled, 'Protecting our Customers: How eBay and Rights Owners can Work Together'; eBay's director of global intellectual property, Veronica Abreu, gave AGMA members a view into proactive anti-counterfeiting efforts that eBay has taken, informing them on ways in which eBay and brand owners are working together to protect joint customers from illegal content.

Continuing the central theme of brand protection, Joe Zier, partner and host from AGMA member company Deloitte, gave a presentation focused on third party business partners. In his presentation, Zier presented the challenges that need to be overcome when working with third parties. In addition, he detailed a variety of proactive best practices that companies can employ when dealing with these business partners.

One of AGMA's immeasurable membership benefits is the members' exposure to successful best practices shared by other members. For example, Phyllis Massey, Manager, Brand Protection for HP, shared their End User Verification program with AGMA members. Massey took members through HP's process, including what prompted the creation of the HP End User Verification program, the need for new corporate policies to support the program, and the importance of management support for the program, starting at top corporate levels. She concluded by discussing a company's need for continued program analysis and modification, as needed.

According to AGMA president, Ram Manchi, "Brand protection issues can be challenging and complex, and AGMA member companies know that one of the keys to tackling these issues is the sharing of information. There is strength in numbers, and AGMA's quarterly meetings go a long way in fostering and encouraging collaboration amongst brand owners looking to protect their assets and avoid damage to their reputations."

AGMA's next quarterly meeting will be held on April 13-14 at Dolby in San Francisco, Calif. To learn more about AGMA's initiative or to become a member, please visit www.agmaglobal.org.

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 www.agmaglobal.org.

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