SOURCE: AGMA

AGMA

April 07, 2015 10:00 ET

Technology Leaders Unite to Protect Intellectual Property Rights

Gray Market, Counterfeit, Service and Warranty Fraud and Digital IP Abuse Among Threats Addressed by Non-Profit Organization

LOS GATOS, CA--(Marketwired - Apr 7, 2015) - From servers and hard drives to semiconductors and software, Intellectual Property (IP) is a key asset for many high tech companies. Protecting the invention, innovation, research, design and testing involved in creating IP is critical to high tech companies of all sizes, and IP must be closely guarded to protect technological advancements. Threats to IP are many and varied, and come in many different forms -- including gray marketing, counterfeiting, service and warranty fraud and digital IP abuse.

AGMA, a non-profit organization and the largest group solely focused on IP protection in the high-tech industry, is on a mission to hinder threats to IP and render these activities more difficult, undesirable and unprofitable. AGMA's goal is to educate the industry and the public -- sharing and developing best practices in the fight against IP theft. Comprised of the tech sector's most influential companies -- including Avaya®, Cisco®, APC® by Schneider Electric, HP®, IBM®, Microsoft®, QLogic®, Seagate® and more -- AGMA employs a number of tactics, including event speaking, educational initiatives, benchmark studies, industry guidelines, and public policy advocacy.

Advocating for Change
IP theft comes in many shapes and sizes. AGMA has narrowed its focus on the following threats: gray market, counterfeiting, service and warranty fraud and digital IP abuse. These four distinct areas of focus must be closely guarded in order for the high-tech industry to thrive and contribute to economic prosperity, innovation and security. To provide a greater level of support to its members, AGMA has recently appointed industry experts to act as advocates for each of its four focus areas.

AGMA appointed advocates include individuals from prominent member companies including HP, Schneider Electric and Microsoft. A primary responsibility for AGMA Advocates is to drive internal and external initiatives that will bring greater visibility to the issue and arm members with best practices to address the problem. Leveraging their extensive knowledge, AGMA Advocates will also provide a greater level of education to the industry, law enforcement, policy makers and consumers.

According to AGMA president Sally Nguyen, "AGMA has been fighting the good fight against these threats to intellectual property rights since 2001, and we are still the only association that is focused on these issues facing the high-tech industry. Our AGMA Advocates dig deep into their specific areas of focus -- they provide additional resources and knowledge to penetrate the industry and raise awareness. The goal is for members to get the most out their AGMA membership and make them more adept at fighting the problem."

The Issues at a Glance
Gray marketing is the sale of genuine branded products that have been diverted from authorized distribution channels or that have been imported into another country without the consent and knowledge of the brand owner. Counterfeiting is the deliberate attempt to deceive consumers by copying and marketing goods that bear a rights holder's trademark, so that these goods appear to have been placed on the market by the rights holder. Both gray marketing and counterfeiting impact more than just the bottom line -- they can negatively influence brand image, customer loyalty and overall customer satisfaction.

Service and warranty fraud contributes to the gray market, and acts as a conduit for counterfeit goods to infiltrate the authorized supply chain. Finally, due to their intangible nature, digital products can be reproduced at a very low cost and delivered via the Internet across virtually unlimited geographic markets. Therefore, it's easy to see why digital IP represents the most rapidly growing portion of the global economy.

Why AGMA?
Membership in AGMA provides access to important programs, strategies and tools for combating gray marketing and counterfeiting of branded products, service and warranty fraud and protection of IP in a digital format. AGMA members gain an insider's perspective into stopping the erosion of brand quality; stopping the loss of profit margins to brokers; educating customers and maintaining customer satisfaction; gaining access to important benchmarking tools, best processes, knowledge exchange and proprietary research.

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 officials 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 or follow them on Twitter.

Contact Information

  • Media Contact:
    Dena Jacobson
    Lages & Associates
    (949) 453-8080
    dena@lages.com