SOURCE: Underwriters Laboratories

January 18, 2007 12:22 ET

UL Expands Anti-Counterfeiting Program With Addition of Two Key Personnel

Former Officers From U.S. Customs and Royal Canadian Mounted Police to Spearhead Enhanced Investigative and Criminal Enforcement Efforts

NORTHBROOK, IL -- (MARKET WIRE) -- January 18, 2007 -- Underwriters Laboratories Inc. (UL), the world's leader in product safety testing and certification, announced today the expansion of two key areas of the company's Anti-Counterfeiting Program.

"With these latest additions to our team, UL is demonstrating its intent to aggressively combat the counterfeiting of UL certification marks by launching a new Criminal Enforcement Program," said Brian Monks, Vice President of Anti-Counterfeiting Operations. "We are pleased to welcome to UL two top North American law enforcement professionals who have operated at the forefront of the pursuit and prosecution of counterfeiters."

The Criminal Enforcement Program will focus more of UL's anti-counterfeiting resources on criminal prosecution of offenders who deal in counterfeit UL marks. Warren MacInnis, a 21-year veteran of law enforcement with ten years of intellectual property crime investigation experience, will lead the program. MacInnis was formerly with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) intellectual property crime program.

MacInnis' prior experience includes working with other government agencies and the private sector, helping the RCMP conduct many investigations involving counterfeit goods in Canada. During the most recent three-year reporting period, the RCMP brought more than 2,200 charges against individuals and 100 charges against companies, and confiscated pirated and counterfeit products worth tens of millions of dollars. UL works frequently with the RCMP on joint investigations.

"We're also pleased to announce the expansion of UL's Customs Enforcement Program with the addition of Lou Verona, a 35-year veteran of U.S. Customs and Border Protection," said Monks. "In this new role, he will work with multiple federal agencies supporting the identification and prevention of counterfeit UL-marked products from entering the U.S. market and coordinate efforts with international customs officials to keep counterfeits from entering non-U.S. markets."

The Department of Homeland Security announced that in fiscal 2006 their U.S. Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) units made more than 14,000 seizures of counterfeit goods worth in excess of $155 million, a 67 percent increase versus 2005. ICE investigations resulted in 219 arrests, 134 indictments and 170 convictions in intellectual property rights violations, representing a 71 percent rise in the conviction rate over the prior year.

For more than a decade, UL has taken a zero-tolerance stance against counterfeiting through a comprehensive program that involves working with law enforcement and customs agencies around the world. UL applies the full range of civil and criminal penalties to protect the integrity of its UL Marks, which appear on about 20 billion legitimate products entering the stream of commerce each year.

The mission of UL's Anti-Counterfeiting Program is three-fold: first and foremost, to protect the safety of global consumers from the hazards of counterfeit electrical products; second, to preserve the integrity of UL's family of Marks; and third, to enhance product market value for reputable manufacturers that have invested their resources in meeting UL's safety standards.

To learn more about UL's Anti-Counterfeiting Program, visit www.UL.com/ace.

About Counterfeits

Counterfeit electrical products impact many well-known industrial and consumer brands. These counterfeits can pose significant safety hazards and, left undetected, can cause deaths, injuries and substantial property loss in the home and workplace. Examples include control relays for industrial equipment, lamps, circuit breakers, electrical receptacles, ground fault circuit interrupters, conduit fittings, power strips and surge suppressors, and extension and power cords.

Counterfeiters typically use inferior materials and avoid key manufacturing steps to reduce the cost of their products, allowing them to be sold at prices no genuine brand manufacturer can match. Because counterfeit electrical products fail to pass minimum safety tests, they can overheat or cause short circuits that lead to fire, shock or explosion.

Underwriters Laboratories Inc. (UL) is an independent, not-for-profit product safety certification organization that has been testing products and writing Standards for Safety for more than 110 years. UL tests more than 19,000 types of products annually, and more than 20 billion UL Marks appear on products each year. Worldwide, UL's family of companies and its network of service providers include 66 laboratories, and testing and certification facilities.

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