Toronto – April1, 2005 – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – “Counterfeit products can kill,” is the warning from safety and law-enforcement experts at a one-day anti-counterfeiting conference in Toronto. The Caveat Emptor conference is presented by CSA International, a leading provider of product testing and certification services, and Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME).
“Counterfeit products place public safety at risk. They compromise brand integrity and consumer confidence. Canadians need to recognize the dangers that these products may present as well as the need for tough anti-counterfeiting measures in Canada,” says RJ Falconi, vice-president, general counsel and corporate secretary, CSA Group. “Counterfeiters don’t limit themselves to watches, CDs and fashion accessories. They produce items that may present a real danger to people’s lives, such as faulty circuit breakers, computer power supply units, safety footwear, holiday lights and even gas ranges. Canadians need to get the message that faulty counterfeit items can kill.”
At the Toronto conference, specialists from CSA and CME were joined by top experts from the RCMP federal Enforcement Branch, Baker & McKenzie LLP, and the International AntiCounterfeiting Coalition as they addressed current counterfeiting issues facing Canadians. The experts discussed ways to collaborate and expand the efforts undertaken by regulators, law enforcement, customs officials and manufacturers to protect legitimate products and trademarks from illegal counterfeiting in Canada.
The experts also discussed Canada’s growing reputation as a haven for counterfeiters. Canada has been placed on the United States Trade Representative’s special watch-list for counterfeiting. Counterfeiting has been linked to organized crime, money laundering and terrorism.
“We are addressing a very alarming piracy issue in Canada in hopes of eliminating the rampancy of unsafe counterfeit goods here and elsewhere in the world,” said Christopher Aide, Baker & McKenzie’s Global Coordinator for CSA. “Baker & McKenzie, with its CSA alliance, understands the importance of protecting a company’s innovation and creativity, and providing consumers with products that are safe and reliable.”
In March 2005, the RCMP announced it had seized thousands of electrical items bearing forged certification markings including power bars and household extension cords. When tested, the counterfeit extension cords melted and caught fire within minutes. The power bars had undersized wiring, no surge suppression, reverse polarity wiring, and were not made of fire resistant material, presenting a possible fatal shock and/or fire hazard.
CSA International works closely with regulators, government, law enforcement and stakeholders to identify and stop the proliferation of counterfeit products bearing false CSA certification marks. CSA International’s anti-counterfeiting initiatives include training programs to assist retailers in understanding product approval marks and detecting counterfeit marks, publication of a White Paper on Counterfeiting, enhanced marketplace surveillance of various commercial outlets, and working closely on investigations with regulatory and legal authorities.
Another key element to CSA’s global anti-counterfeiting program has been to forge alliances with stakeholders, including industry groups, governments and law firms such as Baker & McKenzie so that all may benefit from each representative’s expertise and experience.
About CSA International
CSA International is a provider of product testing and certification services for electrical, mechanical, plumbing, gas and a variety of other products. Recognized in the U.S., Canada and around the world, CSA’s marks appear on billions of products worldwide. CSA International is a division of CSA Group, which also includes CSA, a developer of standards and codes, and QMI, a leading North American management systems registrar. CSA International can be found online at www.csa-international.org
About Baker & McKenzie
Since 1949, Baker & McKenzie has provided sophisticated advice and legal services to many of the world’s most dynamic and successful organizations. It has a network of more than 3,100 locally qualified, internationally experienced lawyers in 69 offices in 38 countries. Baker & McKenzie has the knowledge, experience and resources to deliver the broad scope of quality legal services clients require to respond to both international and local needs. Baker & Mckenzie’s is a diverse culture with a global mindset with citizens of over 60 countries, admitted to practice in nearly 250 jurisdictions, and speaking more than 70 languages. Baker & McKenzie can be found at www.bakernet.com.
Baker & McKenzie’s Global Intellectual Property group is a leading source of legal advice on cross-border IP issues with 367 IP practitioners worldwide.