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Business Action to Stop Counterfeiting and Piracy (BASCAP)

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Manish Jindal

December 26, 2023

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Business Action to Stop Counterfeiting and Piracy (BASCAP)

BASCAP (Business Action to Stop Counterfeiting and Piracy), initiated by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), represents a groundbreaking global initiative dedicated to combating the pervasive issues of counterfeiting and piracy.

As a comprehensive operational platform, BASCAP unites diverse business sectors across international borders, fostering a collaborative approach to tackle these challenges.

This article delves into the strategic efforts and impact of BASCAP, highlighting its role as a catalyst for business action against the illegal trade that undermines the integrity and prosperity of global markets.

What is BASCAP?

Business Action to Stop Counterfeiting and Piracy (BASCAP) is a powerful force in the fight against intellectual property (IP) crime.

Launched by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), BASCAP acts as a bridge, connecting businesses of all sectors across the globe in a united effort to combat counterfeiting and piracy.

BASCAP actively involves local, national, and international authorities to allocate resources effectively and achieve significant outcomes in combating these unlawful practices.

Established to strengthen the ability of companies to address issues related to the counterfeiting and piracy of their products or brands, BASCAP serves as a pivotal resource center.

It aggregates and disseminates crucial knowledge, data, and intelligence, crafts influential messages for policymakers, and coordinates enforcement strategies across different industries.

BASCAP’s core mission is to forge connections and drive collective action among businesses globally, consolidate resources and expertise, elevate the business community’s voice to influence government and public opinion, advocate for enhanced enforcement of intellectual property rights, and foster a cultural transformation that upholds and respects intellectual property.

Amplifying Business Voices and Protecting IP Rights

BASCAP’s mission is twofold: to support individual companies and organisations in their anti-counterfeiting and anti-piracy efforts, and to amplify the collective voice of the business community when engaging with national governments and intergovernmental organisations.

This global, united approach is crucial for several reasons:

  • Increased Efficiency: By working together, businesses can share information, best practices, and resources, leading to more efficient identification and resolution of IP rights issues.
  • Stronger Advocacy: BASCAP gives the business community a louder voice when advocating for stronger IP protection and enforcement measures from local, national, and international authorities.
  • Unified Action: Counterfeiting and piracy are complex, transnational problems that require a coordinated response. BASCAP provides a platform for businesses to work together and present a united front against these illegal activities.

A Partnership for Success

BASCAP’s success is built on a strong foundation of collaboration.

It is developed in partnership with CIB, a leading organisation with extensive experience in protecting brand owners from the damaging effects of counterfeiting.

CIB’s expertise and resources are invaluable in supporting BASCAP’s mission and ensuring its effectiveness.

Objectives of BASCAP

  1. Elevate awareness and comprehension among the public and political spheres about the activities of counterfeiting and piracy, along with their economic and social repercussions.
  2. Encourage governmental initiatives and direct resources towards enhanced enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR).
  3. Foster a shift in cultural attitudes to ensure intellectual property is both respected and safeguarded.

Members in BASCAP

BASCAP (Business Action to Stop Counterfeiting and Piracy) welcomes participation from businesses across various sizes and industries globally. Currently, over 150 companies and trade associations have lent their support to the BASCAP initiative.

Their involvement takes multiple forms, such as engaging in strategy meetings of BASCAP, offering specialised knowledge in project working groups, or being part of the Global Leadership Group.

Additionally, they contribute through public outreach efforts, funding sponsorships, and meeting organisation.

The consortium of BASCAP is composed of multinational companies that prioritise the safeguarding and enforcement of intellectual property rights.

These member companies play a pivotal role in shaping the agenda of BASCAP, directly influencing policy-making, and working alongside experts and government officials to bring about substantial enhancements in the enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR).

Reason for the Formation of BASCAP

The establishment of BASCAP (Business Action to Stop Counterfeiting and Piracy) came as a direct response to the intensifying problems of counterfeiting and piracy, which have spiraled beyond control in recent times.

These illegal activities have inflicted a severe toll on the global economy and businesses, leading to a significant loss of legitimate jobs and a marked decrease in tax revenues.

The impact on the creative sector is particularly profound, with innovators and creators losing their rightful earnings and incentives for future investments being undermined.

Additionally, the surge in counterfeit products poses increasing safety risks to consumers, often linked to substandard and hazardous items.

There’s also growing evidence of a nexus between these criminal activities and organised crime networks.

In response to these mounting challenges, the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) launched BASCAP.

This initiative aims to bring together businesses from various sectors across the globe, transcending national boundaries, to effectively combat counterfeiting and piracy.

BASCAP’s global strategy is tailored to strengthen the endeavors of individual companies and organisations, while also enhancing their ability to communicate and influence policies with national governments and international bodies.

ICC BASCAP’s Landmark Report on Intellectual Property Challenges in Vietnam

The International Chamber of Commerce Business Action to Stop Counterfeiting and Piracy (BASCAP) initiative has released its first report on Promoting and Protecting Intellectual Property in Vietnam.

This report marks a significant step in understanding and addressing the challenges of counterfeiting and piracy within the country.

Launched in Hanoi with the support of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce, the report provides a comprehensive analysis of the current state of intellectual property rights enforcement in Vietnam.

It aims to raise awareness and offer strategic recommendations to combat the growing issues of counterfeiting and piracy, which are increasingly affecting various sectors of the Vietnamese economy.

The publication of this report by ICC BASCAP underscores the importance of international collaboration and the need for concerted efforts to protect intellectual property rights, not only in Vietnam but globally.

It serves as a crucial resource for policymakers, businesses, and stakeholders involved in the fight against counterfeiting and pirated goods.

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Why Do Counterfiting and Piracy Prevails?

Counterfeiting and piracy continue to thrive due to a combination of factors, each adding to the complexity and persistence of these illegal activities.

  1. High Profit, Low Risk: These activities are often viewed as lucrative ventures with minimal risks, especially when compared to other criminal activities. The penalties in many jurisdictions are less severe, making them attractive to criminals.
  2. Technological Advancements: Modern technology has simplified the production of high-quality counterfeit goods and the distribution of pirated content. The internet enables counterfeiters and pirates to access global markets without physical storefronts.
  3. Consumer Demand: There’s a significant demand for cheaper alternatives to legitimate products, particularly in luxury goods, electronics, and entertainment. Some consumers, either unaware of the implications or seeking lower prices, contribute to the market for these illicit products.
  4. Globalization and Supply Chain Complexity: The international nature of supply chains allows counterfeit goods, including defective products and electronic products, to infiltrate the market. The complexity of these chains provides opportunities for the introduction of counterfeit items.
  5. Weak Legal Frameworks and Enforcement: Intellectual property laws are often inadequately enforced or weak, particularly in foreign markets, facilitating the spread of counterfeit and pirated goods.
  6. Lack of Consumer Awareness: Many consumers don’t fully grasp the risks associated with counterfeit and pirated goods, such as health hazards and economic impacts.
  7. Economic Incentives for Counterfeiters: In economically challenged regions, counterfeiting offers a way to earn income, especially where legal opportunities are scarce.
  8. Connection to Organised Crime: Counterfeiting and piracy are frequently linked to organised crime networks, using profits to fund other illegal activities.
  9. Online Marketplaces and Social Media: The emergence of online services, marketplaces, and social media has opened new channels for counterfeiters and pirates to sell and distribute their products, including online counterfeiting.
  10. Consumer Attitudes: Some view these as victimless crimes, not understanding their impact on businesses, economies, and health and safety.

Addressing these challenges requires a comprehensive approach, including stronger legal frameworks, international cooperation, consumer education, and the use of modern technology to track and authenticate products, especially in online businesses and electronic product markets.

Conclusion

In conclusion, BASCAP stands as a pivotal organisation for business owners, uniting them in the fight against counterfeiting.

It plays a crucial role in addressing the proliferation of fake products and the diversion of products through illicit channels.

By highlighting the damaging practices of counterfeiting, especially in the realm of digital products, BASCAP empowers businesses to combat the widespread harm from counterfeiting.

This collective effort not only strengthens IP protection but also safeguards the integrity of global commerce, making BASCAP an indispensable ally in the business world.

FAQs

What are counterfeiting and piracy?

Counterfeiting and piracy involve the unauthorised production and distribution of goods, services, or content, infringing on intellectual property rights. Counterfeiting typically refers to the imitation of physical goods, while piracy often relates to the unauthorised copying and distribution of digital content, such as software, music, and movies.

How does counterfeiting affect the economy?

Counterfeiting negatively impacts the economy by reducing legitimate sales, harming brand reputation, and causing loss of revenue for original manufacturers and governments. It also leads to job losses and decreased investment in research and development. The presence of counterfeit goods undermines consumer trust and can harm overall market stability.

How can we protect against piracy and counterfeiting?

Protection against piracy and counterfeiting involves a combination of legal, technological, and educational measures. This includes enforcing stronger intellectual property laws, using anti-counterfeiting technologies (like holograms or blockchain tracking), and raising public awareness about the risks and legal implications of purchasing counterfeit goods.

What industries are affected by counterfeiting?

Counterfeiting affects a wide range of industries, including fashion, pharmaceuticals, electronics, automotive parts, luxury goods, and entertainment. Virtually no sector is immune, as counterfeiters often target any product that can be replicated and sold for a profit.

What is the impact of counterfeiting?

The impact of counterfeiting is vast, encompassing economic, social, and health dimensions. Economically, it leads to revenue losses for businesses and governments and can deter foreign investment. Socially, it is linked to organised crime and can erode public trust. Health-wise, counterfeit products, especially in pharmaceuticals and food, can pose serious risks to consumer safety.

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