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The International Hologram Manufacturers Association (IHMA) has stated that the European Commission’s “Report on the Protection and Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) in third countries” reinforces the need to step up IP protection measures.
According to the report, illicit trade in fakes remains a serious risk to modern, open, and globalized economies in third countries. Almost 70 million counterfeit items were seized by EU authorities in 2022, while counterfeit and pirated goods account for an estimated 3% of world trade and up to $130 billion (or 5.8%) of EU imports, according to current figures.
China remains the top priority for efforts and resources to be devoted towards improving IPR (Intellectual Property Rights) protection and enforcement worldwide. India, Turkey, Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, and Thailand also are priority countries.
This opens the door further to fresh investment by national governments and law enforcement agencies in anti-counterfeiting and authentication devices, such as holograms, which the IHMA says are among the most active technologies in IP rights’ protection.
IMHA Chair Dr. Paul Dunn, says, “The most obvious owners of intellectual property rights are brand owners, who own the brand names. These appear on many of the traded goods familiar to consumers around the world—the better known the name, the more valuable the brand and, hence, the IP associated with that brand.
“However, the EC report once again warns that brands and their associated IP stock remain at risk from resourceful counterfeiters and criminals. Owners need to invest to protect their brands, reputation, and profits—and holograms are one of the most effective ways to do that.
“The ever-evolving anti-counterfeiting role of holograms lies in their ability to combine authentication with detection, and this is why the more enlightened brand owners in developing markets should consider them an integral part of their authentication plans.”
This paves the way for holography growth. “The use of authentication solutions—as advocated by the ISO 12931 standard—enables examiners to verify the authenticity of a legitimate product, differentiating it from fake products emanating from counterfeiting hot spots,” Dunn adds. “Even those that carry a ‘fake’ authentication feature can be distinguished from the genuine item if that item carries a carefully thought-out authentication solution.”