III ed. POLICY DIALOGUE on reinforcing the protection of IPRs against online counterfeiting: challenges and practices in the digital age


NL 10.2023

We have reached the third edition of Policy Dialogue, the event organized together with the International Trademark Association (INTA) to take stock of new trends in online trade and the fight against illegal trade on the web.

This year’s edition was part of the 8th Anti-Counterfeiting Week, the initiative promoted by the General Directorate for the Protection of Industrial Property – Italian Patent and Trademark Office of the Ministry of the Interior and Made in Italy.

As in previous editions, we heard three different sessions on the new challenges between IP, law enforcement and online brand protection, each with a different point of view: enforcement and institutions, platforms and online players and brand owners. In fact, the event lasted the whole day in which the various stakeholders were able to provide their input and testimonies on the topics of their competence.

Following the introductory greetings by INDICAM DG Juna Shehu and Valentina Salmoiraghi, INTA Anti-counterfeiting Senior Advisor, a video message by Deputy Minister Valentino Valentini opened the day by focusing on the new opportunities and parallel challenges found in online trade today, given the digitalisation and the hybrid reality we are experiencing, which give ample room for a type of counterfeiting with a transnational character.

The first panel on the public sector perspective and enforcement saw the guest speaker Francesco Melaragni of the Milan Guardia di Finanza’s PEF Nucleus who illustrated some important phenomena related to the counterfeiting market and the criminal and administrative protection of trademarks, reiterating how the mission is to prevent the marketing and importation of illicit products. This was followed by the speech of lawyer Silvia Elia, Legal Counsel & Public Affairs of the Netcomm Consortium, who shared with the audience a framework on e-commerce, the growing competitiveness that characterizes this type of commerce, and the recent changes that affect both sales methods and users’ consumption practices. Interesting points of the speech were also the directives regulating online trade, such as the new Omnibus Directive.

Lawyer Florian Richter, Senior Associate at Hogan Lovells law firm, delved into the topic of the Digital Services Act by highlighting some key points of the European digital services regulation, focusing on the changes that brands and IP rights owners face.

The second session focused on the point of view of online players and platforms. The panel discussion moderated by lawyer Gianluca De Cristofaro, Equity Partner at LCA law firm, saw online e-commerce players participate in providing their views on the counterfeiting phenomenon and what can and is being done to combat it. In particular, we hosted the representation of Alibaba, Amazon, Meta, Tencent, Vinted in the persons of Claudio Bergonzi, Riccardo Facchin, Flavio Arzarello, Tim Stok and May Berthelot respectively.

The perspective of brand owners was instead shared during the third session moderated by lawyer Davide Bresner, Partner of Bresner Cammareri Intellectual Property and INTA ACC Global Project Team Leader. The panel featured the testimonies and viewpoints of brands involved and affected by the phenomenon of online counterfeiting: we therefore had the pleasure of listening to Bulgari with Laurence Morel-Chevillet, EssilorLuxottica with Chiara Oliviero, Servier with Meriem Bourahla-Loudiyi and Pandora with Margherita Gastaldi. Finally, the participation in the panel of Corsearch, sponsor of the event, provided an in-depth look at the topic of online brand protection.

The event was finally concluded by the speech of lawyer Elio De Tullio, Founder and Managing Partner of De Tullio & Partners and Chair of GI Committee INTA, who reiterated how cooperation and sharing between the various private and public actors (enforcement, platforms and online players, brand owners) and all stakeholders involved within the supply chain is the key to achieving the common goal of combating the illicit market by joining forces and ensuring the achievement of the desired results.

Hoping that it was also a useful moment of discussion and sharing for all the participants present and who followed us, it only remains for us to thank everyone again and invite you not to miss the next edition!

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