Intellectual Property Protection/Anti-Counterfeiting

The trade in fake and pirated goods is a transnational crime, run by extensive and complex criminal enterprises. Criminal groups manufacture and sell a wide range of illicit goods and medicines, endangering the public worldwide with substandard and often dangerous products. The impact is felt across the whole of society and nations. Counterfeiting harms businesses which produce and sell legitimate products; and governments lose tax revenue from products manufactured or sold on the black market.

COVID-19 has brought a stronger public awareness of illicit markets with criminals exploiting every stage of the pandemic. From creating websites and social media accounts claiming to sell protective equipment and medical supplies, to the manufacture and distribution of fake vaccines.

Intellectual property protection is a critical concern for companies operating in the global marketplace. GTAC can assist in protecting against theft, counterfeiting, diversion and misappropriation of trade secrets, trademarks and patents. We have decades of experience in investigating IP loss, theft, and patent infringements, and have investigated large black and gray market IP compromises in industries such as electronics and healthcare.

We have a strong international focus developed from years of hands-on work in Europe, MENA and Asia, and in mid-2020 we entered a new market: the Americas. Throughout these regions we are supported by a reliable network of local investigative specialists. Brand owners with anti-counterfeiting programs use us as their eyes and ears in the marketplace, as their liaison with local (trustworthy) attorneys, and, if needed, as their liaison with local law enforcement.

Please contact us if you require our most recent issue of our Capability Statement.

Our services include:

  • Investigation services
  • Litigation support
  • Compliance audits
  • Employee integrity
  • Supplier and vendor integrity investigations
  • Test purchasing / Market Studies (to counter parallel imports, and trade in counterfeit and pirated goods) in countries with semi-authoritarian or authoritarian regimes

Key members of our team:

  • James G. Warwick, Of Counsel / former Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Maryland / Bio
  • Carl Pike, Senior Consultant Intelligence & Operations / former Assistant Special Agent in Charge (ASAC) with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) / Bio
  • Pjotr, Senior Intelligence Analyst / Bio
  • Dana Adams, CPP, CISSP, Chief Security Officer / Bio

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The global chip shortage

The global chip shortage is creating the perfect environment for counterfeit semiconductor to enter the market. Analysts believe that the global chip shortage is creating the perfect environment for counterfeit semiconductors to enter the market, and are looking at the growing global chip shortage with a degree of anxiety. Demand is surpassing supply and it is only a question of time before the market is flooded with semiconductors that just about pass for authentic, but in reality, are illegal products that could pose huge safety risks. Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, in effect, electronic device makers have come under the pressure of unprecedented demand from consumers.  In May 2021, with demand looking unlikely to calm down, analyst firm Gartner estimated that the semiconductor shortage will last well into 2022, and U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo warned that the global shortage of critical semiconductors was likely to last at least through 2023 and perhaps longer. In September 2022, Volkswagen said the chip shortage would last past 2023, while preparing for a ‘new normal’ in supply-chain crisis.
In December 2021, Gartner provided lessons from 2021 on how to navigate supply constraints . “Do you foresee more constraints in the future, or is the worst behind us?” is a question that is perplexing economists all over the world. That said, a Gartner Senior Director Analyst has a hard time seeing a path toward “normalcy” anytime soon unless we see an unexpected drop in demand. At the end of the day, increased capacity takes time to build. For many industries that’s measured in years, not months. And it assumes that capacity is being built at all, which isn’t universally true. Supply chains are complex. It takes hundreds, if not thousands, of parts coming together at the right time. It takes sufficient capacity in transportation to get them where they need to be. And it takes labor to make them into something that the customer wants. It only takes one thing going wrong in any one of those areas to create a problem. With the tightness in seemingly everything, it’s hard to imagine that we won’t be in this environment for a while.

A large number of sectors are relying on semiconductors for their products. For businesses looking to purchase semiconductors, therefore, a heavy dose of auditing, cross-checking and investigating will be required to avoid buying into the most tempting offers.

Deadly, fake prescription pills

DEA’s Take Back Day program is more important than ever before. Last month, DEA issued a Public Safety Alert and launched the One Pill Can Kill public awareness campaign to warn Americans of a surge in deadly, fake prescription pills driven by drug traffickers seeking to exploit the U.S. opioid epidemic and prescription pill misuse. Criminal drug networks are shipping chemicals from China to Mexico where they are converted to dangerous substances like fentanyl and methamphetamine and then pressed into pills. The end result—deadly, fake prescription pills—are what these criminal drug networks make and market to prey on Americans for profit. These fake, deadly pills are widely available and deadlier than ever. Fake pills are designed to appear nearly identical to legitimate prescriptions such as Oxycontin®, Percocet®, Vicodin®, Adderall®, Xanax® and other medicines. Criminal drug networks are selling these pills through social media, e-commerce, the dark web and existing distribution networks.
Criminal Drug Networks are flooding the U.S. with deadly fentanyl. The DEA seized enough fentanyl in 2021 to provide a lethal dose to every American.

We have a strong international focus developed from years of hands-on work in Europe, MENA and Asia, and in mid-2020 we entered a new market: the Americas. Throughout these regions we are supported by a reliable network of local investigative specialists. Brand owners with anti-counterfeiting programs use us as their eyes and ears in the marketplace, as their liaison with local (trustworthy) attorneys, and, if needed, as their liaison with local law enforcement.

Please contact us if you require our most recent issue of our Capability Statement.

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Some resources:

USTR: Notorious Markets List Review (2022)
The new report from the U.S. Trade Representative found that Chinese e-commerce platforms, including WeChat and Taobao, continue to play a role in global counterfeiting that has cost the country billions of dollars annually.

OECD: Trends in Trade in Counterfeit and Pirated Goods (2019)
STOPFakes.Gov: Consumer Guide to Counterfeits and Pirated Goods
DHS: 
Combating Trafficking in Counterfeit and Pirated Goods (2020)