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Apparel & footwear sector welcome PROTECT IP Act

16
May '11
The American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA) welcomed the introduction of the Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act of 2011 (PROTECT IP Act) by lead sponsors Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), and seven co-sponsors. The PROTECT IP Act specifically targets rogue Web sites that serve as an e-commerce distribution strategy for counterfeit and fake goods all around the world.

“Footwear, apparel, and fashion accessories are some of the most counterfeited goods in the world,” said AAFA President and CEO Kevin M. Burke. “As U.S. consumers continue to embrace e-commerce as a key shopping method, rogue Web sites have emerged as a popular way for counterfeiters to get fake goods into the United States.”

“I applaud Senator Leahy for his diligence in addressing a variety of issues that impact each industry plagued with counterfeiting,” said Burke. “The U.S. apparel and footwear industry is committed to combating these fake Web sites by providing law enforcement and right's holders with the strongest enforcement mechanisms possible. This bill sets us in the right direction to providing us with a full arsenal of tools that will be helpful in fighting these rouge Web sites.

We look forward to working with Senator Leahy and his Senate colleagues, along with their House counterparts, to ensure that the final legislation is as strong as possible to bring about meaningful intellectual property protections for the U.S. apparel and footwear industry.”

Each day, American workers who work hard to protect American namesake apparel and
footwear brands are threatened because these fake sites trick consumers into thinking they are getting a 'great deal.' These rogue Web sites, which look and feel like legitimate Web sites, threaten the reputations of U.S. brands and plague the market with harmful and fake goods.

Timed to coincide with introduction, AAFA, the International Anti-Counterfeiting Coalition, and the Outdoor Industry Association sent a letter to the U.S. House of Representatives detailing several ways to further strengthen the PROTECT IP Act. Some of these considerations include adding provisions to allow a company to pursue a private right of action against the holder of a rogue Web site, to require “expeditious” action by Internet service providers, and to ensure that Internet search engines that contract with counterfeiters are held accountable.

American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA)


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