HP today said that World Intellectual Property (IP) Day, which takes place on April 26, is a reminder of the need to heighten business and government cooperation in Kenya to protect patents, copyrights and trademarks as well as intensify efforts to stop counterfeiters.
Kenya is among the countries where the manufacture and distribution of fake printing supplies and other illicit merchandise is widespread.
Over the last year, HP’s cooperation with officials in different African countries has eliminated nearly 150,000 illegal printing consumable items, including ready-for-sale laser and inkjet print cartridges, boxes and security labels.
Throughout 2012, in addition to greater enforcement activity, HP will continue to execute hundreds of in-depth audits of channel partner stocks in this region to ensure they’re “clean” of counterfeit printing supplies.
The issue of the widespread presence of counterfeit printing supplies and other IP infringements will be front and center in April as HP hosts World IP Day-related conferences in Lagos and Casablanca where various proponents and defenders of IP will argue for greater societal and legal pressure to protect IP owners in Africa.
“The celebration of World IP Day is about ensuring greater awareness and defense of intellectual property in all its forms, whether it’s to protect a musician’s lyrics, a scientist’s patents or, in the case of HP, proprietary printer cartridge technology,” said Tina Rose, Anti Counterfeit Program Manager for Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), Printing and Personal Systems Group (PPS). “This can make Kenya an even better place to do business while also protecting society from the criminal elements that appropriate the IP of others to defraud innocent consumers.”
HP is one of the biggest owners of intellectual property, with a portfolio of over 37,000 patents. Many of these are held by PPS which manufactures not just printers and scanners but the ink and toner to supply them.
Through its Anti-counterfeiting Program, HP actively educates its customers and partners to be vigilant against fake printing supplies. It also cooperates closely with local and global law enforcement to detect and dismantle illegal operations that produce counterfeit HP printing components.
Across Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) over the last four years, HP has conducted nearly 1,000 investigations, resulting in over 600 enforcement actions (raids and seizures by authorities) and nearly 8 million units of counterfeit products and components seized, thus preventing them from being sold in the EMEA marketplace and beyond.