INTA Applauds Launch of Newly Formed Congressional Trademark Caucus - Effort Will Include Focus on American Consumer Safety

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The International Trademark Association (INTA) commends Congressional leaders on the formation and launch of the bipartisan, bicameral Congressional Trademark Caucus, the first-ever Congressional Caucus in U.S. history dedicated solely to trademark issues.

The International Trademark Association (INTA) commends Congressional leaders on the formation and launch of the bipartisan, bicameral Congressional Trademark Caucus, the first-ever Congressional Caucus in U.S. history dedicated solely to trademark issues.

A congressional caucus is a group of members of the United States Congress that meets to pursue common legislative objectives. Formally, caucuses are formed as congressional member organizations (CMOs) through the United States House of Representatives. Co-chaired by Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Senator Chris Coons (D-DE), Congressman Howard Coble (R-NC) and Congresswoman Suzan DelBene (D-WA), the Congressional Trademark Caucus was created to educate Members of Congress and the general public about the important role trademarks (logos and brands and legitimately registered Internet domain names) play in assisting consumers with safely navigating various purchasing environments.

Trademarks enable consumers to make quick, confident and safe purchasing decisions. Trademarks also encourage innovation and vibrant competition that benefit both consumers and brand owners. And trademarks generate economic activity that benefits job holders, brand owners and society at large. A 2012 study by the U.S. Department of Commerce demonstrated that trademark-intensive industries were responsible for 22.6 million U.S. jobs in 2010. The Congressional Trademark Caucus will provide opportunities for Members of Congress to work strategically with brand owners (large and small), consumer groups, journalists, state governments and governing bodies around the world to strengthen collaborative efforts to promote the strong value of trademarks. “INTA member companies are extremely encouraged and invigorated by the formation and launch of the Congressional Trademark Caucus,” says INTA President Mei-lan Stark.

One issue the Congressional Trademark Caucus will focus on is the fight against counterfeit products in the marketplace. “Trademark counterfeiting is a serious issue facing consumers, industry and governments. From medicines and food to cosmetics, apparel, and automotive parts, consumers and their families face mounting challenges to their ability to purchase branded products that they know and trust,” says Mei-lan Stark “INTA is committed to working with the Congressional Trademark Caucus to protect brand owners and consumers from the harms of trademark counterfeiting theft globally.”

“It is an honor to join my fellow Senate and House Congressional Trademark Caucus co-chairs in providing leadership in Congress on important trademark issues,” said Rep. DelBene. “Trademarks play an important role in protecting consumers from counterfeit and otherwise unsafe products in the marketplace. As a member of the House Judiciary Committee and the Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet, I am eager to work with my colleagues, in partnership with consumer safety groups and trademark owners, to increase public awareness and help consumers learn more about how to safeguard themselves and their families against dangerous counterfeit products.”

It is estimated that trademark counterfeiting accounts for as much as $250 billion loss to the U.S. economy each year, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “The cost to consumers globally is even greater in terms of the threats trademark counterfeit products pose to the health and safety of consumers and families” continues Mei-lan Stark. As explained in Brands – Reputation and Image in the Global Marketplace, a report recently published by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), trademarks are designed to allow consumers to shop with confidence. When consumers choose to buy merchandise with the logos of their preferred products, they rely on those logos to be certain they are buying quality products. Consumers also expect that when they buy merchandise branded with the logos they know and trust are being treated fairly and that their personal information is being kept confidential.

Trademark counterfeiting also undermines the economic advantages trademarks bring to job holders and society. Recent studies suggest that more than two million legitimate jobs are destroyed by trademark theft and counterfeiting each year across the globe. It is estimated that the value of counterfeit goods could grow to $1.77 trillion by 2015. “INTA looks forward to working with the Congressional Trademark Caucus to reverse this trend,” concludes Mei-lan Stark.

About INTA
The International Trademark Association (INTA) is a global association of trademark owners and professionals dedicated to supporting trademarks and related intellectual property in order to protect consumers and to promote fair and effective commerce. Members include more than 6,400 trademark owners, professionals and academics from more than 190 countries, who benefit from the Association’s global trademark resources, policy development, education and training, and international network. Founded in 1878, INTA is headquartered in New York City, with offices in Brussels, Shanghai and Washington, D.C., and representatives in Geneva and Mumbai. To learn more about INTA, please visit http://www.inta.org.

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