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Analysis

Protecting intellectual property rights

Challenges, opportunities, and solutions

One of the most damaging types of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) infringements is the creation and distribution of counterfeit goods around the world. If not identified and interdicted at national borders, counterfeit goods have the potential to impact international markets and wreak havoc on a global scale. We discuss how four pillars of protecting IPR can help improve border security and supply chain integrity: Data and analytics, supply chain integrity, coordination and integration, and transparency and awareness.

IPR ecosystem

Counterfeiters seeking to sell illicit goods purposefully structure their operations and practices to elude detection and enforcement. The internet and rise of e-commerce have created a more fluid and anonymous medium for selling pirated or counterfeit goods, making the legal enforcement of IPR an even more challenging task. To reduce the sale of counterfeits and effectively enforce IPR, stakeholders across government, the private sector, and the public can work together to secure supply chains, develop strong government regulations, and advance enforcement techniques.

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Data and analytics

Both public and private entities can benefit from using analytics techniques to detect and deter IPR violations. From looking backward to evaluate and identify trends, to projecting forward using scenario planning and predictive modeling, analytics can help stakeholders across the IPR ecosystem turn information into actionable insights. Enterprise Knowledge Graph (EKG), or graph technology, is becoming increasingly powerful at identifying trends, detecting suspicious activity, and deterring bad actors.

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Supply chain integrity

Supply chains are continuously exposed to a multitude of IPR risks emanating from within and outside of their value chains, as illustrated in the below figure. Three strategic imperatives can help accomplish supply chain integrity: Identifying and validating trading partners, creating end-to-end supply chain visibility, and tracking integrity and identifying risks. Supply chain integrity is important from end to end, newer supply chain security solutions, such as blockchain technologies, can assist government and commercial clients in monitoring their business partners and entities of interest for indications of risk and securely storing supply chain information.

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Supply chain risk framework

Coordination and integration

Coordination and integration best practices can provide governments with the information they need to enable a smart flow of goods across borders—promoting legitimate trade and travel while deterring illicit activity. The efforts of any single actor are not enough to ensure complete enforcement of IPR. These efforts need to be managed by the entire ecosystem of stakeholders—including governments, the private sector, and general public. A number of different opportunities exist for this type of coordination, including public-private partnerships, trading partner integrations, and the emerging concept of SMART borders, a border security and management paradigm that can create safer, more standard and cost effective-border crossings.

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Coordination and integration

Transparency and awareness

Transparency and awareness between governments and stakeholder groups can provide much-needed information-sharing on IPR. In addition to transparency in regulations, public-private and private-private information-sharing can create more efficient threat detection, help identify patterns of behavior of bad actors, and ultimately help to protect the consumer.

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