The 9th Regional IP Crime Conference for the Middle East and North Africa provided an opportunity for the law enforcement community and private sector to discuss the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on transnational organized intellectual property (IP) crime and ways to innovate in response.
Cross-sector coordination to protect public health
With economies increasingly hit by the effects of Covid-19, criminals have adapted their counterfeiting and piracy activities to take advantage of the unprecedented demand for medical devices, personal protective equipment and other health and safety related items.
Experts attending the virtual conference (16 and 17 November) promoted the importance of continued innovation, technology and foresight in tackling emerging trends, along with the crucial need for cross-sector cooperation.
In particular, law enforcement agencies, health authorities and regulators must be ready to implement a coordinated response once a Covid-19 vaccine becomes available. Organized crime groups will stop at nothing to make a profit, and any illicit trade in counterfeit vaccines would be harmful to public health globally.
Recognizing the value of training
Held entirely online, the conference mixed plenary and panel sessions as well as four virtual training workshops.
Online training is invaluable for building investigative and enforcement capabilities across borders, cultures and time zones, and for helping law enforcement partners adapt to the new ways of working imposed by the pandemic.
The International IP Crime Investigators College (IIPCIC), an online training platform delivered in partnership by INTERPOL and UL (Underwriters Laboratories Inc.), has been working with police training institutions across the globe, including the Middle East and North Africa region, to ensure that online training has a real operational impact on the ground.
The event was co-hosted and organized by the Dubai Police and Emirates Intellectual Property Association, supported by the United Arab Emirates Ministry of Justice, Dubai Customs, and the Brand Owners’ Protection Group.