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Raising awareness of threats posed by counterfeit electrical products

Eaton Corporation has announced its participation and sponsorship of the 2011 International Law Enforcement Intellectual Property (IP) Crime Conference. The fifth annual conference, co-hosted by INTERPOL, EUROPOL and the Cuerpo Nacional de Policía in partnership with Underwriters Laboratories (UL), is themed Transforming Regional Success into Global Action.

At the event, taking place in Madrid, Spain, until 22 September, Eaton will engage in discussions with industry leaders and government officials on the dangers of counterfeiting and the importance of collaboration among businesses, governments and law enforcement agencies.

Acting in co-operation with British Electrotechnical and Allied Manufacturers Association (BEAMA), Eaton and other manufacturers have been successful in conducting searches and seizures of counterfeit electrical products in China, the Middle East and Africa. These programmes have identified hundreds of thousands of breakers and electrical components that have been seized and destroyed.

Eaton has also collaborated with numerous trade associations, the certification industry and law enforcement to create a campaign aimed at consumers, contractors and distributors to raise their awareness of counterfeits.

Counterfeiting has been a growing problem worldwide for more than a decade and has increased exponentially. Worldwide, counterfeiting costs industries an estimated $600 billion each year. In July, the European Commission published statistics that show an upward trend in the continental rate of counterfeit seizures. In particular, Spain had a 184% increase in seizures between 2009 and 2010, and in the same time span, European customs registered approximately 80,000 cases, a figure that has doubled.

“We are facing a growing threat to the economy and to public safety. We must work together with law enforcement, industry, trade associations and regulatory agencies to combat the rise in counterfeit trafficking globally and in Europe and the Middle East,” said Craig McDonnell, Vice President, Marketing, EMEA, Electrical Sector. “Collaboration is the key and Eaton has a strong record of working with these organisations to develop innovative strategies for defeating intellectual property crime at the international level.”

The crime conference includes workshops designed to engage and challenge all delegates to work together to share and develop best practices designed to combat counterfeiting and piracy crimes.

At last year’s conference in Hong Kong, Eaton worked with Pfizer and other industry leaders to educate attendees about the health and safety threats posed by counterfeit products. Last June, Eaton joined Pfizer and the US Department of Homeland Security Investigations to convene a Newsmakers Panel at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. to raise awareness of the problem.

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