Honorable Minister of Justice to Host 2nd Annual Anti-Counterfeit and Intellectual Property Conference in Sint Maarten

October 2, 2023 12:29 am

Philipsburg - The Honorable Minister of Justice, Anna E. Richardson, is proud to announce the upcoming 2nd Annual Anti-Counterfeit and Intellectual Property Protection Conference, scheduled to take place at the Simpson Bay resort on October 19th and 20th, 2023. This prestigious event will bring together major luxury brands, brand protection federations, attorneys, law enforcement agencies, and key industry players from around the world to address the pressing issue of Anti-counterfeiting and intellectual property.

Brands such as LVMH, Chanel, Nike, Puma, Moet & Hennessy, and many more have already confirmed their attendance, demonstrating their commitment to combating counterfeiting. Additionally, the conference will welcome UNIFAB, a French Anti counterfeit organization founded in 1872, which is dedicated to globally promoting protection of intellectual property and fighting against counterfeiting. Minister Richardson's introduction to UNIFAB and key luxury brand representatives during a visit to Europe in December 2022 sparked their interest in Sint Maarten and their desire to establish stores on the island.

Minister Richardson, in partnership with DISOSA, the Caribbean Brand Protection Service provider (DISOSA-BPS), is focused on revitalizing the retail market of Sint Maarten. Her efforts align with Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 3, 9, 11, and 16, emphasizing good health, public well-being, industry and innovation, sustainable cities and communities, peace, justice, and strong institutions. Her vision for Sint Maarten is one that prioritizes the safety and well-being of residents and visitors, ensuring access to genuine products and safe consumption.

Like the previous year, the conference will feature local and international attorneys, including representation from India, who are keenly interested in trade within the Caribbean region. Notable attendees will include representatives from the Anti-Counterfeit Agency of Kenya, Customs officials from Aruba, Curacao and the Netherlands, as well as local entities such as the Sint Maarten Chamber of Commerce and the Bureau of Intellectual Property, who will participate as panelists.

Building on the success of the first conference, this year's Anti-Counterfeit and Intellectual Property Protection Conference promises to be a significant event, attracting stakeholders from various sectors and industries. Counterfeiting poses not only a grave threat to brand owners, affecting their profits and reputation but even more of importance creates consumer safety issues. Minister Richardson recognizes the importance of addressing these issues by raising awareness among the public. In addition, making clear that the criminal acts of counterfeiting and intellectual property infringement, both can harm our economic stability.

Minister Richardson, in collaboration with industry experts worldwide, aims to construct a robust anti- counterfeiting strategy for Sint Maarten. The conference's objective is to redirect Sint Maarten away from being labeled as a territory for illicit trade and to restore its status as an attractive jurisdiction for brands to establish their businesses.

The primary goals of the conference include:

  1. Overview of Industries Affected in Sint Maarten & the region by Counterfeiting: Examining the impact of counterfeiting on various sectors, including electronics, luxury goods, liquor, cosmetics, food, toys, auto parts, and pharmaceuticals.
  2. Geographical Spread of Counterfeit Products: Analyzing the global reach of counterfeit goods and their impact.
  3. Protection Against Counterfeiting: Discussing effective strategies and initiatives to combat counterfeiting.
  4. Policy Initiatives: Exploring policy measures to strengthen intellectual property protection.

Minister Richardson, in collaboration with Customs Sint Maarten and DISOSA, seeks to shift demand away from counterfeit products towards safe & authentic ones. The conference will educate stakeholders, consumers, businesses, the Parliament, and the Government on the benefits of purchasing genuine products, emphasizing the crucial role they play in brand and community protection.

For more information and to register for the 2nd Annual Anti-Counterfeit and Intellectual Property Conference, please send an email to events@justice.gov.sx