Global Fair Alliance: Actively Fighting Product Piracy

At fensterbau/frontale 2008, the International Trade Fair Window, Door and Facade in the Exhibition Centre Nuremberg from 2-5 April 2008, four international exhibition organizers signed an agreement on global cooperation. Besides the coordination of exhibition dates and marketing activities, the goals of the Global Fair Alliance include the common fight against counterfeits. Exhibitions as reflections of the market cannot escape the problem of counterfeits, on the contrary. But they also offer a good opportunity to fight product pirates.

At the fensterbau/frontale 2008 exhibition in Nuremberg, it was possible with legal support to close the stand of an exhibitor who had exhibited copies of hardware produced by a large international manufacturer based in Germany. The list of violations was extensive: at least two patent infringements, unlawful use of brands and almost complete copies of catalogue pages including the publication of SAP numbers.

Companies engaging in such practices now risk far-reaching consequences under the new Global Fair Alliance of leading exhibitions in the window industry: Even if a legal violation is only determined at one of the four events – Fenestration China, fensterbau/frontale, GlassBuild America and Istanbul Window – the company and its products can also be banned from exhibiting at the remaining three, according to local legislation. "The members of the Global Fair Alliance take this issue very seriously and support all legal steps against product pirates at their respective exhibitions, " says Willy Viethen, Exhibition Director of fensterbau/frontale and GFA General Secretary. "This is one of the key points we will cooperate on in the future for the benefit of our exhibitors."

The worldwide damage caused by product piracy and counterfeits is estimated by the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Paris) at some 150 billion euros per year. But this estimate only includes transnational trade – the actual total value is probably distinctly higher. As published by the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology in its monthly report 03/2008, the German customs authority confiscated counterfeits worth some 1.2 billion euros in 2006 – 400 per cent more than the year before.

The members of the Global Fair Alliance are:

Fenestration China
International Exhibition on Windows, Doors, Skylights and Curtain Walls
– Technology, Components and Prefabricated Units
Venue: alternates between Beijing and Shanghai
Organizers: China Construction Metal Structure Association (CCMSA)/ CIEC Exhibition Company Ltd., Beijing/China

International Trade Fair Window, Door and Facade
– Technologies, Components, Prefabricated Units
Venue: Nuremberg, Germany
Organizer: NürnbergMesse GmbH, Nuremberg/Germany

GlassBuild America
The Glass Window & Door Expo
Venue: alternates between Las Vegas and Atlanta
Organizer: National Glass Association, McLean/U.S.A.

Istanbul Window
Window, Glass Technology, Accessory, Related Industry and Auxiliary Products Fair
Venue: Istanbul, Turkey
Organizer: TÜYAP Fairs and Exhibitions Organization Inc., Istanbul/Turkey

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