Keith Williams
President & CEO
Underwriters Laboratories (UL)

Welcome to the inaugural edition of The Brand Protection Professional. UL is a very proud partner and supporter of this unique journal that will provide valuable information to help protect our brands. The Journal will help increase awareness, provide relevant and timely information and support a community of rights holders who work to protect society from the risks of counterfeit products.

Intellectual property theft is a serious international crime that has reached epidemic proportions. This illicit activity robs billions from the global economy, endangers the health and safety of consumers, and nourishes the growth of organized criminal organizations. In order to stay ahead of these globalized and adaptive criminals, and succeed in protecting the consumer and our brands, we must remain vigilant and continuously seek out new and innovative solutions to meet the ever shifting threats.  I truly believe the Brand Protection Professional is one such solution that will lead to greater coordination and partnerships between rights holders around the world.

For over 120 years, UL has been a leader in advancing safety while enabling goods to flow in an increasingly borderless world.  UL will continue to do our part by working with our many international partners and dedicate our thought leadership and resources where required to support global efforts to defeat this transnational crime.

UL thanks Michigan State University’s Center for Anti-Counterfeiting and Product Protection for collaborating with us on this very worthwhile initiative.

UL is a global independent safety science company with more than a century of expertise innovating safety solutions from the public adoption of electricity to new breakthroughs in sustainability, renewable energy and nanotechnology. Dedicated to promoting safe living and working environments, UL helps safeguard people, products and places in important ways, facilitating trade and providing peace of mind.

Jeremy Wilson
Executive Editor
The Brand Protection Professional

A-CAPP Director

School of Criminal Justice
Michigan State University

Dear Colleagues:

In 2008, a small group of industry representatives reached out to Michigan State University. They spoke about the global problem of brand protection and product counterfeiting. They noted that brand owners had little strategic guidance in their efforts to combat product counterfeiting, resulting in responses that were largely uncoordinated. Frustrated by so few answers to their many questions about how best to address this crime, they challenged us to serve as a leader and academic resource for industry and law enforcement. They felt the University, drawing upon its vast intellectual resources, could uniquely integrate the sciences to create knowledge and share lessons about these global risks, further enhancing its land-grant mission. We agreed. We saw an incredible opportunity to rally our talents to provide value and decision-support resources to those in the field protecting brands on a day-to-day basis. A few short months later, we launched a program that quickly grew into the Center for Anti-Counterfeiting and Product Protection (A-CAPP). The Center now serves as a global hub for the development and dissemination of evidence-based anti-counterfeiting and brand protection strategies, while also offering a host of educational programs.

So how did our effort grow so quickly from a simple idea to a formal, interdisciplinary Center? By capitalizing on our unique academic strengths and staying true to the original reason we began our efforts. As an educational and scientific institution, we’ve relied on our independence and evidence-based approach to provide brand owners unbiased and relevant resources to answer their critical questions, sometimes to those they didn’t even know they had. We learn about the issues keeping brand protection professionals up at night through long-term, substantive partnerships we create with them. Through these partnerships we also share many of the lessons we learn, one of which is that we will never seize, arrest, or litigate our way out of these problems. Effective strategies require coordination and collaboration among industry, law enforcement, academia, and other stakeholders.

This new journal, The Brand Protection Professional, represents a huge leap forward for the field of brand and product protection, and contributes directly to our Center’s brand-owner-focused mission. It offers information, lessons, and opportunities regarding the issues with which brand protection practitioners struggle every day. It also exemplifies the kinds of innovative and valuable resources that can be created when industry and academia (and, indeed, law enforcement and others) work together toward a common goal. We’re proud to collaborate with Underwriters Laboratories, an impressive leader with a long and rich history of protecting people and products, to produce and bring you this Journal. Together, along with our seasoned editorial board comprising both practitioners and academics, we will ensure the quality and relevance of its substance. 

I hope that you will find the Journal a useful resource, and one that you regularly consult. To facilitate these goals, I also hope that you will share with us your assessment of and ideas for the Journal.  Only with your input can we be sure we’re addressing your needs and interests.

Please enjoy this inaugural issue.

The A-CAPP Center is an independent, interdisciplinary evidence-based global hub for product anti-counterfeiting and brand protection, across all industries and in all markets. The Center aims to inform decision-making at all levels through long-term, substantive partnerships.