UFI Takes Steps to Combat Industrial Espionage at Trade Shows

JERRY KALLMAN, CONTRIBUTING WRITER
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Beijing, China – The exhibition industries in China and the West were drawn closer together at the annual meeting of the UFI, the Union des Foires Internationale  in Beijing  last November with the signing of an agreement on the protection of intellectual property rights.

The new campaign aims to ensure that exhibitions don’t become centers of industrial espionage and piracy. It  focuses on  educating show management that the protection of intellectual property is as important to the exhibition industry’s reputation as it is to the competitiveness of its exhibitors.

“The use of trade fairs to sell products that can infringe on trademarks, copyrights and patents is considered to be a serious problem in a number of countries around the world,” the UFI said in a communiqué issued at the Beijing conference. “UFI believes that the exhibitions industry itself should play an active part in combating this kind of abuse.”

The agreement, signed by the UFI and the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, expands on the UFI’s general statements about intellectual property protection contained in its Code of Ethics. It vows to increase awareness of the need for such protections and train the industry in best practices for curbing problems.