Panama Canal, Nov 17 (EFE).– Experts attending a three-day International Trademark Association meeting that kicked off here Tuesday will discuss ways to combat the transit of counterfeit goods through the Panama Canal.
The Leadership Meeting is “an opportunity to raise awareness about the challenges of combating counterfeiting and to advocate for measures to halt the transshipment and transit of counterfeit goods” through the inter-oceanic waterway, INTA said in an official statement.
Nearly 1,000 trademark owners and intellectual property professionals will take part in the meeting, which will run through Friday.
“The number of containers passing through the canal will increase from 6 million per year to 21 million” annually once a third set of locks begin operating next year, “increasing the likelihood of counterfeited merchandise passing through Panama,” INTA said.
That expansion will enable the inter-oceanic waterway to accommodate so-called post-Panamax ships, which hold up to 12,000 20-foot-long containers and are three times bigger than what the canal can currently handle.
Nevertheless, the association also hailed the strong intellectual property protection regime in place in the Central American country.
The Panamanian presidential chief of staff, Alvaro Aleman; Panama Canal Authority chief Jorge Luis Quijano; and Supreme Court Chief Justice Jose Ayu Prado are among the high-level officials attending the gathering.
INTA is made up of more than 6,700 organizations from 190 countries whose goal is to support “trademarks and related intellectual property in order to protect consumers and to promote fair and effective commerce,” according to the Web site of the not-for-profit association, which was founded in 1878 in New York.