St. Maarten needs robust anti-counterfeiting strategy, Richardson says pre-conference

St. Maarten needs robust anti-counterfeiting  strategy, Richardson says pre-conference

Simpson Bay Resort

PELICAN--Nike, Puma, LVMH, Chanel and Moet & Hennessy have confirmed their attendance at the upcoming second annual Anti-Counterfeit and Intellectual Property Protection Conference, scheduled to take place at the Simpson Bay Resort on October 19 and 20. The conference is hosted by Minister of Justice Anna Richardson.

The annual event brings 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 making and selling counterfeits, fraudulent imitations of a trusted brand and product. By using someone else’s trademark without their permission, laws on intellectual property are violated.

The conference will welcome UNIFAB, a French anti-counterfeit organisation founded in 1872, which is dedicated to globally promoting protection of intellectual property and fighting against counterfeiting. Minister Richardson was introduced to UNIFAB and key luxury brand representatives during a visit to Europe in December 2022. “Our discussions sparked their interest in St. Maarten and their desire to establish stores on the island,” said Richardson, who aims to revitalise the retail market of St. Maarten.

The minister partnered with DISOSA, the Caribbean Brand Protection Service provider (DISOSA-BPS), to ensure access to genuine products and safe consumption. “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 said. “While the criminal acts of counterfeiting and intellectual property infringement can harm our economic stability, it is important to address these issues by raising awareness among the public.”

Like the previous year, the conference will feature local and international attorneys. Notable attendees will include representatives from the Anti-Counterfeit Agency of Kenya, Customs officials from Aruba, Curaçao and the Netherlands, as well as local entities such as the St. Maarten Chamber of Commerce and the Bureau of Intellectual Property, that will participate as panellists.

Building on the success of the first conference, Minister Richardson, in collaboration with industry experts worldwide, aims to construct a robust anti-counterfeiting strategy for St. Maarten. The conference’s objective is to redirect St. Maarten away from being labelled as a territory for illicit trade and to restore its status as an attractive jurisdiction for brands to establish their businesses.

The conference will educate stakeholders, consumers, businesses, Parliament and government on the benefits of purchasing genuine products, emphasising the crucial role they play in brand and community protection.

For more information and to register for the second annual Anti-Counterfeit and Intellectual Property Conference, please send an e-mail to

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