2014 has been a good year for AFTA™ members.  AFTA™ has successfully helped to ensure that the Kirtsaeng decision is not overturned and that international efforts to harmonize intellectual property regulations do not serve as barriers to global trade in genuine goods.  2015 promises new challenges and AFTA™’s Board of Directors remains committed to protecting and advocating on behalf of the unique interests and needs of its membership.

While the Kirtsaeng decision currently protects AFTA™ members’ ability to freely dispose of genuine, copyrighted goods regardless of place of first sale or manufacture, the copyright reform priorities of the 113th Congress promise to begin all over again in the 114th Congress with a renewed zeal.  Rights holders are increasing efforts to control electronic downstream distribution of genuine, brand name merchandise and, as globalization efforts increase, wholesalers continue to be stymied in their efforts to distribute branded goods in Europe.  Here, at home,  CBP continues to explore new programs to better assess risk at the borders by attempting to distinguish between trusted traders and those with less secure supply chains posing particular issues for those engaged in secondary market transactions.

In 2015, AFTA™ looks forward to continuing its efforts with the Owners Rights Initiative and other associations committed to the unfettered global distribution of genuine products, together with associated parts, components and accessories.  AFTA™ will be working to make sure Free Trade Agreements do not expand the abilities of rights holders to control downstream distribution, whether via electronic commerce or otherwise, and will continue to insist that the rights of consumers and secondary traders must be fairly balanced with those maintained by brand owners and manufacturers.

For more information about AFTA™ and  to learn how you can access its exclusive repository of industry-related publications and reports, please contact us directly at afta@aftaus.com.

AFTA™’s Board of Directors wishes you very Happy Holidays and looks forward  to working with you for continued successes in 2015.