Marq Sikyor Africa to Intensify Fight against Brand Counterfeiting, Intellectual Property Theft

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MARQ SIKYOR AFRICA, brand protection, and anti-counterfeiting company has shown readiness to extend its operations and help brands fight against brand counterfeiting, intellectual property theft, piracy, and other infringement activities regarded as criminal acts on brands and products.

This was made known during a Media Presentation held at the Radisson Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos, which had in attendance dignitaries including business owners, business executives, marketing directors, brand custodians, corporate affairs directors, regulatory agencies, security operatives, and the brand-marketing and technology media community.

MARQ SIKYOR AFRICA which started operations in 2013 is a pioneer Brand Protection and Anti-Counterfeiting firm providing services to local, international and global companies, institutions, and organisations, that wish to protect their brands from counterfeiting and other forms of infringement in Africa. The firm covers the key markets in the continent: East Africa, through their Nairobi operations in Kenya, West Africa, through Lagos office in Nigeria, and Southern Africa, through the Johannesburg operations in South Africa.

The Founder and Group Evangelist of the company, Mr. Joko Okupe, said that, “The repertoire of expertise and experience available to MARQ SIKYOR AFRICA, its in-depth understanding of the market terrains, and good grasp of the workings of Law Enforcement and Regulatory Agencies, make us surefooted to deliver results in infringement investigations and enforcement matters. Our brand protection investigations cover Anti-Counterfeiting, Anti-Piracy, Parallel Imports, Product Diversion, Trademark Infringement and Product Tampering/Adulteration among others.”

In his Presentation at the event, the Founder of MARQ SIKYOR AFRICA, said that the Media Presentation of the firm is a great milestone in the fight against all forms of infringements; and in the efforts to safeguard brand assets and intellectual property in Nigeria. “Currently, we are in a globalised world where brand building has become a strong fundamental for businesses, institutions, and governments – as it propels business growth and countries’ economic growth. In today’s world, where all frontiers and boundaries are broken, brands cross geographic and cultural borders in trade relationships involving exports for the purpose of earning foreign exchange, and even in organizing cultural events anchored on brand sponsorship”.

According to him, “Of the top 10 most valuable brands in the world, 7 are of American origin and are great wealth earners for the businesses and the country. It’s no wonder the USA is at the forefront of championing Anticounterfeiting drive globally. There is a new awakening to the understanding that brands are intangible but incredibly effective assets to a nation’s growth and development.” It is noted that developed economies appear to be over-investing in branding compared to developing economies to increase their competitiveness. For this reason, developing countries, particularly African countries, are encouraged to ignite their passion for building strong brands, if they must compete favourably in the global marketplace. He said that strong brands don’t just happen; “They are outcomes of great visions powered by strong strategies and backed by great investments and commitment.”

He reminded the audience at the launch event that, the global market is in a constant state of flux, and Nigeria is part of that market, which most often is accelerated through technological change, and brands help markets to adapt most appropriately and responsively. Brands, he said, contribute to the nations’ economic growth and adaptation to global competition through the creation of products and services, and also production and reproduction of social goods that benefit the society, as they participate in increasing a nation’s GDP, and supporting a peoples’ overall livelihood and wellbeing. Brands with strong recognition and global reach are an enormous asset to their home countries. Therefore, these brands need to be protected, he said.

According to research, counterfeiting and other infringement crimes cost the global economy about $1.77 trillion in 2019. In the past 9 years, Mr. Okupe said 5 of the clients they have worked with lost over 200 billion naira to counterfeiting.

He mentioned that, strong brands cost fortunes to create, nurture and grow. According to him “When brands become strong, they garner loyalty and possess the potential of guaranteed future earnings and good returns to the owners.” He reminded brand owners of the need to think up and implement cutting edge strategies to protect their most valuable assets from infringement and theft to ensure they reap the dividends of their sweat and investments.

He called for a close collaboration between brand owners, brand custodians, security operatives and other stakeholders with MARQ SIKYOR AFRICA to secure and safeguard Nigerian brands, and indeed brands across Africa.

MARQ SIKYOR AFRICA is a member of International Anti-Counterfeiting Coalition(IAAC); Strategic & Competitive Intelligence Professionals (SCIP); World Association of Private Detectives (WAD) and Anticounterfeiting Collaboration Nigeria (ACC)

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