Essex Junction, Vermont (April 27, 2016) – After recent successful actions against foreign counterfeiters, Revision Military, a world leader in protective eyewear solutions, was invited to share testimony with a U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee investigating the impact of foreign counterfeiting. Gregory Maguire, Revision’s Senior Director of Legal and Government Affairs, provided a comprehensive analysis of the current and future challenges facing American manufacturers, and outlined the dangers to consumers presented by illegal counterfeit ballistic products. Several recommendations were offered to the committee for consideration, including proposed steps for Federal government action that would strengthen efforts to curtail the sale of inferior counterfeit products.
“In recent years, despite forceful measures taken to protect our intellectual property, Revision has seen a dramatic rise in counterfeit products across multiple distribution channels,” said Maguire during his testimony. Maguire continued, “We expect that this trend will continue as our brand awareness and product penetration grows. As a small business, Revision is deeply concerned about the rise in businesses using and manipulating our intellectual property to produce counterfeit goods. The emergence of this activity requires ever-larger and more aggressive efforts to offset the effects that put significant strain on our resources.”
The U.S. Department of Defense maintains high standards for personal protective equipment. The U.S. Army uses these standards in the development and maintenance of the Authorized Protective Eyewear List (APEL)—a record of examined and tested manufacturers and products proven to satisfy standards for ballistic protection. Soldiers utilizing protective eyewear while on duty are required to select APEL-listed eyewear products. Revision eyewear, particularly the Desert Locust goggle, has been listed on APEL since 2007.
Maguire reiterated Revision’s commitment to cutting-edge protective products throughout its history, stating, “Revision Military was founded in 2001 with a singular mission: to produce cutting-edge protective eyewear that makes a real- world impact. The company is in the business of protecting those that put themselves in harm’s way for our safety. To this end, Revision has invested significant resources making state-of-the-art ballistic protection available to its customers. Counterfeits do not meet such standards, so these illicit products endanger the soldiers and law enforcement officers who unknowingly receive them, leaving wearers vulnerable to maiming and/or blinding, if not more serious injury, or death.”
Two prominent and illustrative encounters Revision has had with foreign counterfeit operations were detailed during the hearing. Most recently, in January 2016, Revision worked in conjunction with the Dearborn and Ohio County Prosecutor’s Office in Indiana to enact a sting at a trade show in Denver, Colorado. Additionally, in 2014, Revision submitted a bid for a Ukrainian eyewear tender for 1,500 protective goggles. Revision lost the tender to a company that provided counterfeit versions of Revision’s own Desert Locust product line.
These compelling examples were taken into consideration by members of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, and provided a persuasive foundation for the following recommendations made by Revision:
Enable the Department of Homeland Security, namely U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), to seize at the border imports that infringe U.S. design patents, and enable the recording of design patents with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, IPR Enforcement Program.
Second, large online retailers need to be held more responsible and accountable for the sale of counterfeit goods on their websites.
Finally, federal law needs strengthening along the lines of jurisdictions, such as in Indiana, with regard to enforcement of intellectual property rights.
Revision Military will be working with the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee and other government agencies to pursue these intellectual property reforms. For a transcript of the hearing and to access Greg Maguire’s complete testimony, please visit: www.judiciary.senate.gov/meetings/counterfeits-and-their-impact-on- consumer-health-and-safety.