Combating the counterfeiting of ICT equipment – ITU Technical Report available in six languages

The revised ITU Technical Report on Counterfeit ICT Equipment approved by ITU members in December 2015 is now available for download free of charge in the six official languages of the Union. The report offers background information on the nature and scale of the challenges posed by ICT counterfeiting, including a review of the ICT products vulnerable to counterfeiting and the various countermeasures employed by ICT manufacturers, industry associations and intergovernmental bodies. Download the Technical Report here…

A study conducted by OECD and the EU Intellectual Property Office – presented in the context of the OECD’s latest “Trade in Counterfeit and Pirated Goods” report – found that, in 2013, counterfeit and pirated goods accounted for up to 2.5 per cent of global trade (equivalent to 461 billion USD), and up to 5 per cent of all imports to the European Union. Mobile phones are a favoured target for counterfeiting, with a study published in 2012 by the European Commission finding that annual sales of counterfeit phones constitute some 15-20 per cent of the global market.

ICT counterfeiting poses dangers to the health, safety and privacy of consumers, and the number and range of affected products is growing. Taking the perspective of the ICT industry, counterfeiting has seen ICT manufacturers and authorized ICT vendors fall victim to revenue losses and erosions in brand value as a result of trademark infringement. Network operators are challenged by quality of service (QoS) degradations, network disruptions and failures in electromagnetic compatibility (EMC). Governments forfeit tax revenues and incur great expense in ensuring compliance with national anti-counterfeiting legislation and reacting to threats to public safety and distortions in labour markets.

Joint ITU-OECD case study on the trade in counterfeit and pirated ICTs

ITU and OECD are working in partnership to quantify the extent of the trade in counterfeit and pirated ICTs. The case study will identify and quantify the categories of ICT products affected, and chart and analyze the evolution of counterfeit trade routes in terms of origins, key transit points and destinations. The findings of the case study are expected to be published by September 2016 and will include a set of policy questions to be considered by policymakers and industry.

Combating the counterfeiting of ICTs through the work of ITU-T Study Group 11 (Protocols and test specifications)

In April 2015 ITU convened a meeting to demonstrate “a solution to combat the counterfeiting of ICT products based on the Digital Object Architecture” (see an earlier ITU newslog story here).

ITU-T Study Group 11 is achieving strong progress in its development of an ITU international standard detailing a Framework for solution to combat counterfeit ICT Devices and has agreed to develop a new Technical Report on the “Use of anti-counterfeiting technical solutions relying on unique and persistent mobile device identifiers”. Study Group 11 is also developing a Technical Report outlining “Guidelines on Best Practices and Solutions in the Combating of Counterfeit ICT Devices”.

ITU is complementing this technical work with a survey in Africa aimed at collecting information on the challenges faced by the region with respect to ICT counterfeiting and efforts underway to overcome these challenges. The survey will serve as a basis to develop anti-counterfeiting best practices, regulatory frameworks and technical specifications tailored to the African context.

ITU Workshop to explore conformance and interoperability solutions to combat ICT counterfeiting

Study Group 11 will take the opportunity provided by its upcoming meeting to convene an ITU workshop to solicit expert views on solutions to combat counterfeiting and proposals for further ITU studies in the field. Scheduled for 28 June, the workshop will afford emphasis to its discussions of means to counteract the tampering with or duplication of unique device identifiers; and management mechanisms capable of ensuring the traceability, security, privacy and trust of the people, products and networks that make up ICT supply chains. Learn more about the workshop here… 

The next meeting of ITU-T Study Group 11 is scheduled for 27 June to 6 July 2016 at ITU Headquarters in Geneva.

For more information, please consult the homepage of ITU-T Study Group 11, or contact the group’s Advisor, Stefano Polidori, at

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