Fireside Chat with Mike Sweeney: IPO & Thought Leadership

  • Brand Protection
  • Content Protection
Fireside Chat with Mike Sweeney: IPO & Thought Leadership

Mike Sweeney, Director and Senior Legal Counsel in Operations at Corsearch, has been appointed as a Vice Chair of the prestigious Anti-Counterfeiting and Anti-Piracy Committee for the IPO (Intellectual Property Owners association) for the forthcoming term.

We are delighted to share more about Mike’s appointment and why it strengthens Corsearch’s credentials as respected thought leaders in the industry, where having the courage and tenacity to demand change is what stands us apart.

About Mike Sweeney

As an experienced attorney, Mike counsels brands on all aspects of brand and content protection in the digital space, with a particular focus on leveraging data-driven technology to combat counterfeiting. Mike has many years of experience representing major brands in cross-border litigation in both domestic and international Courts. 

More recently, Mike has been focused on designing and delivering global anti-counterfeiting programs for major international brands. Mike is an active thought leader in brand protection with significant experience in lobbying government around IP policy and legislative reform in favor of rights owners. In addition to his new role at the IPO, Mike is also part of the Anti-Counterfeiting Committee at INTA (The International Trademark Association), a highly decorated global association of brand owners and intellectual property professionals.

Connect with Mike on LinkedIn.

Fireside chat with Mike Sweeney

We sat down with Mike to talk about his appointment, learn more about what the committee does, and how his position will benefit Corsearch and its customers in 2023.

Q. Tell us more about the IPO, the Anti-Counterfeiting & Anti-Piracy committee, and the areas you will focus on

Mike Sweeney: “The IPO, based in Washington DC, is the voice of IP owners, advocating on behalf of its members for effective IP law and policy reform. The Anti-Counterfeiting and Anti-Piracy Committee comprises many IP professionals and content creators from global brands who are leaders in the brand and content protection space, including Apple, J&J, Dell, 3M, GSK, and many others. There are also other experts from the Corsearch family on the committee: Brian Looney, Senior Vice President of Global Sales – Anti-Piracy and US Brand Protection; and Jenna Curtis, Thought Leader Marketing Manager.

The committee looks at all aspects of counterfeiting and anti-piracy, particularly where there is a cross-border dimension. But we are increasingly focused on online counterfeiting and piracy, where threats are complex, dynamic, and inter-connected across multiple online channels and jurisdictions, all of which puts consumers further at risk.

We look at current hot topics, explore collaboration opportunities, best practices to tackle threats, and how legislative and regulatory frameworks could evolve to better serve brand owners and consumers. Targeted topics include IP infringement on fast-growing e-commerce platforms. The committee also debates wider-reaching issues and seeks to develop policy positions for the IPO board to consider, adopt and put to government.”

Q. What IPO events have you been involved with? What events will be you involved with in 2023?

Mike: “I was delighted to have been asked to speak on two panels for the IPO – one on how to build an effective anti-counterfeiting toolkit at the 2021 Annual Meeting, and more recently on the role of AI and Machine Learning in anti-counterfeiting. I was thrilled to meet with my fellow Committee members and other IP professional in Los Angeles in September 2022, the first chance many of us had had to meet up in person since the pandemic.

Looking ahead to 2023, the IPO’s Spring Summit is next month in Washington DC and is dovetailed with the IPO’s Committee Leadership kick-off where we will set the agenda for the months ahead. We will gather again in Boston later in the year for the 2023 Annual Meeting where we will review our progress against our objectives and map-out the remainder of the year. There are many legislative developments on foot which directly impact our industry – in particular from a European perspective, the adoption of the Digital Services Act. I am expecting this to be a key focus for the Committee this year as the proposals are finally enacted into law.”

Q. How will Corsearch and its customers benefit from this appointment?

Mike: “My appointment as Co-Vice Chair will enhance Corsearch’s Thought Leadership agenda and gives significant profile and visibility to Corsearch’s market-leading brand and content protection business unit. I envision four key benefits:

1) Lend weight to lobbying efforts. The Anti-Counterfeiting & Anti-Piracy committee is influential from a US federal government perspective. Where reform is envisaged or proposed, the IPO is likely to adopt a position and lobby legislators. This is beneficial to Corsearch clients as we will have leadership tuned into hot topics such as regulatory issues and a direct line to legislators. We want to push the envelope and effect policy change. What better way to do that than by effective representation and leadership.

2) Enhance Corsearch’s thought-leadership profile. The appointment helps improve Corsearch’s profile and visibility within the brand and content protection space, underscoring our position as thought-leaders. We will be able to share and further discuss Corsearch’s research on platforms and data on infringement trends with the committee.

3) Learn valuable insights from leading brand owners. We will be able to enhance our understanding of the industry, learning from rights holders and brand owners. We will hear about their frustrations and ideas for change, insights from the committee — to inspire our own thought leadership and provide tips to clients.

4) Greater opportunity to work with platforms and provide redress to right holders. Corsearch has a brilliant track record of developing collaborative relationships with platforms, allowing us to be transparent, tackle the most persistent and egregious infringers, and push for change to provide better outcomes for our clients. We will be able to further enhance these relationships through my leadership role on the committee.”

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