The first Public Consultation Workshop on the Anti-Counterfeit Goods Bill 2023 was organized at the Mukono Taxi Park ground in Mukono municipality to  signify a crucial step in Uganda’s fight against counterfeit products.

The meeting was Organized by the Parliament of Uganda in collaboration with the Anti-Counterfeit Network (ACN) and esteemed partners,  aiming at gathering diverse perspectives from stakeholders to shape effective legislation.

The Anti-Counterfeit Goods Bill (ACGB) 2023, championed by Hon. Asuman Basalirwa (MP Bugiri) and supported by Hon. Ebwalu Jonathan (MP Soroti City West), is a pivotal effort to protect legitimate businesses, curb economic losses, and uphold consumer rights.

Hon Betty Nambooze the Mukono Municipality MP said that the workshop is a pivotal moment in addressing the economic drain caused by counterfeit goods.

“We must collaborate to enact legislation that not only punishes counterfeiters but also safeguards our economy and citizens” She said.

“The struggle against counterfeits is a human rights issue and a battle for all irrespective of our differences socially, economically, and politically. Counterfeiting is a crime therefore we need to pass the ACGB to fight this crime. I appeal to all the people of Mukono to support it.” Nambooze added.

The workshop, spanning three months across Uganda, engages MPs, public members, brand owners, regulators, and consumers in a collaborative dialogue. This inclusive approach ensures that the ACGB 2023 reflects the diverse needs and concerns of all stakeholders.

Fred Muwema, Chairman of the ACN, emphasized the urgency of combating counterfeits, stating, “Counterfeit products harm our economy and pose risks to public health. The ACGB 2023 is a significant stride towards a safer and prosperous Uganda.”

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“Simultaneously, today we are excited to launch Bleep; a mobile application designed to empower consumers by facilitating verification of product authenticity. Users will have the opportunity to report their concerns or grievances while brands and regulators actively address and resolve these complaints,” He remarked

Through Bleep, consumers act as detectives to identify counterfeit hotspots, promote genuine products, and foster community change. The ACGB 2023 introduces stringent penalties, including fines and imprisonment for offenders, strengthening enforcement against counterfeiters and substandard products

The link between the ACGB and Bleep is that the latter will help actors enforce and implement the law when passed to avoid the law remaining on the shelf.

As we convene today, let us reaffirm our commitment to combating counterfeits and ensuring market integrity. Your active participation in this workshop is vital as we collectively shape legislation for a brighter future.

Facts about Bleep

Bleep is a platform designed to empower consumers to report suspected counterfeit products, aiding in their verification and remedial action by brands and regulators.

Who can use Bleep?

Anyone who is a consumer and is at least 13 years old can use Bleep. Children of all ages may also use the service if enabled by a parent or legal guardian. Additionally, businesses acting on behalf of regulators, companies, or organizations can use Bleep with proper authorization.

What are the key rules for using Bleep?

Users must comply with the Bleep Terms of Service and Community Guidelines, which outline acceptable behavior and usage. This includes refraining from unauthorized commercial use, spamming, harassment, and infringing on intellectual property rights.

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What happens if I violate the terms?

Bleep reserves the right to disable user accounts for violations of the Terms of Service, including unauthorized activities, content that violates guidelines, or actions that may harm the platform or its users.

How can I report inappropriate content or violations?
Users can report inappropriate content or violations to Bleep for review and action. Bleep takes measures to remove infringing material and may suspend or terminate accounts of repeat offenders.

What are my rights regarding the content I upload?

While users retain ownership of their uploaded content, they grant Bleep permission to use it for operating and improving the service. Users waive certain rights to privacy and publicity for content posted on Bleep.

Is there any warranty or liability coverage?

Bleep provides services “as is” and disclaims warranties of accuracy or uninterrupted service. Users are responsible for their actions and may be subject to indemnity for breaches of the Terms of Service.

How can I terminate my account?

Users can request account deletion through the Bleep platform. Once deleted, accounts cannot be reactivated, and content cannot be retrieved.

What are the governing laws for Bleep?

The Terms of Service are governed by the laws of Uganda, and any disputes are subject to the jurisdiction of Ugandan courts.

The post Anti-Counterfeit Network (ACN), Parliament Organizes the First Stakeholders Meeting to Gather Perspectives for Effective Legislation appeared first on Watchdog Uganda.


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