final newsletter masthead
January 2011
In This Issue
Industry Issues
AGMA Committees
AGMA in the News
Upcoming Events
Quick Links


Stay tuned for the next issue of Brand Sentinel

where we'll spotlight trends, issues and more news from AGMA!


Click here to view the November issue of Brand Sentinel.




Message from the President:

The Year Ahead by Ram Manchi


2011 is upon us! AGMA experienced an exciting decade of growth, accelerating rapidly over the past couple of years when we strengthened our global presence, expanded our ranks with a number of Fortune 100 high tech companies, and launched a number of industry initiatives. The doubling of our membership is certainly a clear indicator of the importance of AGMA and its value to the industry.


In addition, 2010 saw top industry service providers like KPMG, Deloitte and PWC joining AGMA, creating a unique combination of industry heavyweights and leading service providers.  This dynamic will allow AGMA to leverage expertise in sharing knowledge and best practices as they relate to the AGMA mission. 


Moving forward into 2011, we see even more great opportunities as well as challenges ahead of us. As in the past, AGMA will remain committed to continually enriching its value to our members - and the high tech industry in general - and work together to combat and contain the four evils facing the industry - Gray Marketing, Counterfeiting and Software Piracy, Warranty and Service Fraud, and broader IPR issues.

Industry Issues


Gray Market

The U.S. Supreme Court has upheld a ban on "gray market" products sold legally in other countries, but not authorized by their maker for sale in the US. This ruling means that any manufacturer that makes items overseas and uses a copyrighted logo on them can go after importers who don't play by the manufacturer's rules.


Retailing giant Costco acquired Omega watches from gray market sources and sold them cheaply - without Omega's permission, prompting Omega to sue for copyright infringement. Because the watches weren't made in the US, Omega claimed that they did not qualify for 'first sale' rules (An earlier Supreme Court case held that 'first sale' protections do apply if the item was made in the US, even if it is then sold overseas and re-imported without permission).

In this case, Omega argued that all foreign-made, copyrighted products could only be sold in the US with the manufacturer's permission.


The court's decision is a victory for any brand owner that wants to set different prices in different parts of the world and prevent unauthorized re-importation.



Warranty and Service Abuse

Warranty and service abuse continues to significantly impact the IT industry, and leading original equipment manufacturers, distributors and resellers are feeling the effects.


As part of the effort to turn the tables on warranty and service fraudsters, one of AGMA's founding members, Cisco, continues to launch criminal investigations and successfully prosecute warranty and service fraud matters.  The sentencing in one recent case resulted in one of the harshest judgments ever handed down for a case of this nature, wherein the judge sentenced the defendants to over 25 combined years of federal imprisonment and more than $21 million dollars in restitution to Cisco.


Special Agent in Charge Jeannine A. Hammett of the IRS Criminal Investigation Division (which cooperated with Cisco) commented on the case, stating: "The object of schemes like these is to defraud the government and the taxpaying public.  IRS special agents identified and investigated the individuals involved in the scheme and the results help promote justice and confidence in our tax system. Honest taxpayers need to know there are consequences for those who intentionally violate our country's tax laws."


AGMA Committees - In Focus

Affiliates and Membership Committee - AGMA membership continues to grow! Just a few months after initially joining AGMA, Avaya sent its representatives to attend the recent EMEA AGMA conference in London - which resulted in Avaya's decision to expand its membership status from North America to worldwide. Several other global brand owners have expressed strong interest in joining AGMA, and there is an application pending with a potential new Class III member.   From the Affiliates portion of the committee, AGMA and CompTIA will host a joint summit on warranty and service abuse in January in Las Vegas to determine what initiatives the two industry organizations can launch in 2011.  The goal is to help create best practices, whitepapers, or other items that will help the member OEMs deal with the increase in service and warranty abuse currently being seen in the IT industry.  For more information on this summit, please contact Phyllis Massey at



Government Affairs - AGMA's government affairs team has worked closely with members of congress and their staff as they finalize a comprehensive customs reauthorization bill. Language that gives rights holders greater access to information from CBP seizures of counterfeit material will now be included in the legislation, which AGMA expects to be approved early in the new year.

AGMA has also worked closely with Administration officials, including those in the new office of Intellectual Property Enforcement, to help prioritize the issues affecting our industry. AGMA will continue to be a leading voice for our member companies as the White House and various agencies work to combat the proliferation of counterfeit material in the federal market.


AGMA in the News

AGMA continues to make headlines as an expert source on issues surrounding counterfeiting, gray market, warranty and service abuse and IP compromise in the technology sector.


Top tier channel publication CRN's Scott Campbell covered a judgment won by Cisco in a warranty and service fraud case (mentioned above), and referenced a 2009 AGMA/PricewaterhouseCoopers study which estimated that warranty and service is approximately a $10 billion a year problem.


Read the full story here:


Additionally, ITChannelPlanet ran a story on warranty and service abuse which quoted AGMA president Ram Manchi as saying, "Warranty and service abuse is not going to decline as the economy remains difficult. Perpetrators are constantly looking for creative ways to commit fraud."


Click here for the story in its entirety:

Upcoming Events

AGMA Americas Quarterly Meeting -January 19-20 at Deloitte & Touche in San Jose, California


AGMA Americas Second Quarterly Meeting -April 13-14 at Dolby in San Francisco, California


AGMA APAC Conference - March 10 at a location to be determined in Hong Kong, China


AGMA EMEA Conference - May 5 at Oracle in London, UK