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AGMA Membership Grows as IT Counterfeiting and Gray Market Fraud Become Increasingly Pervasive Issues.

Industry Alliance Offers Educational Resources and Best Practices to Combat Problem

FREMONT, Calif. -- The Alliance for Gray Market and Counterfeit Abatement (AGMA), a non-profit organization dedicated to curbing the gray marketing and counterfeiting of technology products around the globe, today announced its membership is growing as some of the biggest names in the high tech industry unite behind its cause. Over the past 12 months, influential technology companies including Microsoft, Sun Microsystems and Dolby Laboratories have joined AGMA in the fight against IT counterfeiting and gray market fraud.

Today, counterfeiting and gray market fraud are among the most challenging issues for the IT industry. The effects of illegal replicas flooding the marketplace and goods sold through unauthorized distribution channels have severe implications to everyone involved - from the consumer to the reseller to the original equipment manufacturer.

"In joining forces with other AGMA members, we hope to better understand the issues of gray market fraud and counterfeit and learn how we can improve our own internal practices and partner relationships to reduce the effects these problems have on our customers and partners," said Cori Hartje, director of Microsoft's Genuine Software Initiative.

AGMA is driving a strategic initiative comprised of leading high technology companies committed to addressing the global impact of the gray market and counterfeiting of goods on the technology industry. Formed in 2001 by founding members 3Com, Cisco Systems, Hewlett-Packard and Nortel, AGMA has grown to 18 members with the recent additions of Microsoft, Sun Microsystems, Dolby Laboratories, NEC Americas, QLogic, Kingston Technology and Emulex.

"Our membership represents the most influential companies in the high tech industry. This fact alone is evidence that gray market and counterfeiting are real issues that need immediate attention," said Nick Tidd, AGMA president. "The success of our mission depends on our members. Education and awareness of other IT companies, the channel and consumers about this growing problem is the key to fighting a winning battle against these issues."

As an umbrella organization, whose members' combined annual revenues exceed $130 billion, AGMA's mission is to provide a platform that aids its membership in upholding the highest product quality standards, driving high customer satisfaction, protecting brand integrity, improving standards for intellectual property enforcement, mitigating the counterfeiting of IT products and stemming the unauthorized flow of goods into the gray market.

There are many benefits to becoming a member. AGMA provides an open forum where intellectual property brand owners can discuss trends, issues and solutions addressing gray market fraud and counterfeiting in the technology sector. It also uses a variety of avenues to get its message out and cultivate change in the marketplace, including event speaking, educational initiatives, benchmark studies, whitepapers, industry guidelines, and, as appropriate, public policy advocacy in areas like law enforcement and customs.

"We have been an AGMA member for over 10 months now, and together we are driving greater awareness to the issues of piracy and counterfeiting," added Hartje. "The more people we can reach with our message, the more opportunity we have to educate consumers on the risks associated with purchasing counterfeited or pirated products."

AGMA extends a personal invitation to high technology companies including those in information technology, electronic components, semiconductor manufacturing and telecommunications sectors to join the Alliance as it builds one of the leading technology industry associations.

"As we work to increase our visibility as a thought-leader on these topics, we look to the depth and experience of our membership to grow industry awareness on the issues and develop better practices surrounding gray market fraud and counterfeit mitigation," added Tidd. "We also encourage other companies to join our organization as we continue to expand and build strength in numbers."

To learn more about AGMA's initiative or to become a member, please visit

About AGMA

AGMA is a non-profit organization comprised of influential companies in the technology sector including founding members 3Com Corporation (NASDAQ:COMS), Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO), HP (NYSE, NASDAQ:HPQ) and Nortel (NYSE/TSX:NT). Incorporated in 2001, AGMA's mission is to mitigate the gray marketing and counterfeiting of technology products around the globe. The organization's goals are to protect the authorized distribution channels and intellectual property of authorized goods to improve customer satisfaction and preserve brand integrity. AGMA is open to any technology manufacturer that owns a branded IT product. For more information, please visit
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Nov 14, 2006
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