About AACD (Outline) Guaranteed Authentication
The Association Against Counterfeit Product Distribution (AACD) is composed of over 100 distributors who handle parallel import and/or used brand products.
In Japan, parallel importing is legal, as long as certain conditions are met. However, AACD believes the protection of intellectual property rights in the market in Japan bears paramount importance.
At AACD, we aim to create a sound and reliable market in which consumers can safely purchase genuine brand products, by preventing the distribution of counterfeit and fraudulent products, or otherwise eliminating such products, from the market.
AACD’s goal is to create a sound market for genuine brand products by eliminating counterfeit and fraudulent products from the market. More specifically, we work to prevent fraudulent products from being placed into the hands of consumers by marketing only products that meet AACD’s independently-established criteria.
AACD is comprised of companies who voluntarily endorse our cause. Once they become members, they bear a strict obligation to observe the AACD criteria. Member companies also individually establish and operate a system for monitoring and eliminating fraudulent products from the market.
The member companies of AACD practically include major retailers who handle parallel import and/or used brand products in Japan. The distribution of fraudulent products in the market has negative ramifications on brand images. This not only affects the holders of brand rights, but also poses serious impediments to the businesses of AACD members companies.
In order to protect intellectual property rights in the market, we realize it is not enough for our member companies to simply pursue their businesses in an appropriate manner. That is why we actively seek cooperation with other institutions and organizations.
At times, AACD’s steady efforts have elicited valuable information from multi stakeholders, as well as from member companies.
Such information has helped us preclude the distribution of fraudulent products on many occasions. At the same time, information and advice from AACD have often served useful purposes to consumers and multi stakeholders.
AACD exists not only for the benefit of its member companies. It exists for the creation of a sound market that ensures protection of the intellectual property rights of genuine brand products.
What are “AACD Criteria”?
AACD independently establishes “AACD Criteria” that defines standards for the handling of brand products by member companies, and refers to goods that member companies should not handle as “nonconforming goods.” Although the criteria themselves do not have legal binding power, member companies voluntarily pledge compliance with the standards set forth in the criteria.
What is the difference between “AACD complying goods” and “genuine goods”?
AACD believes that a product can be legally judged as genuine, only by the brand holder, or trademark owner. Therefore, AACD does not judge whether products are genuine or fraudulent.
What are AACD Criteria based on?
In creating AACD Criteria, AACD acquires products that are considered “genuine goods” from retail stores inside and outside of Japan that are directly managed by brands, and analyzes their features by brand and by item. Close-up detailed pictures of goods AACD has collected since its establishment in 1989 have been compiled in a database for easy reference.
In addition to image and specification data, AACD also collects scientific data, such as by measuring products using a 3D digital microscope and conducting component analyses using fluorescent X-ray.
AACD’s professional staff use the various data to extensively analyze and examine relevant goods, and judge whether or not they conform to AACD Criteria.
Needless to say, the efforts of AACD staff alone are not enough to check all goods that are daily distributed by AACD member companies. Therefore, to even more effectively eliminate fraudulent goods from the market, AACD has established a system of “certified AACD criteria examiners.” Persons who attend the roughly 18 hours or so of required lectures and pass an eligibility test may become AACD criteria examiners. These examiners attend regular training sessions hosted by AACD, to brush up on their knowledge and expertise, and may renew their certification every 5 years, with the approval of a review panel.