March 25, 2019
Unique, consistent and effective
The ‘Panel’ makes Baselworld the world’s only trade show with an independent arbitration body that handles complaints about counterfeits during the fair
Dr Paul Rüst, who has served as president of the Panel since its inception, and the five international experts who comprise its team, are justifiably proud of the statistics from the past 35 years. The number of complaints about violation of intellectual property has steadily declined since the Panel first began its work in 1985. And, as the team points out, this decrease runs satisfyingly contrary to current OECD statistics and global developments. “This can be credited in no small measure to the fact that the Panel, thanks to its clear decisions in recent years, has exerted a preventive effect and is regarded by exhibitors as an effective instrument,” says Christoph Lanz, Head of Corporate Legal Services at MCH Group and secretary of the Panel. If the Panel receives a complaint about a possible counterfeit, the committee clarifies the situation directly on-site. Lanz explains the committee’s methodology: “Both parties are heard. A delegation examines the relevant product and takes its decision within 24 hours. The delegation’s decision remains binding for the duration of the fair.” The Panel deals with an average of five complaints per trade show. If the Panel decides in favour of the complainant, both the relevant product and its advertising material must be removed from the stand for the duration of the show. “A second complaint against the same party can even lead to exclusion from the fair,” Rüst said. The establishment of an independent Panel is an integral part of the trade show’s quality management. This institution has proven its worth over the years. It keeps the peace at the fair and protects the rights of all exhibitors.