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May 8, 2020

Joey Longo: The importance of understanding counterfeit markets

May 8, 2020

Joey Longo is a graduating senior majoring in International Relations in the College of Social Science. He has interned and particpated in research with the Anti-Counterfeiting and Product Protection Center

As 2020 graduating seniors get ready to transition into the next phases of their academic and professional careers, many are reflecting on their undergraduate accomplishments. For me, that includes my time with the Anti-Counterfeiting and Product Protection (A-CAPP) center.

This year, I had the honor of being awarded the 2020 A-CAPP Outstanding Senior and 2019-2020 Matthew R. Maher Memorial Scholar. As an International Relations major, I first became involved with the A-CAPP program in spring 2019 as an intern and student researcher. My first major research project largely focused on counterfeit manufacturing in China.

The purpose behind this research was that I wanted to better understand where and why markets like these were flourishing in China. People tend to group all Chinese provinces together as one, but there are distinct locations where this is happening. I wanted to understand what conditions were present in these areas to make these markets so successful.

I worked closely with A-CAPP faculty Kari Kammel and Dr. Jay Kennedy on this research and presented at the 2019 Midwest Conference on Asian Affairs. I was also invited to present at the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences this Spring as well, but was unfortunately unable to do so due to the COVID-19 crisis.

My most recent research focuses on how intellectual property laws are interpreted and enforced in China, where over 90 percent of all counterfeit goods come from. I've wanted to learn how the manufacturing of counterfeit goods can support local economies, which creates incentive for agencies to weaken their enforcement efforts.

This research isn’t just interesting - it’s extremely important for the public good. Counterfeiting doesn’t just hurt large corporations, it undermines the hard work of many inventors and independent creatives and, depending on the product, it can seriously jeopardize consumers’ health and safety.

My biggest takeaway from my time with A-CAPP is the team I have been able to brainstorm, collaborate and research with to reach new heights of innovation in the world of counterfeit and product protection.

After graduation, I hope to continue down a career path that is intellectually challenging and allows me to make an actionable difference in the field of international relations and public health. To learn more about A-CAPP and get involved, visit http://a-capp.msu.edu/