IP Goes Pop! Season 4, Episode 4: McGruff the Crime Dog® and the USPTO Help IP Goes Pop!® Take a Bite Out of Counterfeits

In this episode, IP Goes Pop! is joined by an all-star lineup to discuss the dangers of counterfeit goods and the importance of intellectual property rights.

Hosts Michael Snyder and Joseph Gushue are joined by: Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office, Kathi Vidal; Executive Director of the National Crime Prevention Council, Paul DelPonte; and the legendary McGruff the Crime Dog®. Our guests share their insights on the impact of counterfeits on society, the economy, and individual safety.

IP Goes Pop!The panel kicks off with a discussion of public service characters and their roles in environmental awareness and education.

Next listeners hear directly from the iconic McGruff the Crime Dog® himself on why he does what he does and how he continues to raise awareness about crime, regardless of where it occurs. Even in the world of intellectual property.

The panel then explores the issue of counterfeit goods. Here, the panel considers the impact of counterfeit goods on children, society, how counterfeit goods can be connected to organized crime, and how IP is involved in combating this global problem. Director Vidal provides insights into the role of the USPTO in protecting consumers from the dangers of counterfeit goods and highlights the importance of educating consumers about the real-world risks associated with counterfeit products.

Listeners will learn about the “Go for Real” campaign, a joint initiative by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and the National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC), aimed at educating the public, particularly teens and tweens, about the risks associated with counterfeit products and the importance of making smart buying decisions and respecting intellectual property rights.

Director DelPonte shares his experiences leading NCPC and the organization’s efforts to promote greater civic engagement and public education on crime prevention. We hear from both him and McGruff about using the power of the internet to reach and empower a new generation to “Take A Bite Out Of Crime®.” You’ll learn about ways you, your colleagues, and even your kids can become “dupe detectives” and improve your ability to spot fakes.

This episode is a must-listen for anyone interested in intellectual property, genuine goods, crime prevention, and the power of public service characters in shaping societal attitudes and behaviors. Join us in this enlightening discussion and explore the resources provided by the USPTO and NCPC below to learn how you can start to play a part in Taking A Bite Out Of Counterfeits!

Produced by the United States Patent and Trademark Office; no copyright is claimed by the United States in this presentation or associated materials.

Resources Provided by the USPTO and NCPC:

Kathi Vidal | USPTO

Paul-DelPonte_bio.pdf (ncpc.org)



McGruff the Crime Dog® teams up with USPTO to take a bite out of fake goods sold online | USPTO

Shop Smart and Stay Safe This Season | U.S. Department of Commerce

Roundtable: Future strategies in anti-counterfeiting and anti-piracy | USPTO Oct. 3, 2023


1:27 Introducing our Guests

3:25 Setting the Table

5:52 McGruff the Crime Dog®

  • McGruff’s history and origin story
  • Bringing McGruff to a new generation

11:39 ”Go For Real Campaign” partnership between USPTO and NCPC

  • Spread of fake and counterfeit products
  • Why “Go For Real” focuses on the buying habits of teens and tweens
    • How that extends to parents, teachers and adults
  • The role of Intellectual Property in crime prevention
  • USPTO’s ongoing Public Education Initiatives
  • “You’re Smart, Buy Smart”

20:27 Counterfeit Goods – What are they and what are the dangers?

  • Safety concerns
  • Real-world dangers
  • Generic vs. Counterfeit
  • Examples of possible counterfeit goods
    • Medicines, automotive parts, technology

24:05 How the USPTO and NCPC combine resources to get the message out

31:05 Final Thoughts

  • If everyone gets involved we can “Take A Bite Out Of Crime”
  • Importance of educating and empowering young people in the fight against counterfeits
  • Shop Smart And Stay Safe!




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