Since 2014, the International IP Crime Investigators College (IIPCIC) has been celebrating excellence across the IP enforcement and protection communities around the world. Our annual awards are designed to acknowledge and reward law enforcement personnel and government agencies making a significant impact with innovative and effective approaches to fighting IP crime in this global and challenging environment.


IIPCIC Commendation of Merit

This IIPCIC Award recognizes a law enforcement officer, team or unit for demonstrating outstanding leadership in designing or implementing a unique and innovative approach to an intellectual property crime investigation. The ideal nomination would involve a matter that crossed jurisdictions or countries and posed a risk to human health or public safety.

IIPCIC Professional Service Award

This IIPCIC Award recognizes an individual’s outstanding contribution to the IP community. The nominee would demonstrate the highest professional standards through innovative approaches related to training, technology, or other law enforcement capabilities.

2023 Awards

Congratulations to the 2023 award winners! The awards were presented during the during the 16th International Law Enforcement IP Crime Conference, which took take place from 25 to 27 September 2023, in Oslo, Norway.


 IIPCIC Commendation of Merit

Awarded to:

Neil Blackwood

Detective Superintendent, Greater Manchester Police - Operation Vulcan, UK.

In recognition of demonstrating outstanding leadership in the design and/or implementation of a unique and innovative approach to an intellectual property/anti-counterfeiting case.

Detective Superintendent Blackwood, Greater Manchester Police – Operation Vulcan, leads a team of Detectives and Investigative Support Officers who robustly and relentlessly police key areas and target criminality at all levels.

Bringing together partners from 65 agencies including police, the fire service, trading standards, local authorities and others, Operation Vulcan’s innovative and systematic targeting of criminals, their premises, and activities from every angle, coupled with cross-agency cooperation, rendered counterfeiting unsustainable in the area.

Additionally, innovative processes to streamline the seizure, transport, and destruction of goods, enabled officers working on Operation Vulcan to obtain expedited forfeiture orders of seized items.

As a result, Operation Vulcan led to the closure of 208 shops and the seizure of 994 tonnes of counterfeit goods with an estimated street value of £135 million GBP, of which 800 tonnes has been ethically repurposed. Over 180 arrests took place – including 30 linked to trademark related offences.

The UK Anti-Counterfeiting Group’s Director General, Phil Lewis, accepted the award on behalf of Detective Superintendent Blackwood during the 16th International Law Enforcement IP Crime Conference held from 25 to 27 September 2023 in Norway.

 IIPCIC Professional Service Award

Awarded to:

Juana Elena Herrera Medina

Commissioner, Head of Intellectual Property Crime Investigation Unit (BRIDEPI), Chile.

In recognition of outstanding contribution to the IP community demonstrating the highest degree of professional standards.

Commissioner Herrera Medina has a decade’s experience investigating offences involving industrial intellectual property and contraband as part of Chile’s Intellectual Property Crime Investigation Unit (BRIDEPI).

She leads a specialized team which has seized more than 1.8 million counterfeit items since 2021. She re-engineered and modernised the investigative processes and anti-counterfeiting strategies to meet the context of the Covid 19 pandemic, which led to numerous successful prosecutions.

Commissioner Herrera Medina has gained national and international recognition for her outstanding work and investigative successes, which are heavily built on criminal analysis and police intelligence.

The Consul of Chile to Norway, Michel Lavín Espinosa, attended the IIPCIC Award Ceremony in Oslo, and congratulated Commissioner Herrera Media and the Chilean Investigative Police (PDI) for their outstanding work fighting IP crime.