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K&L Gates Participates in Innovative Program Aimed at Preventing Art Forgeries

15 October 2015
London - Global law firm K&L Gates LLP is partnering with firm client and global art industry insurer ARIS Title Insurance Corporation and a number of academic, business, scientific, and other professional services organizations across the world in the piloting of an innovative initiative to help protect and prevent the falsifying and unauthorized duplication of art. The i2M Standards — the identification and authenticity standards and independent technologies that will solve the problem of faked and forged art — were announced at an event in London this week.

The program brings together a core infrastructure of standards, high security informatics, and data management approaches and advanced object-marking technologies — or “object-identify”ing — of both primary and secondary works of art in order to eliminate future questions regarding the authenticity or attribution of these works. The first i2M Standards-compliant solution will rely on a unique form of synthetic DNA combined with other unique technologies and applications to connect the pertinent information regarding the individual works, similar to the technology approaches already being used by the pharmaceutical and timber industries to counteract the global systemic problems of adulterated drugs and illegal deforestation. For K&L Gates, the marking initially will be applied to a group of works in each of the firm’s London, Berlin, and Paris offices, with the potential of eventually including art from other offices throughout the firm’s vast, five-continent platform.

“We are proud to support this program,” stated Friederike Gräfin von Brühl, a partner in K&L Gates’ Berlin office. “Through our global fine art and cultural property practice, we see every day that forgeries are one of the major problems in today’s art market. The i2M initiative has the potential to solve this problem for the generations to come.”

Developed through the ARIS-sponsored Global Center of Innovation for i2M Standards based at the University at Albany, SUNY (State University of New York), the initiative is the outcome of several years of collaboration with other leading academic and scientific institutions to solve the problem of faked, forged, and illicit visual art. In addition to its applications in the art world, developers expect that the same scientific and legal standards-based solutions from this initiative can also help to solve the problems of hacking and the unlawful use and distribution of works in both the music and film industries, among others. For more information on the program, please visit the i2M Standards website.

Lawrence M. Shindell, Chairman of ARIS Title Insurance Corporation, commented: “We are pleased to have K&L Gates join this systemic industry effort to remove the industry risk of fakes and forgeries and other fraudulent uses of artistic content and to restore confidence in the art industry. Authenticity, which can only be effectively addressed through technology, is vitally important for all serious collections along with the mitigation of legal title risks, which can only be effectively addressed through insurance. As a leading law firm in the global fine art industry, K&L Gates’ participation in this initiative underscores how many different stakeholders are coming together to address the market’s challenges through the i2M Standards.”

K&L Gates has an extensive team of lawyers with significant experience in the world of fine art, including representing auction houses, art dealers, personal collectors, copyright owners, charitable organizations, museums, libraries, and art galleries. Lawyers in the firm’s fine art and cultural property practice advise clients in the various aspects of art law — from dispute resolution to contract drafting, as well as transactional and strategic advice — with K&L Gates’ global platform allowing the firm to counsel clients on the most complex of cross-border issues.

K&L Gates comprises approximately 2,000 lawyers globally who practice in fully integrated offices located on five continents. The firm represents leading multinational corporations, growth and middle-market companies, capital markets participants and entrepreneurs in every major industry group as well as public sector entities, educational institutions, philanthropic organizations and individuals. 
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