Bat­tle against coun­ter­feit goods en­ters a new phase

Of­fi­cials aim to stamp out cross-bor­der trans­ac­tions

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - BUSINESS / DIGEST - By LI JI­ABAO li­ji­abao@chi­

China’s crack­down on in­tel­lec­tural prop­erty in­fringe­ment and coun­ter­feit­ing is shift­ing its fo­cus, of­fi­cials said on Tues­day.

“In the next step, we will in­ten­sify our crack­down cam­paigns in re­gions with fre­quent in­fringe­ment and coun­ter­feit­ing ac­tiv­i­ties, while fo­cus­ing on the online sales of coun­ter­feits and spread­ing of pi­rated copies,” said Chai Haitao, deputy di­rec­tor of the Of­fice of the Na­tional Lead­ing Group for Com­bat­ing IPR In­fringe­ment and Coun­ter­feit­ing.

“We will es­pe­cially root out the cross- bor­der net­works for mak­ing and sell­ing coun­ter­feits,” he said.

He added that in­fringe­ment and coun­ter­feit­ing of such goods as ap­parel, phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals, food, soft­ware and en­ter­tain­ment is shift­ing away from the east­ern re­gion to the less-de­vel­oped cen­tral and western re­gions, as well as the out­skirts of cities. Mean­while, online sales have be­come a key venue for in­fringe­ments and coun­ter­feits along with the boom in online shop­ping.

“Online in­fringe­ment and coun­ter­feit­ing are clearly in­creas­ing. [ The per­pe­tra­tors] are more elu­sive and bet­ter or­ga­nized, and thus more trou­ble­some,” Chai said.

One new trend he noted is the surge of online sales of fake medicines. “In the com­ing year, we will launch a se­ries of spe­cial cam­paigns and hope to col­lab­o­rate with e- com­merce plat­forms to re­duce the crim­i­nal ac­tiv­i­ties,” Chai said., China’s largest con­sumer shop­ping plat­form, signed a mem­o­ran­dum of un­der­stand­ing in Au­gust with the In­ter­na­tional An­ti­Coun­ter­feit­ing Coali­tion, a Wash­ing­ton- based non­profit or­ga­ni­za­tion, to curb the man­u­fac­ture and sale of coun­ter­feit goods.

The col­lab­o­ra­tion cov­ers us­ing avail­able tech­nolo­gies to im­prove the ef­fi­ciency of the iden­ti­fi­ca­tion and re­port­ing of fake goods sold online and de­vel­op­ing ed­u­ca­tional ma­te­ri­als aimed at online buy­ers and ven­dors.

From Jan­uary to Septem­ber, China filed a to­tal of 234,000 crim­i­nal cases in­volv­ing in­fringe­ment and coun­ter­feit­ing, with a to­tal value of 2.42 bil­lion yuan ($398 mil­lion), ac­cord­ing to the Min­istry of Com­merce.

Chai said that the State Coun­cil, or China’s cab­i­net, passed a no­tice to open the files of in­fringe­ment and coun­ter­feit­ing cases to the pub­lic.

“We will then es­tab­lish a black- list mech­a­nism, join­ing forces with nine de­part­ments, for man­u­fac­tur­ers and sell­ers in­volv­ing in­fringe­ment and coun­ter­feit­ing. Con­sumers and en­ter­prises can refuse to do busi­ness with those on the list,” he added.

Yao Jian, spokesman for the Min­istry of Com­merce, said that puni­tive dam­ages and in­verted re­spon­si­bil­ity of pro­vid­ing ev­i­dence will be in­tro­duced in cases of trade­mark in­fringe­ment, a break­through in IPR pro­tec­tion. The com­pen­sa­tion cap also will be lifted to 3 mil­lion yuan.

China boosted its em­pha­sis on in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty rights pro­tec­tion and crack­down on coun­ter­feits in re­cent years. In late 2011, the gov­ern­ment set up the Na­tional Lead­ing Group for Com­bat­ing IPR In­fringe­ment and Coun­ter­feits, which is headed by Vice-Pre­mier Wang Yang.

The gov­ern­ment pledged to es­tab­lish a uni­fied and open, com­pet­i­tive and or­derly mar­ket in Novem­ber’s com­pre­hen­sive re­form plan.

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