Protection against Counterfeiters – Possible Good News From China
Most companies which have unique products are likely to have taken steps to protect their Intellectual Property Rights [IP] – with Patents, Trademarks, Design Documentation and Copyright.
Each such right can be protected within various rules and procedures – some are enforceable in some Countries and not in others but in most Countries there is a workable system.
However for many years Companies have found either real or anecdotal evidence to suggest that protection of IP in China is something of a never-ending struggle. Fake goods, theft of trademarks, logos and blatant counterfeiting are perceived to be the order of the day.
The problem is often that just as soon as one IP Infringer has been closed down through the Chinese Courts another appears again – leaving with the feeling you are in the fairground game where the pesky little moles keep appearing and as soon as you hit one with a hammer two more pop up. Or in the digital age, killing Zombies on your computer then watching them coming back for more, in ever larger numbers.
It does now appear that the Chinese government are aware that trademark and other IP protection is important not only for Companies trading in The People’s Republic of China but also for home-grown Chinese inventors.
The Chinese websites are mentioning a revived Government intention to change the way in which IP protection is dealt with, with the Government and the Courts there more actively siding with the IP Holder.
It is particularly encouraging also to see that the online phenomenon “Ali Baba” is incorporating a new strategy to dissuade IP infringers.
WHO? Ali Baba, that’s who. This is in fact a very big deal. Ali Baba at the end of this year expects its total business turnover to exceed that of Amazon and EBay PUT TOGETHER. If it can take effective steps, particular in China, to kick the imposters off their website this can only be seen to be good news.
They appear to be introducing a “three strikes and you’re out rule” – first if a retailer is found guilty of offering fake goods then they get a warning and secondly if they do it again they are suspended from the website for 7 days then after that, the third strike, comes as the permanent closure of that Merchant’s use of Ali Baba
The new initiative is also being linked to a policy of education – after strikes one and two, Merchants will be encouraged by Ali Baba to learn more about copyright rules so that it is hoped that genuine sellers who are offering counterfeits by mistake rather than with criminal intent will learn how to tell the difference and mend their ways.
This seems to be a very positive move in the market place and all legitimate traders in China will be hoping that the example set by Ali Baba is noted, and followed, as widely as possible.
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