Enforcers of Intellectual Property Rights (EIPR), India’s largest investigation agency specialising in anti-counterfeiting solutions, busted a racket of counterfeit goods hoarded and circulated e-business retailers. MIDC police, along with special EIPR assistance, raided an authorized dealer of Flipkart and Snapdeal and impounded a wide range of counterfeit products from his godown in Mumbai.
Theft is an age old crime. However theft no longer means just breaking into houses or banks to rob gold and money. It now also includes robbing people of their ideas; and is more commonly referred to as intellectual property theft. Appropriate laws and enforcement agencies in the form of small units of policemen under the Economic Offences Wing and extra powers granted to the Customs Officers, to name a few, are the steps taken by our country for protection of IPR. This suggests that the study of IP laws albeit extensive, is being done in isolation; and the necessary question which follows is that is it enough?
By Aishwarya Bedekar, III BSL LLB, ILS Law College, Pune
Here’s a rather interesting incident I came across on the Internet.
On 5th January more than 50, 000 fake products were destroyed by police authorities at the Tuanjishan disposal center in Zoushan city, East China’s Zhejiang province. These were products were counterfeits of those manufactured by Philips, STIHL, Bosch and 12 such home and international brands.
In 2014, the Zhoushan Customs Department dealt with 44 such cases involving around 1.29 million fake products valued at nearly Yuan 2 million. This is a step towards protecting the rights of IP owners and to create fear among those who make such fake products, or so they claim.
We have all bought products of a famous brand and just as we are about admiring this shopping triumph, we find a “Made in China” label at the bottom of the product. Such unfortunate findings surely hurt the feelings of brand conscious shoppers, leaving them duped into buying fake products.
According to a report released by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime titled “Transnational Organized Crime in East Asia and the Pacific,” (2008-10) almost 70% of all counterfeits seized globally come from China. On 30th January 2015, the Head of China’s Commerce Regulator met with Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. Chairman Jack Ma to join hands in order to curb production of fake articles. Ma promised to “actively cooperate with the government (and) devote more capital” to combat production of fake goods. The official Xinhua news agency reported the same.
On the one hand we see China overlook the seemingly perpetual penetration of (fake) ‘China Maal’ the global market (especially the Indian market); while on the other hand we see Chinese officials burn counterfeit goods apparently to make a point.