Monday, April 04, 2011

IP Dragon Checks International Clothes Market in Beijing: "Waterbedding" Effect of Trademark Enforcement

Building of the International Clothes Market 
While all eyes are fixed on Silk Market in Beijing, IP Dragon focuses its attention to the International Clothes Market in Beijing to check whether counterfeit apparel and bags were on sale.

Let's first take a look at the notorious Silk Market. Tim Smith of Rouse Beijing sent his intern Dominic to take a look at Silk Market. He witnessed that the Beijing Administration for Industry and Commerce (AIC) had put a notice on the wall in Chinese that stated that merchants in Silk Street that were caught selling counterfeit items bearing a list of foreign brands, including Prada, Chanel, Burberry, Givenchy, Boss, Hermes, Miu Miu, North Face would be subject to administrative penalties. If the landlord knowingly permitted the sale of any such goods they were held contributorily liable and it was made clear that they be subject to administrative measures and criminal punishment. It was Dominic's observation that no counterfeit products of the trademarked brands that had filed lawsuits against the landlord, and whose names were mentioned on the notice were on display in Silk Street.

IP Dragon went to the International Clothes Market (金jin 开kai 俐li 德de 国guo 际ji 服fu 装
zhuang 市shi 场chang), which is located near the Beijing Zoo. That it is not hard to find counterfeit products at the second floor of the International Clothes Market is an understatement: counterfeit use of famous foreign brands is omnipresent. From adidas sweaters with hood for 20 RenMinBi (a little over 3 dollar) to North Face jackets for 80 Renminbi. Robe di Kappa, Calvin Klein (but then written as Calvin Kiein), Levi's, Björn Borg. I am not sure whether the design of the pattern on the adidas sweater was also copied. The counterfeit manufacturers also expand the model and product range of famous brands. For example a non-existent LV bag model and “Louis Vuitton” underwear. Text continues below.

The area was patrolled by a police officer. But it seemed not to be his priority. The landlord liability cases in 2005, 2006 and 2010 have shown that private companies can do something about the counterfeit problems at markets by suing the landlord (owner) of the market and the second-hand landlord (the market management company). Check the excellent presentation of Dr. James Luo, Managing Partner of Beijing's Xiang Kun Law Firm about the subject, here. The question is whether the problem just moves away from a place where it seems contained to other places, just like a waterbed. Are the counterfeit products of these active brands not sold in Silk Street, but via a plethora of other channels?

"Calvin Kiein"

"North Face" jackets for 80 RMB

"adidas" sweater for 20 RMB

Robe di Kappa

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