Monday, April 11, 2011

Trends Counterfeit Trademarks/Infringed Patents From China: Smaller Scale, Bigger Risks

Two trends can be abstracted from the 2010 report of the Austrian Federal Finance Ministry to the National Council about the application of Council Regulation (EC) 1383/2003 of July, 22 2003, concerning customs action against goods suspected of infringing certain intellectual property rights and measures against goods found to have infringed such rights. According to the report these trends are in line with the other countries of the European Union.
Unlike in the movie
Matrix, there is no choice
between a blue or red pill.

Only blue pills.
But which one is real?

• Trend 1. From containers and trucks to postal packages via internet

The Austrian customs administration in 2010 seized 2,803 cases after it implemented the EC Counterfeiting Regulation 2004, these consisted out of 292,606 articles. This resulted in (because sometimes a consignment involves more than one person) 4,038 prosecutions. The products represent a value, if they were genuine goods, of € 6,765,057. This is much less than in 2009, when the amount was 16 million euro. So smaller amounts representing lesser value per consignment. These were ordered via the internet and send via the postal service.

• Trend 2. From counterfeit luxury goods to counterfeit daily products with lower original prices
and higher risks

Mass consumer products such as food, cosmetics and hygiene products, auto spare parts, toys and equipment, with all inherent health and safety related risks. Fake drugs were mainly lifestyle drugs such as sexual enhancers, diet pills and hair growth preparations. These trends together are quite a challenge for customs the world over. To check each and every postal package is hardly feasible. If customs in cooperation with industry can find an automised way to authenticate goods, it could decrease risks.

The report says that the EU-China customs action plan, which intensifies the contact between the respective customs, will be extended to 2012. The action plan was a pilot project and will now probably become institutionalised.
For those who can read German, read the Piracy report 2010 of the Federal finance ministry of Austria (in German): Produktpirateriebericht 2010 des Bundesministers für Finanzen (III-226 d.B.) , April 1, 2011.

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