Managing Intellectual Property – Alibaba’s IPR report shows anti-counterfeiting gains but more can be done
Karry Lai speaks with observers to get their views on how Alibaba and the Chinese government can improve anti-counterfeiting.
“Brand owners are being told to go to the courts for this sort of data, and it’s just not practical in most cases,” said Joe Simone, partner at SIPS.
“There’s no repeat offender rule in place as yet,” observes Simone. “Small companies just can’t justify the costs of playing whack-a-mole, and the idea of pursuing civil actions against all violators is inconceivable. New measures are needed that efficiently block clear violations from reappearing and ideally deter the vendors from trying again through different fronts.”
“Advertising on social media is particularly difficult to police where the groups are closed, making it impossible for IP owners and even government enforcers to effectively monitor,” said Simone.
According to Simone, “there is only so much the police and prosecutors can do, given limited resources and the current numerical thresholds for conviction that are mandated by China’s Criminal Code. Meanwhile, civil enforcement is becoming more attractive but the courts in the main hotspots, like Guanghou and Shenzhen are now getting clogged with cases”.
Simone said “very few of those cases started with an investigation by a local AIC into an online advertisement”.
According to Simone, “one can only file a civil complaint in China if you have already identified the individual or company being targeted. By contrast, in other countries, action can be taken against anonymous parties.”
June 19, 2018