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“Analisa” Daily, September 17, 2007.
An article by Iman Sjahputra, SH, SpN, LL.M.
It cannot be denied that the China’s economic development increase very surprisingly. China, a country located in East Asia Continent, is indeed making other countries impressed. The rapid economic development and the acceleration have astonished other countries but at the same time frightened them. As the fact we could see how the goods from China, formerly known as the bamboo curtain country because of its reticence, are spreading all over the world. From the North to the South, from Europe, United States of America, Africa up until Asia are flooded by the China’s products.
Nobody could predict that the country with more than 1 billion population from the economic side could surprise and threat the superpower country such as United States of America with its development acceleration. Although compared from income per capita where the United States of America’s income per capita is US$ 30,000.00 which is still ahead of China which is at US$ 6,000.00 but from the investment side China cannot be looked down. The foreign investments of China was 2003 have reached US$ 54 billion while in the United States of America was only US$ 40 billion. And it is estimated that in 2007 the foreign investments in China shall reach US$ 60 billion. Very fantastic!
Foreign investments in big scales certainly will be able to lift up any country’s economy. So the Chinese government always tries to attract the foreign investors to place their capital in China. The experts in lobbying and granting the facilities, incentives and tourism campaign are very effective to raise the Chinese’s economy. More than that the infrastructures, means of highways, telecommunication networks and new harbors are constructed to accommodate the international standard. All of the works are aimed to tell that China is a country full of hopes for the investments and needs to be considered by other countries for investments.
The Commitment to Fight against Counterfeiting
After became a member of WTO (World Trade Organization) in 2001 there were many changes have been done. Many regulations that regarded as the investment obstruction had been withdrawn and one of them was in the field of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR). As China’s commitment and consistence to fight the infringement and counterfeiting of the IPR then the regulations on patent, trademark, and copyright that not complied with the international standards were reorganized in 2001.
Besides that China is very strict in crushing the counterfeiting, for example there were many IPR Courts have been set up to solve the infringement cases. The courts in Beijing, Shanghai and in major cities in China are handling many IPR cases and most of them are on the patent, trademark and copyright infringements filed by foreign companies against local businessmen.
The cases of trademark infringements of “Chanel”, “Gucci” and “Cartier” for spectacle frame sold through E-bay in the internet by Tang and his partners is a new modus operandi in gaining profits through internet. A pair of spectacle usually can be bought in Xiangyang Market in Shanghai for 100 Yuan is sold for US$ 40.00 to US$ 100.00. Most of the customers of the said goods are foreigners and sent through international couriers. Many of them are deceived by assuming that the spectacle frame is original, but the fact it is infringed or false product.
However in the process of the law enforcement, the Chinese government through the IPR courts gives the security and satisfaction to the foreign IPR owners. “Louis Vuitton”, “Chanel” versus Silk Market that punished the building manager to pay the compensation of 20.000 Yuan to the owner of foreign trademark. Then the case of Shanghai Di Kai Audio Video Products Ltd. Co. that was sued by 6 companies of the United States of America’s film producers for the selling and distribution of the pirating films of 21 film titles of Paramount Pictures Inc., Columbia Pictures Corp., New Line Cinema, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp. and the others. The Shanghai’s company finally was punished to pay the compensation in the amount of 158.000 Yuan. The Viagra patent case is also a very interesting case where the giant medicinal company of Pfizer as the producer of Viagra medicine has won the case against the decision of the China Patent Review Board through a court in Beijing. On the decision of the case the Court declares that the medicinal companies in China are not allowed to copy Viagra medicine where the patent is owned by Pfizer.
Are the interesting decisions going to stop the trademark, copyright and patent counterfeiting/infringements in China? It is not, apparently in Fung Chiao Pearl Market in Beijing and near the Wu Han Station in Xeng Chen we still could find many of the false products. Aside from that in Jakarta, Medan, Surabaya and major cities in Indonesia are still circulated many of the false products made in China. Who would be blamed?
* Writer is an Attorney handling many cases on copyright, trademark and patent infringements and domiciled in Jakarta.