Hong Kong cracks down on counterfeiters

23-04-2013

Hong Kong customs officials have arrested two men and seized more than 8,000 counterfeit tablets worth $840,000.

In a statement released on Monday, Hong Kong’s Customs and Excise Department confirmed officers had seized 2,440 pills worth $240,000 from a truck at Sha Tau Kok control point on April 18 and 6,054 tablets worth $600,000 at port town Kwai Chung the following day.

Two men aged 48 and 54 have been arrested and released on bail pending further investigation.

Officers also seized a batch of counterfeit clothes and accessories on April 18 worth $20,000. The goods were intercepted at Hong Kong airmail centre and it’s believed they were being posted to overseas buyers.

Alan Chui, a partner at Mayer Brown in Hong Kong, says the drugs seizures are some of the most significant and high value this year. 

According to a report published by US Customs and Border Protection in January, Hong Kong accounts for 12 percent of all counterfeit and pirate goods entering the US. But Chui said there has been a significant drop in counterfeiting activities in the region as a result of joint efforts between Customs and rights holders.

“Hong Kong Customs is highly efficient in its anti-counterfeiting work—officers are generally responsive, flexible and helpful, and are willing to meet IP owners to discuss face-to-face any concerns or complaints they may have,” he said.

Chui praised Customs’ efforts in tackling cyber and hi-tech IP crimes—the department has its own forensic computer lab for collecting, preserving, analysing and presenting digital evidence in piracy cases—and the investigative work which led to the world’s first criminal copyright infringement conviction in 2005 against a BitTorrent user who had been illegally downloading films under the name BigCrook.

Since 2004, it has also established an Intellectual Property Rights Protection Alliance (IPRPA) in collaboration with IP owners, lawyers and other enforcement agents. Mayer Brown JSM is a working IPRPA committee member. Since it's establishment, Chui said the firm has been working closely with Customs to promote IP protection.

This article was first published on 24 April 2013 in World IP Review

Hong Kong, counterfeit, drugs, clothing, seizures, anti-counterfeiting, Customs and Excise

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