A new intellectual property protection regulation issued by Jilin Province
days earlier prohibits citizens who travel abroad from wearing fake brand
clothes, carrying pirated CDs or books, or mailing pirated articles to foreign
countries, the Legal Daily reported December 4.
This is the latest move to combat the consumer demand that encourages
counterfeiting in a country already flooded with fake goods.
The regulations also stipulate that regional protectionism must be addressed,
and officials who cover up for fake product makers will be severely punished.
Just before this year's Labour Day holiday, during which a lot of people travel, travel
agencies warned tourists not to wear or carry fake brands, or they would face up
to 300,000 Euros in fines at customs.
The warning came from a Chinese tourist who was stopped by French custom
officials for carrying a fake Adidas backpack, which was then confiscated, days
before the holiday.
Haunted by counterfeiting problems, China has been criticized by European and
American intellectual property authorities for pirating at a time when
internationally recognized brands are flocking to the country in search of
Customers like the availability of counterfeit brands, as they can buy fake
clothes, bags and watches at as low as one percent of the original brand price.
Foreign visitors to China were surprised and happy to buy fake Louis Vuitton
or Prada bags that look like the real thing for just hundreds of RMB in markets
well known for carrying fake goods in Beijing and other large cities.
As a result, luxury brand shops have suffered great losses and they are
struggling to protect their interests. In September 2005, Louis Vuitton, Gucci,
Burberry, Prada and Chanel sued the Beijing Xiushui Market, a place known for
selling many counterfeit brand commodities, for illegally using their brand
It was the first time that the Xiushui Market was accused of selling
of fake goods since it opened in 1985. It lost the lawsuit and was ordered to
stop infringing on the property rights of the producers.
The Beijing government has been tightening measures in the battle against
forgery. Shops in small-commodity markets were prohibited from selling fake
clothes and other goods in March 2005.
Consumers, however, provide incentive for fake producers and retailers.
Police see little effect on counterfeit production and sales, which experts say
is due to the country's lack of an intact legitimate system and consumption
environment for consumers to respect and protect property rights.
The idea of intellectual property rights has been deeply ingrained in the western psyche
ever since the British Monopoly Act was enacted in 1624. Both France and
Italy are home to some of the world's top fashion brands which have been copied
around the world. It has proved to be effective for their governments to
cut customers of fake goods in a battle against forgery.