Ways to Prevent Chinese Counterfeiting

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There are a variety of products that are sold by Chinese manufacturers and companies that have higher prices due to certain features and characteristics that are unique. Unfortunately, these are the exact type of products that counterfeiters attempt to sell illegally, and this is what could lead to civil or criminal charges when laws are broken.

Discovering who is leading the counterfeiting activity is as important as stopping the actions. There are four key factors in putting an end to these issues by others. Some of the problems with counterfeit items occur due to the familiarity and knowledge of the products. These persons or companies acquire the items and may test them or research them further to determine exactly how they work and what parts are necessary for reproduction. If others are involved in counterfeiting the products, the owner of the company may discover these individuals through the manufacturers, distributors, retailers and employees.

The more information is shared about products, the greater the chances of counterfeits are possible. When checking the operations and interactions within the company and clients, it is crucial to ensure the manufacturing, distributing and vendors all check out appropriately. If any improper or illegal actions are transpiring, these should be reported immediately. Counterfeiting could lead to criminal charges and civil action. These vendors and clients that provide services could steal or copy items. They may also sell the secrets of the company to competitors that are then able to reproduce the products and sell cheaper options.

Intellectual Property and Registration

One way to stop counterfeiting is to register a trademark and similar IP in China. No matter where the products are to be sold, it is important to ensure they are registered in the country. This often creates ways to protect them legally, and then the lawyer hired by the owner is able to pursue action against the violators. Without performing this step, the owner has no rights to his or her products when others sell similar items or those with exact same processes or ingredients. Additionally, registration and trademarks prevent products from leaving the country through Chinese Customs. More country registrations provide added security and safe guards in more locations.

Monitoring the Items

Just as with any intellectual property, it is important to monitor for possible crimes against products and consumables. This process requires the owner to actively search for those that are seeking to make money off cheaper knockoffs of his or her products. Sometimes, this only demands a search on the internet, and others lead to the owner checking with officials and other businesses. However, the internet may prove the most useful in searches and finding counterfeit items that have similar parts, names and ingredients. Once they’ve been discovered, the lawyer may initiate action against the violator and seek a remedy to the situation.

Taking Action to Stop Counterfeiting

Once the perpetrators have been discovered, it is crucial to take action against them. Often this may be someone that is selling the items online with cheaper pricing, but the products are frequently of lesser quality as well. This weakens the brand of the owner’s company and confuses customers about why some products have better quality and others break down or do not taste as good. A first step through legal channels may result in a cease and desist letter. These are generally sent in both Chinese and English. It is make very clear that if the seller does not stop providing counterfeit items, he or she will face a local Chinese law firm.

While the letters may work initially, not all counterfeiting operations end with a single letter. The seller may not have even known that counterfeit goods were being sold, and he or she may profess an apology. Other instances, the items are sold through online marketplaces such as Alibaba or eBay. When the online presence is a larger location, there are procedures for removal of counterfeit goods. Others may need contact directly for the change to occur. Proving the trademark is registered and owned by another generally is all that is needed.

Pursuing Action against Counterfeiters

When the culprit is found, the case usually begins. If the cease and desist letter is not enough, the owner of a registered trademark or license may contact the vendor and shut the operation down. Then, he or she may seek a remedy though the courts. With legal representation, it is possible to resolve the matter and seek and end to the sales.

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Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer.

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