CII calls for common man's help to curb counterfeiting and piracy

Counterfeiting and piracy is generally perceived as a victimless crime with ‘fakes’ simply constituting a cheap alternative purchase. CII wants to change this perception

The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has called upon the common man to stop the menace of counterfeiting and piracy. Speaking at the '4th International Conference on Counterfeiting and Piracy', many speakers felt a need for more awareness and capacity building as an effective way to stop counterfeiting and piracy at its root.

Anjan Das, senior director, CII said counterfeiting and piracy is generally perceived by society as a victimless crime with 'fakes' simply constituting a cheap alternative purchase, and seen by criminals as having a low risk of prosecution with light penalties relative to the large profits to be made. The reality is that the international trade in counterfeit and pirated products is estimated to exceed 6% of global trade.

Most of the counterfeit and pirated products enter India through ports. Last month, the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) amended a three-year old notification to tighten the norms for import of products that have IP rights protection.

According to Dr HS Hassan, commissioner of import, Mumbai, cosmetics, mobile phones and automobile parts are the most counterfeit products that reached the Indian ports. He said, even if they seize some consignment of counterfeit or pirate products, many a times the product rights holder does not come forward and the customs department has to release these goods.

However, often, right holders of such product found themselves tied down with a bond and assurance in the form of a bank guarantee, which need to be provided within five working days. "The government is considering the request of right holders to have a running bond, but at present we cannot tell when it will come into existence," Dr Hassan said. Incidentally, the customs department do not have experts in-house to check and verify authenticity of an imported product and does not mind going for a specialised training from the industry, the commissioner said.

According to estimates by the World Customs Organisation (WCO) and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), about 7%-10% of global trade is derived from counterfeit products. The WCO Customs and IPR Report 2009 said there were 13,280 reported cases involving the seizure of more than 291 million counterfeit or pirated articles.

China is most often found to be the origin of many of the counterfeit and pirated products. However, according to Jack Chang, chairman of Quality Brands Protection Committee (QBPC), in the early days of QBPC, difference in perceptions was the biggest difficulty as some local enforcement agencies in China believed that counterfeiting was a necessary process for primitive economic growth and did not harm the society there. "Changing people's minds is a hard task, but once it is done, our work will become easier than before," Mr Chang added.

Mr Chang, who is also the Senior Intellectual Property (IP) Counsel for General Electric Asia, said, an effective police investigation can hunt down those who start the fire, who create and run the supply of chain of counterfeit goods and put these so-called invincible hands operating the counterfeiting network into custody to face criminal charges. Speaking about protecting the IP across the globe, Mr Chang said there is a need for sourcing and destination countries to work together.

Comments
krish
1 decade ago
STOPPING COUNTERFEITING IS A GOVT. JOB! PUBLIC SUFFERS DUE TO GOVT. INEPTNESS, INEFFICIENCY, LETHARGY OVER DECADES!

HOW DO THEY TACKLE IT IN OTHER SENSIBLE COUNTRIES LIKE USA, UK, SINGAPORE, GERMANY ETC.? CAN THAT NOT BE LEARNT/IMPLEMENTED IN INDIA?!

malq
1 decade ago
Valid points in this article, thanks - but when the Indian Government has as yet not put forth any sensible laws to tackle the issue of counterfeit currency, then how on earth are citizens going to be able to be of help? CII has to get to the root of issues - excise evasion and other such issues encourage duplicate production in India (also known as "seconds" in some cases, like in liquor) and that has been going on for decades. Now that the same thing is done by importers, CII cries foul?
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