The Beijing Municipal Administration of Industry and Commerce recently performed a product-focused crackdown on pirated sneakers of ASICS (Kobe, Japan) in the city and online. The haul of suspected pirated goods (over 31,000) was estimated to have a market value of RMB 10.06 million (US$1.5 million). The pirated goods had slightly altered spellings like “asikas” and logos closely resembling those on true ASICS products.
This focused investigation of a single famous company’s products is, of course a drop in the bucket (China nationally had 21,000 reported cases of trademark infringement alone in January to November of 2017). It is common to see posters in Japan warning against pirated goods, but China (and Taiwan) have been notorious in Asia as havens where people can produce such pirated goods with impunity.
ASICS, working with local IP agents in China, was able to bring attention to the problem and to begin to seek some redress for the problem. An ASICS representative expressed hope that the results of the crackdown have shown to the Municipal Administration of Industry and Commerce how serious the sale of ASICS-infringing shoes is. Indeed, hopefully the crackdown will not be an isolated incident but help better enforcement of IP in China to develop.
Writer: Josiah Momose.
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