QBPC Member Service Journey - Best Practice Sharing on Criminal Cases was held in Shanghai on November 13. 38 representatives from 29 members attended the meeting.
Miller Wang, the coordinator of the Luxury IWG, hosted the first half of the exchange meeting. Florence Tam of LVMH Fashion Group started by sharing the story of a cross-border Internet case. Through network monitoring, sample purchase and investigation, many websites were found to use multiple languages and sell products with multiple fake international brands. The websites involved use the same Google ID, domain name information and consistent web template and content, and business mode. In fact, they are operated by the same business gang. Since the case was reported, the network of suspected gangs and key suspects were found, address and activity rules of suspects were checked on the spot. At last, investigation and punishment actions were taken in four different provinces or cities at the same time, in which plenty of counterfeits under LV and other luxury brands were seized on the spot, and all suspects were successfully arrested. This is a cross-border and internet-independent website case integrating wholesale and sales. The buyer came from dozens of countries, and the sales amount of the whole case is huge. Sales platforms, procurement and delivery are distributed in different provinces and cities. This new business model maked it difficult for the public security bureau to master and fix evidence. For the its uniqueness and representativeness, the participants put forward many questions related to monitoring, investigation and cooperation with law enforcement, etc. Florence patiently answered them and shared her rich experience in the actual work process.
In the following, Niklas Fu from Richment brought wonderful exploration on IP protection under the keen sense of the Internet. Niklas firstly made clear the current trend of business transactions on mobile phones. In this context, the infringement mode of infringers has been gradually transferred from major e-commerce platforms to new social media or short video APP. From social media accounts to WeChat public platform or WeChat group, the commodity links for selling counterfeits were sent to consumers finally. Owing of the secret way of selling counterfeits and regularly deleting commodity links, there are much more difficulties in the acquisition and fixation of evidence for intellectual property right holders and law enforcement agencies. Therefore, it is necessary to fix electronic evidence and pay attention to the authenticity and integrity of background data used as electronic evidence in the practical stage. Amily Chen of Buberry thanked Niklas for his sharing different online channels for finding and searching targets for counterfeits. She also had a deep discussion with Niklas and other members on how to take concrete measures to effectively combat fake goods sold through these channels. Niklas also shared a case about counterfeit registered trademarks of 3D trademarks, whose uniqueness and novelty attracted the attentions of the participants.
On the afternoon, Angela Shi of New Balance shared her experience and strategies in fighting counterfeiting for many years based on the characteristics of the footwear and apparel industry. In her view, fighting against counterfeit infringement is a significant and challenging job, which just likes repairing the “cracks or loopholes” in the company’s “house” that may generate potential risks to prevent the spread of counterfeits and avoid serious losses under the current institutional environment. In order to pursue more value within the limited resources, inhouse lawyers shall clear the positioning of work, further formulate strategies, use reasonable methods including administrative protection, criminal attack and civil litigation.
In terms of criminal attack, the focus is on effectively attacking the source of criminal attack and destroy the whole industrial chain of counterfeiting. Angela also stressed the necessities of cooperation with the commercial departments in the specific implementation process, and timely visit the law enforcement agencies after the case is concluded to strengthen the linkage and cooperation with the local government and law enforcement agencies. Finally, Angela stated that it was of great significance to cooperate with member enterprises in the same industry to fight against counterfeit infringements and establish linkage mechanism with local law enforcement agencies for the promotion of intellectual property protection. Summer Li, coordinator of the Sports, Fashion and Lifestyle industry group, and other members also discussed with Angela on practical issues such as the choice of intellectual property agency in the case.
Jason Yao, the representative of the company LACOSTE, then used the golf industry as an example to describe the effectiveness of the criminal case of cooperation between member companies. Members cooperated as the “industry alliance” to strengthen the communication and exchanging with the local government and law enforcement departments. Fighting against counterfeiting and infringements would be carried out with more positive progress on a regional scale. The industrial chains and models of the production and distribution of counterfeits are different in different industries and regions. For different industrial fields, it is very important to choose a reputable and professional investigation or agency company to protect the rights of rights holders from the source of infringement and counterfeiting. It is beneficial for right holders to control different stages and links in the process of IP criminal cases by building the company’s internal industry information database system, developing the information network and grasping the real-time industry market dynamics and clues. Jason had a very extensive and in-depth exchange and discussion with the members on the details of the above issues.
The speakers provided their wonderful experience sharing on Best Practice on Criminal Cases. The participants from the Sports, Fashion and Lifestyle industry group, the Luxury industry group and other industry groups actively exchanged ideas, discussed and gained a lot. Looking forward to meeting you in the following activities.