I-OnAsia Urges US-China Cooperation Against Counterfeits

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James Tunkey, I-OnAsia's International Chief Operating Officer states that the Hong Kong headquartered consultancy has handled 3000 intellectual property rights enforcement projects across Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and Europe. A historical review of these projects shows that counterfeiting organizations are increasingly sophisticated and global. The best way for combatting counterfeiters is therefore through global enforcement cooperation.

James Tunkey, I-OnAsia's International Chief Operating Officer, made the following statement after the United States' filing of dispute settlement cases at the World Trade Organization (WTO) involving China's intellectual property rights (IPR) regime:

"Counterfeiting is a global problem whose solution necessitates international cooperation. Counterfeit products are manufactured in many countries. Indeed, the largest and most damaging counterfeit operations are truly global. Funding, technical expertise, access to raw materials as well as supply chain and product distribution management often all come from outside China."

"The increasing sophistication of these global networks presents a number of enforcement challenges. How do governments and companies muster the necessary resources to combat counterfeiters that operate across multiple borders, aided by the Internet?"

"As a world leading brand protection consultancy, I-OnAsia has handled 3000 intellectual property rights enforcement projects across Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and Europe. A historical review of these projects shows that counterfeiting organizations are increasingly sophisticated and global. The best way for combatting counterfeiters is therefore through global enforcement cooperation and bilateral dialog."

"China's rural economy is being redirected on an unprecedented scale to urban manufacturing, causing the creation of spare manufacturing capacity (filled with skilled workers who can make nearly anything). To be sure, some of this excess capacity is taken up by counterfeiters."

"Yet, the bosses of global counterfeiting operations are not all Chinese. They hide in a variety of countries behind the mask of the Internet, and take advantage of global electronic marketplaces and distribution networks that are enabling technologies for counterfeiters as well as legitimate commerce. These global counterfeiting operations use modern manufacturing and sourcing techniques to assemble multiple components in a single location, obtained both legitimately and illegally from a variety of sources. Often this assembly (and the home of the masterminds that oversee it) is actually in the United States. Indeed it is important to understand that counterfeiting rings can source their goods or assemble them anywhere. Counterfeiters will happily let Chinese manufacturers and the Chinese government take the blame."

"The challenges of multi-national IPR enforcement in the globalized Internet age make US -China cooperation in the fight against piracy more important, not less. The US and China need to jointly combat global operations that do the most damage to brand owners through closer cooperation between their enforcement offices."

"The Chinese bureaucracy (administrators, law enforcement, and the judiciary) is increasingly experienced in the process of IPR enforcement, and is eager to prosecute infringers. China's tremendous strides in the short period since its accession to the WTO too often go unrecognized."

I-OnAsia (http://www.ionasia.com.hk) is a Hong Kong headquartered consultancy that provides brand protection support and advisory to multi-national manufacturers. Founded in 2001, I-OnAsia currently works with clients in over 50 countries to measure, manage, and mitigate operational risks such as IPR infringement.

CONTACT:
I-OnAsia
Hong Kong Headquarters +852.2896.4489
New York +1917.608.3476

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JAMES TUNKEY
I-ON ASIA
+852-2896-4489
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