Barcelona
24 May 2017
Reporter: Barney Dixon

‘One size fits all’ not for Asia


A “one-size-fits-all” approach is the wrong way to go about fighting counterfeiting in Asia, according to John Kim, partner at Lee & Ko.

In a session at the 2017 INTA Annual Meeting, Kim said that jurisdictions in Asia require vastly different enforcement strategies, and enforcers shouldn’t approach the continent from one angle.

In China, enforcers should become more aligned with organisations that are attempting to make changes to the widespread problems, he said.

Alibaba is one of these organisations and Kim said the ecommerce group’s policies and cooperation are definitely improving.

“I’ve seen a lot of success stories,” he said. “People are finding a more engaged Alibaba. There really is an opportunity to talk to folks over there who are trying to deal with counterfeiting.”

Chinese enforcement tends to focus on raids and large-scale investigations, as evidenced by the recent Alibaba-backed Operation Cloud Sword.

But Kim said this approach is less likely to work in other parts of Asia. For example, in Japan, Kim believes a more nuanced enforcement approach is likely to stand out.

“[In Japan] you’re more likely to see cease and desists—they are a lot more effective over there.”

This is largely to do with Japan’s body of case law. Kim said he would like to see more “jurisprudence and case law” in Japan.

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