10 November 2017Trademarks

Chinese customs reveals 1,500 cases of US-bound IP infringements

China’s customs agency has found more than 1,500 cases of IP-infringing goods exported to the US, according to a statement.

They were reportedly uncovered during two IP crackdowns launched by the two countries earlier this year.

The General Administration of Customs said it would “actively promote increased cooperation with customs administrations of all countries and regions to jointly fight and comprehensively manage” IP rights.

The release was made as US President Donald Trump visits China as part of a tour of Asia.

According to reports, Trump said in a speech yesterday, November 9, that trade between China and the US has not been very fair for “many years”, adding that there was a trade deficit of $300 billion a year.

However, he went on to blame previous US administrations, not China, for this disparity.

In August, Trump asked US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to launch an investigation into whether China’s trade practices on tech transfer, IP and innovation are unreasonable or discriminatory.

On initiating the probe shortly after, Lighthizer said a thorough investigation was needed.

China’s customs deals with large numbers of IP cases every year. In 2016, officers took on more than 19,500 IP rights protection actions and detained 17,400 batches of infringing goods, including around 42 million items.

As WIPR reported for the INTA Daily News 2017, the authorities are under increasing pressure.

Michael Mangelson, IP attaché for the US Patent and Trademark Office, based in Shanghai, said the authorities are overwhelmed with the volume of counterfeits being exported, and that it’s very difficult to identify the shipments “as new technologies and commerce are changing the way goods are being transported across borders”.

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