An agreement between U.S. Customs and Border Protection and China's General Administration of Customs to cooperate on combating intellectual property theft has produced its first tangible results with the seizure of 243,000 counterfeit electronic products sold by Apple, Beats by Dr. Dre, Blackberry, Samsung, Sony and UL.
A month-long enforcement operation also resulted in the arrest by local police in the New Orleans area of a man who allegedly imported counterfeit Beats by Dr. Dre headphones, which he then sold on Craigslist, CBP said Wednesday. The arrest was made possible by the supply of information from China Customs to CBP and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations unit.
"The success of this joint operation fully proves that earnest and effective cooperation cross the border is needed to curb the movement of counterfeit products,” Zou Zhiwu, vice minister of China Customs, said in a statement. “IPR infringement is a global issue involving not only the process of production and export, but also that of import and circulation. It not only harms the order of global trade, but also threatens the health and safety of consumers. Enforcement agencies around the world should work more closely to crack down these illegal activities. China Customs has been making unremitting efforts to promote international cooperation in this field. The results of this joint operation are very inspiring and have consolidated our confidence and resolve to jointly fight against IPR violations" with CBP.
U.S. and Chinese officials recommitted at last week's Fifth Strategic and Economic Dialogue to further cooperate on IPR enforcement, including additional joint operations.
U.S. companies operating in China have struggled to protect proprietary secrets from being ripped off by companies selling fake versions of their goods and, along with the U.S. government, have pressed Chinese authorities to do more to crack down on such illegal activity. - Eric Kulisch