Police Awarded for Fight Against Fakes

John Anderson, the chairman of the Global Anti-Counterfeiting Group flew to Beijing last week to present an award to a division of China's Ministry of Public Security for its continuing efforts to crack down on fake merchandise.

The Economic Crime Investigation Division won this year's top prize in the National Public Body category at the group's awards in Paris in June.

"China remains a focus for all organizations fighting against the trade in counterfeit goods, and all like-minded organizations will welcome the developing positive IPR awareness in China," Anderson said.

China's police have long considered counterfeiting to be a severe crime that endangers the country's economic security, disrupts market order, and damages the health and safety of the public. Recognizing this threat, the ministry has strengthened transnational and multi-sector enforcement operations against counterfeits and piracy, said Meng Qingfeng, chief of the investigative division.

The ministry initiated a yearlong anti-counterfeiting campaign named "Drawing Sword" in November 2010. During the crackdown, police across the nation investigated 44,000 intellectual property infringement cases involving illegal goods worth more than 24 billion yuan ($3.76 billion) in potential wholesale value and arrested about 55,000 suspects.

They have further stepped up the crackdown on IP crimes since March of this year, with a focus on large cases involving fake agricultural machines, farm chemicals, seed, food and medicines.

The number of cases investigated surged between January and May by 149 percent year-on-year to 15,000.

And the number of suspects arrested grew to 16,000, up 70 percent over the same period last year.

"The police will improve the mechanism of fighting counterfeits and continue to remain determined to crack down on crimes in a bid to maintain market order and guarantee people's health and safety," Meng said.

A survey conducted by the Quality Brands Protection Committee among its member companies - all of which have foreign investors - in May showed that 91 percent of the respondents found that Chinese police have improved the way in which they deal with complaints, and 93 percent of those surveyed agreed that the police have improved enforcement efficiency.

More than one-third of the surveyed companies said they were "extremely" or "very" confident about the Chinese government's resolve in fighting counterfeits and piracy.

Anderson said the award is expected to further increase IP awareness among the general public.

Headquartered in Paris, the Global Anti-Counterfeiting Group is an international non-governmental organization specialized in IP protection and consisting of trade associations from nearly 40 countries and regions.

The annual Global Anti-Counterfeiting Awards recognize exceptional anti-counterfeiting work by official organizations, rights holders, associations and the media, according to the organization.

The awards were made to highlight special achievements by individuals, companies and organizations.

The General Administration of Customs also won the honor last year.

(Source: China Daily)