ASTANA – The Kazakh state revenue committee investigation department has determined the largest supply channel of counterfeit products is the internet, reported expert officer Elmira Kalygulova at roundtable on combating counterfeit product distribution issues.
“We discovered illegal issues that infringe upon trademarks in the course of operational-search measures. There are counterfeit tobacco products, soccer balls, alcohol products and household chemical goods. Motor oil, drink, sport shoe and mobile phone manufacturing was suppressed as well,” she said.
She added most of infringements are related to DVD-ROMs, both in distributing counterfeit games for Sony PlayStation and 1C consoles and computer programmes for accountants. The committee found nine underground facilities that manufacture discs.
Counterfeit products that do not meet the standards of safety and quality enter the market via the internet. Falsified food products, medical items and construction materials can influence people’s lives and safety.
Kalygulova noted 39 pre-trial proceedings regarding illegal trademark use were registered last year, most by representatives of legitimate suppliers, and 19 criminal cases were registered as a result of operational-search activities.
Investigation teams work to identify the import schemes for falsified products and check express freight delivery.
After the meeting, Ministry of Justice intellectual property rights department deputy director Beket Aligozhin reported 208 inspections were conducted, 168 administrative offense protocols prepared and 157 lawbreakers required to respond.
“The right holders determine the damage. We have already confiscated counterfeit products for more than 16 million tenge (US$50,158),” he said. “As you know, falsified products come from China, our main supplier. Therefore, we take measures not only in the state, but also abroad. Customs authorities shut down product realisation and limit offenders entering the market.”
The process involves the legitimate trademark owner initiating a civil case in court or applying to law enforcement, he added.
Kazakh legislation on trademarks, service marks and appellations of origin claims that goods, labels and packaging with illegally used trademarks are considered counterfeit products. Accommodating, storage, importing, services and internet use are also a violation of the trademark right.
The main victims of counterfeit product realisation are world-famous companies, as they lose not only profit, but their brands’ reputation for producing high-quality products.