Pirates Knock Off Not NEC's Products, But The Whole Company

from the would-you-like-to-buy-this-dvd-playarrrrrrr? dept

The International Herald Tribune has a fascinating tale of piracy today, in which the Japanese company NEC was targeted by Chinese counterfeiters. They didn’t just make knock-off products, but instead stole the NEC brand, then essentially set up their own little NEC, coordinating manufacturing in 50 factories, organizing distribution and centrally collecting profits. The pirates even went so far as to develop their own line of products, which NEC says were of generally good quality, and carried NEC business cards and commissioned research in the company’s name. Cases like this highlight the value of trademark law — when it’s properly applied, and not used as a tool to squash competition. Trademarks are intended specifically to address cases like this, where customers, retailers and even factory owners were tricked into thinking they were dealing with the real NEC, not to allow entities to completely prevent any mention of themselves that they may not like.

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Comments on “Pirates Knock Off Not NEC's Products, But The Whole Company”

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RClinch says:


Is there a less imaginative, less original, less capable country on the planet? China couldn’t invent an original idea, or product, if they tried. But why try when you can steal?

A country full of amoral thieves, nice going you MAOist robots.

What ever happened to the great China of old? If they had to build the Great Wall today, they would have to look around the world to see if anyone else had built one, learn about it, steal the plans, then start work on it while denying any theft. I am sure that the official word of the Chinese government on the NEC deal is that they thought of it too, and it is just a coincidence.

David Thompson (user link) says:

IP Law... and a government willing to enforce it

Good news story — priceless how brazen some pirates are! The other problem is that not only does Trademark law have to exist, but it has to be enforced. Recent debates between IP exporters (US, EU) and IP importers (China, Vietnam, etc) have shown that many governments aren’t willing to enforce foreign IP against domestic pirates. Even when the laws are formally enforced the judicial system often favors the local defendant. Maybe that’s why the pirates were so brazen — they thought they’d never get busted.

JS says:

I think that...

…the blatantly racist comments in this thread are due to the fact that a lot of Americans have suddenly realized that soon they will not be the only superpower in the world anymore, both in economic and military terms.

Sure, the copyright infringement is bad. Compared to what the US has done around the world to maintain and further its power base it is not that bad though. I am thinking about things such as starting wars, toppling democratic regimes and supporting dictators, amongst others. Not that China is any better in this regard though.

Unfortunately, powerful countries often do bad things to maintain and further their power. What the US really should worry about is when the Chinese start making better quality products than they do. Like Japan has, for instance. It’s no wonder American car manufacturers are struggling. They live on past glory, while the Japanese actually care about things like quality control. Believe you me, your grandchildren will probably study mandarin in high school instead of French.

RH says:

Re: I think that...

“blatantly racist”, I think not. Certainly a health dose of nationalism though. Modern folks often confuse the two.

China ignores trademarks and copyrights simply because it is in its national interest to do so. When it ceases to be in its national interest China will stop (witness South Korea). Countries normally do not act morally or ethically unless it is to their advantage (in their national interest). Almost all governments lie (frequently) and will certainly lie to advance their own agenda.

This will change only when their people hold their leaders and bureaucrats (individually and collectively) to the same standards they hold their friends. But alas we are sheep and fear power, torture, death, persecution, harassment and even inconvenience. Many don’t care and others are in favor of being advanaged at nearly any cost. So it is.

No doubt China is a rising power. IMHO the US is a falling one. The fall will probably be slow and happen over a few generations. Powers rise and powers fall – “same as it ever was.”

I’m glad they shut them down (the NEC fakes). They had stolen the work of others and caused harm. The wrongness of one action (war in Iraq, support for dictators, etc.) does not justify a completely independent wrong (and normally not even a dependent one).


Jake says:


… how many xenophobic and racist comments was sent here. Calling all Chinese “scum” and “incapable of anything”… and you didn’t actually read the whole article (first link on top of this page). This piracy business was organized by Japanese (!!!) and Taiwanese criminals, and factories in China didn’t actually know that they were not dealing with “real” NEC. NEC officials also said that pirated products were “generaly of good quality”. Do you think this would be the case, it the whole operation was organized by Chinese? 🙂

Eduardo dela Pena (profile) says:

Help protect the music industry from legal pirates

surf: US vs Antigua WTO online gambling Bush Uigea for proof of this article

Need Pres Obama attention.

US lost to Antiqua in the UIGEA unfair trade dispute. US offered the small Caribean Nation $500.000 compensation. The World Trade Organization panel awarded the right for Antigua to violate US copyright protection. Antiqua can now produce copies of U.S. DVDs and music CDs without having to worry about copyright infringement up to $21 million every year.

It’s a landmark moment for global trade. Mark Mendel, lead lawyer quote “That has only been done once before and is, I believe, a very potent weapon.”
In response to the arbitrator’s decision the U.S. has requested Antigua hold off on imposing sanctions authorized by the WTO until Washington can revise its commitments to the organization. What happen if Antiqua decides to implement the WTO decision? ZookZ (zookz.com) has announced plans to capitalize on the 2007 WTO ruling

Comment: Using US patent rights a ” stake” in global trade issue should be a concern of Congress in Patent Reform Act of 2009.

The simmering dispute escallated into Goliath.- Recent development in the fight against the UIGEA have mushroomed into:
a) word that the Poker Players Alliance (PPA) is considering filing a class action lawsuit against the government over the UIGEA.
b) Violation of Trade Agreements. June 14, 2009, Amy Calistri
On June 10th, the European Commission released a report finding that U.S. online gaming laws and their enforcement are in violation of the World Trade Organization’s General Agreement of Trade and Services (GATS). The European Commission’s investigation was prompted by a complaint lodged in December 2007 by the Remote Gambling Association (RGA) following the United States’ 2006 passage of the UIGEA.
The report made it perfectly clear that there are high costs associated with U.S. infractions, citing the losses in revenue and stock market capitalization incurred by European companies who had to vacate the U.S. market.
c).Seven countries now including Australia, Canada and Macau have filed compensation claims against the United States in its ongoing internet gambling WTO case with Antigua and Barbuda.

Rep Barney Frank Statement on European Commission’s Report on U.S. Internet Gambling Laws.
. The report concludes that the U.S. measures constitute an obstacle to trade that is inconsistent with World Trade Organization (WTO) rules. It also concludes that U.S. laws deny access and discriminate against foreign suppliers of gambling and betting services inconsistently with U.S. WTO obligations.
“This is further argument for repealing the law which currently restricts the personal freedom of American adults to gamble online.

Spirit of innovation on Felony level Bush: Animal Fighting Prohibition Enforcement Act.

An Inventor, author of this article awaits the USDA reply from his offer to ease the suffering of Rural America from escallating unemployment. which resulted from legislation prohibiting breeders’ interstate and foreign transport of their product.The inventor narrates the economic situation and solution for job creation in its articles on 333chamfil.newsvine.com entitled “Economic recovery for the rural areas and small businessmen” and “Challenge to athletics, couches”. The Rooster Electronic Invention can be jumpstarted anywhere and can apply online license in the Carribean but prefer US. Surf Yahoo.video for prototypes and search for cockfighting alternative, cockfight skills and High score wins. The invention proposes an ONLINE Roosterbox. Browse : roostertronic2.webs.com

Intellectual Property Office Phil.* Rooster Electronic Boxing * Application No. : 1200002498 * Published

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