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US Law Firm Joins Fight Against IPR Violations
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Baker & McKenzie, a US-based law firm, is joining forces with Chinese businesses and governments to build up an effective mechanism to fight against brand name infringement.


Working for the intellectual property rights (IPR) protection for some luxury commodities brands, Baker & McKenzie announced over the weekend a year-long campaign to fight against the production and trade of fake products on behalf of Adidas, Puma, LV, CK, Chanel, Gucci and other international leading brands.


"As of now, 21 brand names have endorsed the action and entrusted us in the fight," Luo Zhenghong, senior consultant of Baker & McKenzie, told China Daily yesterday through a telephone interview from Hong Kong.


It would take one year to inspect the markets in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen in efforts to detect the fake products before launching the legal process.


Luo revealed that the law firm is also making efforts to call for the improvement of the contract between retailers and markets.


"A sales ban for fake products should be added to the rental contract before any booth is rented or purchased by the retailers," he said.


Inspecting the small retailers one by one is almost "mission impossible," Luo said. However, he added that the checking and supervision of the major markets' daily deals is a much easier job.


The law firm carried out basic market research for all the 21 brands for their sales and IPR violation status in China before launching the campaign.


However, no details of the research are available.


But China Daily learned that all the listed 21 brands are among the worst-hit ones in the Chinese market in terms of IPR violations.


Wang Zili, general manager of Beijing Silk Street Garment Market Co Ltd, told China Daily he already knew that an international law firm was about to start the fight against brand violations on behalf of some of the world's famous luxury commodity giants.


Building up fame in the past decade for its cheap export-oriented and imitation products, Silk Street has been listed as one of the key inspection markets.


Along with suggestions on improving the rental contract, the law firm is also in talks with public security authorities at all levels to enforce the crackdown on illegal brand infringement.


(China Daily May 1, 2006)

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