Wiramrudee (Pink) Mokkhavesa, a Tilleke & Gibbins attorney-at-law who specializes in anticounterfeiting, brand protection, and intellectual property (IP) enforcement, recently contributed to IP magazine Asia IP, providing her thoughts on counterfeiting in Asia. Counterfeiting has become a flourishing illegal practice; the extremely high public demand for these goods, coupled with the high-gain, low-risk reward to criminals has resulted in a multi-billion dollar industry with no end in sight.
“As long as there are benefits from ripping off genuine, high-quality products by selling fake goods, there will always be counterfeit goods in the market,” Pink says, explaining why counterfeiting is so prevalent. She goes on to say, “Counterfeiters do not have to invest in any research and development, marketing, or even putting the ideas together.” The low production costs allow counterfeiters to “reap huge profits by selling fake products,” because, she says, “They simply copy other people’s works or expression of ideas.” The problem is even greater in Thailand with regard to websites offering fake products. Pink advises: “In order to take action against such a website, we would need to find the source or physical markets,” but in reality, “it would not be worthwhile for IP owners to take actions against them,” because “the source or physical markets do not stock large amounts of counterfeit goods.”
Pink concludes by illustrating the benefits of visiting the Tilleke & Gibbins museum. She says, “By viewing fake goods alongside their genuine counterparts, museum visitors gain a new perspective on the extent and consequences of the counterfeiting of legitimate goods. Through this public awareness campaign, we hope to educate the public on the dangers of counterfeiting and help defend our clients’ valuable IP rights.”