Suebsiri Taweepon, an attorney-at-law in Tilleke & Gibbins’ intellectual property group, was interviewed by The BigChilli magazine for his thoughts on counterfeiting in Thailand. His comments appeared in an article named “Unreal! Welcome to Thailand’s Shocking World of Fakes,” which also featured Tilleke & Gibbins’ Museum of Counterfeit Goods.
Speaking on the proliferation of counterfeit goods through the Internet, Suebsiri said, “many IP-infringing products like movies, music, and apparel are now offered for sale online, and sellers now use social media to facilitate communication with customers. This makes it easier for the sellers, and also more difficult for IP owners and government authorities to track them down.”
Many such counterfeit products can be found in Tilleke & Gibbins’ Museum of Counterfeit Goods. “The museum has about 700 items on display and around 4,000 in storage,” Suebsiri said. Also, many of the fake goods on display relate to a significant case handled by Tilleke & Gibbins. “Four years ago we were representing a sportswear company and we seized over 100,000 clothing items.” Continuing, Suebsiri said that a lot of manpower is needed when counterfeit products are seized in a warehouse, and “we have many lawyers reviewing all the documents and going back and forth to the court for the purpose of obtaining an Anton Piller order,” which allows enforcement offers to search premises and seize evidence without prior warning.
Commenting on how the average consumer can identify whether a product is genuine or not, Suebsiri said, “if the product is too cheap, it is almost always a fake. Another way to detect counterfeit items is to compare the instructions or manufacturer’s specifications inside the box,” he continued. “For example, the lot number should be identical on the product and in the packaging. Another red flag for the consumer should be when the packaging is damaged or the color is not right.”
The BigChilli is a Thailand-based lifestyle, business, and educational magazine. If you would like to read the full interview, please visit The BigChilli website.