Strengthening and continuation of actions to eliminate counterfeit products from Japanese or foreign capital B2C and C2C websites

status:
Progress
Published:
As mentioned above, Japanese capital B2C and C2C websites have been proactive in taking measures against counterfeit goods, and have achieved a certain degree of success. It is worth appreciating that while attempting to detect and eliminate counterfeit products by analyzing image information using computer systems, they have maintained a system of voluntary patrols by man power, based on the cooperation with right holdere. Foreign capital B2C sites seem to focus on their attempts to detect and eliminate counterfeit products by analysing image information with computer systems, while showing an attitude of cooperation with rights holders. The types of counterfeit products and the way they are sold are constantly evolving, and such information is first detected by consumers and rights holders. Furthermore, we do not even know whether computerized systems for detecting and eliminating counterfeit products will work effectively. Therefore, it is clear that the extent of cooperation with rights holders and other factors must be re-examined. However, the aforementioned "Act for the Protection of Consumers who use Digital Platforms" was enacted in April 2020, which gave a good boost to Japanese and foreign-owned B2C sites, and we are under the impression that all relevant sites have started reviewing their IP protection systems once again. We hope this will be a good opportunity to improve further. It will also worth noting whether the seller's labelling based on the Special Trade Code, as stipulated by the law will be properly implemented. In addition, some flea market applications have been targeted by counterfeit goods from China. We recognize that we have not been able yet to resolve this problem and that we have reached a point where we need to consider drastic measures, such as identity verification before listing the products etc.

Recommendations

  • It is necessary to continue to monitor whether the enforcement of the identification of sellers based on the “Act for the Protection of Consumers who use Digital Platforms” and notations based on the “Special Commercial Code” are properly implemented. If not, the law and regulations should be strengthened by taking advantage of its provisions providing for future revision.
  • Although the government has already endeavoured to call for the joining of non-participants ISP companies to the dialogue forum where SP companies and right-holders discuss countermeasures against counterfeit products in order to build relationships between rights holders and website operators, this policy should continue in the future.