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

Published:
As mentioned previously, 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 analysing image information using computer systems, they have maintained a system of voluntary patrols by man power, based on the cooperation with right holdere. However, it is also the fact that countermeasures against counterfeit products have not yet been taken in respect to some internet flea markets, being targeted as counterfeit -selling market from China. On the other hand, foreign capital B2C sites seem to focus their attempts to detect and eliminate counterfeit products by analysing image information using 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. The "Act on the Protection of the Interests of Consumers Using Digital Trading Platforms" enacted in April 2020 may strengthen the verification of the identity of sellers and the confirmation that notations are correctly made based on the Act on Specified Commercial Transactions etc. However, the new law does not include penalties, it only stipulates an obligation to make efforts. It is therefore necessary to keep a close watch on future developments.

Recommendations

  • It is necessary to continue to monitor whether the enforcement of the identification of sellers based on the “Act on the Protection of Interests of Consumers Using Digital Trading 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 for future revision.
  • Although the government has already endeavoured to call for the joining of non-participants ISP (Internet Service Provider) 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.