Customs detects piracy at electronics fair under Fast Action Scheme (with photo)

17 Apr 2008

Customs cracked five piracy cases under "Fast Action Scheme" (Scheme) in the Hong Kong Electronics Fair (Spring Edition), which was held from April 14 to17.

Seven products of infringing copyright, worth $1,160, including LED lights, fluorescent tubes and TV wall mount, were seized.

Five Mainland companies were involved in the cases.

The officers arrested four men and a woman, aged 24 to 45, for contravening the Copyright Ordinance.

Launched in July 2006, the Scheme is implemented by Hong Kong Customs and Hong Kong Brands Protection Alliance (HKBPA) in large-scale exhibitions in Hong Kong.

Acting on complaints from two local companies which were both the copyright owners and HKBPA members, Customs officers raided the booths of the five Mainland companies, seizing seven products of infringing design.

"Most of the exhibitors are law-abiding. Copyright infringement activities in exhibitions are not serious in Hong Kong. With HKBPA's co-operation, the Department is able to conduct fast investigations," a spokesman for the Customs and Excise Department said today (April 17).

Including the cases cracked at the Electronics Fair, Customs has detected a total of 55 cases in 17 large-scale exhibitions since the launch of the Scheme.

Under the Scheme, HKBPA members will file copyright information of their products to HKBPA's database before exhibitions. When suspected infringement activity is found during an exhibition, Customs can make use of the database to speed up investigation.

The Department has pledged to take enforcement action within 24 hours against intellectual property rights (IPR) infringement activities in large-scale exhibitions.

Any person who contravenes the Copyright Ordinance is liable to prosecution. The maximum penalty is a fine of $50,000 for each infringing copy and an imprisonment for four years upon conviction.

Ends/Thursday, April 17, 2008

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