JPO launches anti-counterfeiting awareness campaign


The Japan Patent Office has launched a campaign aimed at reducing purchases of counterfeit and pirated products by Japanese tourists. The campaign, which uses the slogan "So, I never buy", includes:

  • a television broadcast in four of the country's largest cities and international airports;

  • a poster displayed in related governmental offices and major train stations;

  • window stickers placed in trains servicing international airports;

  • advertisements on magazines of Japanese airlines;

  • banner advertisements on an internet auction site, as well as a dedicated website; and

  • an exhibition in the lobby of the Ministry of Economy Trade and Industry's headquarters.

The campaign comes as governments start to realize that attacking the suppliers of pirated and counterfeit goods without addressing the demand side cannot work. Hong Kong's permanent secretary for commerce and industry, Yvonne Choi, recently declared: "There was never a time or place where an activity could be eradicated if there was an unlimited market demand for it."

A survey commissioned by the Brazil-US Business Council in 2005 revealed that 70% of the people who purchased counterfeit or pirated goods in the previous 12 months were aware that the goods were illegitimate. The majority knew that buying counterfeit products leads to tax evasion and debilitates the capacity of public investment in health and education (see Survey reveals public misconceptions regarding counterfeiting).

Véronique Musson, World Trademark Law Report, London

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