Thousands of products infringing on BLUETOOTH trademarks seized
Bluetooth SIG cracks down on unlicensed manufacturers
The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) recently announced that raid actions have successfully been conducted against Dong Zhou Technology Co Ltd and Shenzhen HTC Electronic Co Ltd in 2008 with thousands of counterfeit Bluetooth wireless technology enabled products and components infringing upon the Bluetooth SIG’s registered trademarks being seized.
The legal enforcement action was a joint cooperation between Bluetooth SIG, Shenzhen Public Security Bureau (Baoan - Minzhi Police Station) (“Shenzhen PSB”) and Shenzhen Technical Supervisory Bureau (Longgang District) (Shenzhen TSB). According to information provided by the relevant departments, over 4,000 units of counterfeit Bluetooth headsets and thousands of related counterfeit electronic parts and components were found at the premises of the suspected company – Dong Zhou Technology Co Ltd in Shenzhen. The case had been heard and those who were involved were charged with administrative penalties of over hundreds of thousands yuan. On June 21 this year, Bluetooth SIG cooperated with Shenzhen PSB in conducting a raid against Shenzhen HTC Electronic Co Ltd and seized 5,000 counterfeit Bluetooth enabled mini USB adapters which carried the Bluetooth and “B Design” trademarks. The case has been transferred to the Public Security Bureau for possible criminal prosecution.
Both Shenzhen PSB and Shenzhen TSB reacted very positively on the raid actions against the infringers in respect of the counterfeit Bluetooth products and their misuse or infringement of Bluetooth trademarks. The police officer in-charge of the aforesaid raid actions mentioned that “they would keep the best of their effort in tracking down the factories and selling points, in order to protect the right of the brand owners as well as the clients.”
“The events indicate that Chinese Authorities have shown determination to curb actions of infringement. The Bluetooth SIG believes that infringement not only hurts the image and equity of the global royalty-free standard, but also consumers who unknowingly purchase counterfeit Bluetooth wireless technology products which ultimately fail to meet their expectations for interoperability and quality. Only through the protection of IPR, including but not limited to copyrights and trademarks rights, can product innovation be further encouraged and the sustainable development in market practices be achieved.” said Michael Foley, Ph.D., Executive Director of the Bluetooth SIG.
Since 2006 Bluetooth SIG administers a Qualification Enforcement Program (QEP). Product issues that are identified and reported through world-wide surveillance efforts are resolved by Bluetooth SIG staff. It is noteworthy to mention that several manufacturers have qualified their products based on the corrective action plans that were mutually agreed upon.
“Bluetooth SIG has always cooperated with relevant Chinese authorities in terms of infringement investigation and anti-counterfeit programs,” said Derek Soh, Marketing Director of APAC & Japan, Bluetooth SIG. Mr. Soh went on to add that, “Bluetooth SIG has been actively promoting Bluetooth technology, especially on the education of Bluetooth trademarks and qualification program in China. To date, five institutions in China have been accredited by the Bluetooth SIG as Bluetooth Qualification Test Facilities (BQTF). The test facilities will assist local manufacturers to obtaining proper qualifications in a shorter timeframe in China in both conformance and profile testing. In response to small startups, Bluetooth SIG has also launched a pilot program in 2008 called Small Business Incentive Program (SBIP), which offers eligible participants significant discounts on qualification costs.”
“All of us expect the market to be more harmonious and normative, although the enforcement actions and the following court verdicts are both laudable and effective in inhibiting future infringement cases. Manufacturers who are in the business of Bluetooth enabled products must qualify their products according to the Bluetooth Qualification Program and use the Bluetooth trademarks in accordance with the Bluetooth Trademark License Agreement,” Mr. Soh concluded.
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