Tokyo, Oct. 29 (Jiji Press)–The Japanese government plans to strengthen its crackdown on counterfeit products, such as fake brand-name items, that are coming from overseas, informed sources told Jiji Press on Thursday.
The government is considering seizing counterfeit products imported for private use that cannot be blocked under existing regulations, the sources said.
Government agencies aim to submit necessary legislation to parliament early next year.
Currently, Japanese customs seize goods that violate trademarks when they are imported by businesses.
But imports of fake goods for private use cannot be prosecuted for trademark infringement under existing regulations. Some businesses are believed to be importing fake products in a private capacity, sources familiar with the situation said.
The Patent Office and the Finance Ministry will shortly start discussions on revising the trademark law and the customs law, respectively.
Through the reform, the government plans to regard exports by businesses of fake goods to Japan as an act of trademark infringement, allowing customs to seize such items regardless of the purpose of imports, the sources said.
Still, the government has no plans to impose penalties on individuals importing such products.
Fake goods imports in Japan have been increasing on the back of e-commerce growth.
In the first six months of this year, the number of cases in which imported goods were seized by Japanese customs on suspicion of intellectual property violations rose 18.7 pct from a year before to 15,344.
The proportion of fake goods imports from China was the highest.