Counterfeit clippings: news in brief

News clippingsA round-up of recent developments in the anti-counterfeiting and piracy arena, including updates on political, legislative and enforcement activities from around the world.

A new law in Russia that aims to tackle online piracy by targeting websites that facilitate access to pirated video content is facing a public backlash, reports the BBC. The law gives Russian communications regulator Roskomnadzor the right to order websites to take down copyright-infringing content, and potentially block their domains if they fail to comply. However, it is drawing criticism from those who suggest the duration of copyright protection - set at 70 years after the rights holder's death - is far too long. Others are concerned it may be used as a political tool to censor content on the Internet.

The US and China have concluded a joint customs operation that resulted in the seizure of more than 240,000 counterfeit electronics, including copies of products made by Apple, Samsung Electronics, Blackberry, Sony and Dr. Dre. The action is said to be the largest customs enforcement effort ever carried out by the two countries, according to US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in a statement. The operation also resulted in an arrest by local law enforcement in the New Orleans area of a US citizen who repeatedly imported counterfeit Beats by Dr. Dre headphones, which he then sold on Craigslist.

The authorities in Kenya are investigating a container full of counterfeit Colgate Palmolive soaps and personal care products that was intercepted at the port of Mombasa en route to the Democratic Republic of Congo from China, according to a report on the website. The container had nearly 3,000 Pharmapur soaps, 3,600 high mercuric iodine extra Clair soaps and 130,000 pieces of Medisoft soap with a total estimated value of KES 10.9m ($125,000). The soaps are reported to have been made with hazardous chemicals used for skin lightening.

A total of 40 pharmaceutical manufacturers have signed up to a text message-based medicine authentication service operating in Nigeria, according to a National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) executive. In an interview with the Guardian newspaper, Director in Charge of Special Duties at NAFDAC, Abubakar Jimoh, said the technology had put the power of detecting counterfeit regulated products "in the hands of more than 100 million Nigerian cell phone users".

Two men have been arrested in India on suspicion of being involved in the counterfeiting of medical equipment such as dialysis machines, femoral catheters and diabetes test strips, according to the Times of India. Police said Gulshan Kumar and Ganesh Kumar Sharma made the counterfeit products at a workshop in Madipur, west Delhi. Their operation was discovered as a result of a public tip-off.

In the US, New York company Lin & J has countersued Tory Burch in a legal dispute over alleged counterfeiting of jewellery.  Tory Burch had filed a complaint against Lin & J claiming that rings, necklaces and earrings sold by the company under the Isis brand were copies of its own designs and infringed trademarks, says Racked. Lin & J's countersuit maintains the items are original designs inspired the Coptic cross, an early Christian symbol, and alleges unfair trade practices, tortious interference with its business relationships and defamation, as well as trademark infringement.

The authorities in Italy are investigating the affairs of four Chinese businessmen after policed seized 18 million counterfeit goods, including clothes, cosmetics, toys and kitchenware, in raids carried out in Padua and Rome. The fakes were smuggled into Italy from the UK under false documents, but were originally sourced from China, according to the Agence France-Presse (AFP) news agency.

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