Jailed Counterfeiters Made US$2B Selling Fake Microsoft Goods

Posted Jan 2, 2009 by Leo Reyes
The Chinese government has busted a major syndicate engaged in counterfeiting Microsoft products that resulted in the jailing of top syndicate members.
Chinese counterfeiting syndicates made some US$2 Billion selling fake Microsoft goods that were sold in 36 countries around the world. Microsoft described the group as the world’s biggest counterfeiting syndicate.
Australian IT: The court in southern city of Shenzhen on Wednesday sentenced 11 people to jail terms of up to six and a half years for making high quality counterfeit soft wares that were sold in 36 countries.
The sentences were the ‘stiffest ever meted out for intellectual property rights violations in China’. The illegal syndicate based in the Southern province of Guangdong, pirated 19 of other company’s most popular products, which were produced in at least 11 languages, the report added.
The ring leaders were arrested in July 2007 in joint by joint efforts of Chinese and US authorities.
The US government called the syndicate busting as a milestone in law enforcement between the two countries.
Counterfeiting is rampant in China and has become an irritant to diplomatic ties between the two countries.
Other than Microsoft products, other known brands in fashion, electronics, clothes and other popular brands are sold openly in the Chinese markets. Most of these fake products are exported by Chinese syndicates to many places around the world.
‘Washington filed a case in April 2007, at the World Trade Organization over widespread copyright piracy in China, a practice that companies say deprives them of billions of dollars in sales each year’.
In November last year China'ss Assistant Commerce Minister Chong Quan told US industry and government officials at a gathering in Beijing that Washington must take into account its difficulties as a developing country in tackling copyright breaches. The Australian IT added.