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Kowit Somwaiya Speaks at USPTO ASEAN Judicial Colloquium

During 20-22 June 2018, the Judicial Colloquium on Civil and Criminal IP Infringement Cases was held in Bangkok, Thailand.  The event was jointly organized by USPTO Global Intellectual Property Academy and the ASEAN Secretariat.  On the first day of the forum, Kowit Somwaiya, Managing Partner and Founder of LawPlus Ltd., spoke on the topic of “Challenges for Consumers and Rightsholders in the Global and Online Environment” as a member of the Board and for the International Trademark Association (INTA). There were around 40 participants from the 10 ASEAN countries and the USA.

During his presentation, he discussed about the impact of counterfeiting and piracy on global economy, public health, local businesses and also government revenue.  He emphasized that a big factor in the growth of counterfeiting is the expansion of the Internet which brings new challenges in combatting online counterfeiting.  Counterfeiters prefer to sell counterfeits on the Internet because they can hide behind the anonymity of the Internet and sell their fakes to consumers globally.  Once one site is shutdown, another one can quickly be opened and that makes it a struggle for brand owners to effectively stop a counterfeiter.

He also raised the issue that there are many players that play a role in online world of trade, e.g.  sellers, buyers, search engine service providers, owners of online marketplaces, payment services providers, Internet service providers, trademark owners, etc. This makes enforcement against online counterfeiting more complicated.

This topic received much attention from the participants as Thailand and many other countries in the region have been facing the online counterfeiting problem and all are trying to formulate and implement best practices to tackle it.


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