What comes to mind when you hear the words, “counterfeit goods”? 

We’ve all seen them. Souvenir shops and roadside vendors hawking what appears to be prestigious brand watches and handbags, offered at a tiny fraction of their normal retail prices. Almost too good to be true, these copies of branded goods seem to be genuine, but are in fact counterfeits, (what we commonly refer to as “fakes”), rather than the genuine items.

JAMA Initiatives For The Protection Of Intellectual Property

Nissan Vietnam Staff Habitat for Humanity Vietnam



Because they are often found being sold on the street corner, it is immediately clear that these ‘branded’ goods are fakes. But what if these counterfeit goods were dressed up as genuine products, in a shop that appeared legitimate? Most people would probably admit that there would be a good chance of mistaking the fakes for the real products and buy them.

Brand name goods feature copyrighted identifying marks, known as logos, on their packaging and on the products themselves. These symbols set them apart from other products and prevent them for being mistaken for another brand. These designs and the rights of the people and companies that created them (intellectual property) are protected by the majority of countries around the world.

When intellectual property rights are not protected and counterfeit goods are allowed to proliferate, the value of the original products decline, and the people and companies that created the products become unable to obtain a reasonable price for them, casting doubt on whether new products would be developed in the future.

Similar to consumer branded goods, automobiles and two-wheel vehicles bear characteristic names for each vehicle model and incorporate a range of emblems visible from the exterior, such as the corporate logo. Beyond what you can see, there are also copyrighted internal features, including various systems and components.

Due to solid brand name recognition, Japanese automobiles and two-wheel vehicles are often victims of counterfeiting. Many manufacturers have had their corporate logos, model names and even the designs of entire vehicles copied in the past. Furthermore, counterfeit service parts, such as oil filters and air filters, which could only be detected by experts, are now openly sold on the market.

The distribution of counterfeit goods not only causes losses to companies, but also can directly disadvantage customers. Vehicle performance could be negatively affected by fake parts and malfunctions caused by inferior parts during the operation of a vehicle also carries the risk of a serious traffic accident.

In recent years governments have increasingly realised the damage that counterfeiting causes and have cracked down on fake goods, leading to their gradual elimination from the marketplace. On the other hand, imitation products are becoming increasing sophisticated, including counterfeits that are a combination of the designs of two different products, or counterfeits that copy only part of the structure of a certain device. As a result, these goods are being sold on the market and are difficult to identify as counterfeits at a glance.
In the lead-up to the establishment of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) in 2015, efforts are being made in ASEAN countries to establish an environment for the protection of intellectual property under the ASEAN Intellectual Property Rights Action Plan 2011-2015.

In addition to supporting these efforts, the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association, Inc. (JAMA) periodically engages in policy discussions and information sharing regarding the protection of intellectual property and consumer education activities with the Federation of Asian Motorcycle Industries (FAMI). Through participation in the FAMI Intellectual Property Rights Symposium, JAMA has also been devoting efforts to activities aimed at obtaining the understanding of the government and industry stakeholders.

Discussions concerning the protection of intellectual property rights are currently underway at both the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP), and JAMA hopes that a common understanding regarding the protection of intellectual property rights will be promoted not only in the ASEAN region but also in countries such as India and China.


Tell us what you think

Email us with your comments   

Read other articles

Article 2:
Nissan Vietnam Staff Habitat For Humanity Vietnam


Mar 2015 (Vol59) | Jan 2015 (Vol58) | Nov 2014 (Vol57) | Aug 2014 (Vol56)
| Mar 2014 (Vol55) | Jan 2014 (Vol54) | All older volumes