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Textile News
Jürg Rupp, Executive Editor

The Rupp Report: Action Against Copying

Jürg Rupp, Executive Editor

The organizers of ITMA Asia + CITME 2008 are declaring they will take action against copying and counterfeiting at the forthcoming exhibition, which will take place in Shanghai July 27-31. Offenders risk expulsion as the show organizers announce stringent new measures to enforce intellectual property rights (IPR).

ITMA Asia + CITME 2008 is expected to attract some 100,000 visitors to this first combined show, owned jointly by the European Committee of Textile Machinery Manufacturers (CEMATEX) and a Chinese consortium made up of Sub-Council of Textile Industry, China Council for the Promotion of International Trade; China Textile Machinery Association; and China International Exhibition Centre Group Corp.

Protect IPR
The organizers of ITMA ASIA + CITME 2008 are taking comprehensive measures to protect IPR and safeguard against counterfeit or copied technology. This issue is quite hot among the European textile machinery manufacturers, especially because the majority of exhibitors are Chinese suppliers.

The show organizers are determined to enforce stringent regulations to ensure that only genuine and original machines and components are presented at the event. Before the event, all exhibitors had to sign a commitment to respect IPR by promising not to show any products which infringe upon other companies’ rights, and to cooperate with the appropriate agencies on this issue.

At the show, the organizers will have a dedicated IPR Office, located in Hall W4, Room W4E2, staffed by a team of qualified officials from the Shanghai Intellectual Property Administration. This office will handle any complaints or disputes related to patents, trademarks and copyrights. During the event, organizers also will be issuing to all exhibitors reminders of the need to unite in protecting intellectual property and to work with the show administrators in monitoring this protection.

Sanctions Are Planned
All the partners are resolved that firm action will be taken if IPR breaches are found — with sanctions ranging from the removal of any offending machinery, components or supporting materials from display, to the suspension or expulsion of the exhibiting company. The IPR Office will carry out detailed and impartial investigations or obtain relevant evidence in cases in which a company is suspected of an infringement of any such rights.

Anne Zheng, spokesperson for the show organizers, said exhibition organizers have a duty to take all appropriate steps to enforce IPR, for the protection not only for exhibitors, but also for show visitors, who are entitled to expect a legitimate and lawful presentation of the technology, products and services that are being offered.

No Problem?
In an official press release, the organizers said: “They do not expect this to be a major problem at the show, but they are nevertheless taking these responsibilities extremely seriously. They believe that the measures in place for the show will be effective as a safeguard should any such complaints arise. [These measures] are also very important to ensure the healthy development of the exhibition itself.”

Counterfeiting A Global Fact Of Life In Textile Machinery?
While the organizers are aware that counterfeiting is a fact of life in the textile machinery industry globally, the CITME and ITMA events, have strong track records on IPR issues. In China, CITME has employed specialist professionals since the late 1990s to handle IPR-related complaints, and first established an onsite IPR Office in 2004. ITMA also has had a legal secretariat in place at all its shows since 2003.

ITMA and CITME officials are convinced that the show in 2008 “will uphold this tradition, and the zero tolerance IPR measures being implemented will help to guarantee that we will succeed in our objective of stamping out patent infringements.” Let’s see.

July 8, 2008