Fake phones force company to increase policing effort

The LG Group is increasing its global effort to block counterfeit cell phones. It has registered its trademark in several customs offices worldwide and is operating investigation units in China, Dubai and Hong Kong.

The company said yesterday that it is beefing up its efforts to terminate counterfeits of its popular models, such as the “Chocolate” and “Shine” phones. It is expanding its trademark registration at the customs offices of major countries such as the United States and China so that fake goods can be confiscated at customs gates. It is in the process of registering its trademarks with the European Union and United Arab Emirates. LG trademarks are already registered in patent offices, but the company said that separately registering the trademark with customs authorities enables immediate regulation.

Last month, LG Corp.’s legal team and LG Electronics’ patent center officials conducted a training session that included participation by customs officials from Saudi Araba, Qatar, Oman and other countries in the Persian Gulf region.

LG Electronics discovered last month that a phone called “Diamond,” an imitation of its “Shine” phone, was being sold in China and Europe via the Internet, and it moved to put a stop to sales of the product. It is currently preparing a suit against the maker of the phone.

According to the LG Group, the number of cases in which the LG brand and design was misused increased in China from five cases in 2005 to 39 cases last year; in Dubai, there was only one case in 2005, but six cases last year.

By Wohn Dong-hee for JoongAng Daily

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