The real-name registration system for mail parcel in China gives IPR holders a hope to challenge the tricky independent infringing websites to a duel.
After a severe mail bomb case happened in Hangzhou last year, the Ministry of Public Security of P. R. China (MPS) is planning to carry out an EMS real-name registration system to strengthen its surveillance on mail parcels and to prevent similar fatal crimes. The real-name registration system means that every sender needs to show and register his/her ID information when he/she wants to send a mail parcel. Currently Zhejiang Province has become the first experimental province for the registration system. If everything goes well, the MPS will spread the real-name registration system throughout China.
In China, there is a large number of independent infringing websites (a website with its own domain name, not a shop hosted by a marketplace like Taobao), which mainly sell counterfeit goods to consumers outside China. They probably use servers located outside China, but are actually operated by infringers inside China. Generally, the common working pattern of an infringing website is to cyber-squatt a domain name, very similar to a famous name, then redirect the domain name to other websites in order to sell infringing goods.
The biggest obstacle for IPR owners now is tracking and locating the counterfeiters. Because the websites usually provide fake names and addresses when sending the counterfeits. All these characteristics make it a Mission Impossible to catch the real operators, and IPR owners are facing increasing costs with no foreseeable results.
The most common solution is filing a domain name dispute. It can help the IPR owners to recover the domain name in question. However, the infringers may easily restart a brand new website, for a very low cost. This solution is generally considered as not cost-efficient.
The real-name registration system might be a hope for IPR owners to find a chance to challenge the infringing websites. Once the real-name registration system is officially announced and implemented throughout China, the risks for the infringers to be caught will be highly increased. They will certainly continue to try sending parcel with a fake name or address (assuming there is no control), but they probably will be unable to hide all clues as to the real operator.
Once the operators are located, IPR owners then may choose multiple anti-counterfeit strategies such as administrative/criminal raids, damage-purposed litigations and etc.
IPR owners are paying close attention to the real-name registration system.