Wednesday, 10 April 2024 09:25

Crackdown on Chinese use of Zespri IP

Written by  Peter Burke
Chinese authorities have recently clamped down on companies in that country which have been packaging and selling their own local fruit under the Zespri brand. Chinese authorities have recently clamped down on companies in that country which have been packaging and selling their own local fruit under the Zespri brand.

Authorities in China have clamped down on companies in that country which have been packaging and selling their own local fruit under the Zespri brand.

In recent weeks, Zespri has been working with the Shanghai police to take enforcement action against a small number of people involved in extensive counterfeit operations. Information gathered through Zespri's investigations have allowed local police to successfully conduct a number of raids against those sellers.

During these raids, it was also discovered that the counterfeiting operation also affected fellow fruit marketer Dole and Zespri customer GoodFarmer, which have since joined the enforcement action.

The Public Prosecutor's Office has confirmed it will be prosecuting these crimes, with the enforcement action already having a significant deterrent effect on counterfeit sales on the e-commerce platform.

Zespri says this action reflects its strategy of taking targeted action to keep unauthorised fruit or counterfeit branding out of its key channels, to help defend its premium brand and demonstrate its commitment to food safety. It also reflects the commitent from local authorities to enforce IP rights.

A company spokesperson says the work in this space is increasingly important with similar cases of counterfeit expected to rise as the availability of locally grown unauthorised G3 increases in future years.

"Zespri is pleased to see the action to protect the interests of New Zealand growers and Zespri customers.

"We acknowledge the strong support of local authorities and look forward to continuing to work with them in the future," the spokesperson told Hort News.

Meanwhile, Zespri has also filed further legal action to recover damages from those involved in the propagation of Gold3 plantings as part of its commitment to protectng the industry's investment and intellectual property rights.

It has filed a petition in a Chinese court to recognise and enforce the judgement of our Court of Appeal against those found to have taken the original budwood out of NZ to China.

This is in order to recover remaining damages from the $12 million awarded to Zespri after Haoyu Gao. His associates were found guilty of fraudulently offering to license Zespri varieties to parties in China and facilitated the planting of these varieties on Chinese orchards.

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