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Cablegate: Taiwan Customs Officers Get Nintendo Training

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS TAIPEI 001705

SIPDIS

STATE FOR EAP/RSP/TC AND EB/TPP/IPC

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KIPR ECON TW IPR
SUBJECT: TAIWAN CUSTOMS OFFICERS GET NINTENDO TRAINING

REF: A. 04 TAIPEI 4066
B. TAIPEI 936

1. Following the disbanding of the Export Monitoring System
(EMS) on December 31, 2004, entertainment software companies
have been concerned that Taiwan Customs would be unable and
unwilling to take action to protect intellectual property to
the same standard as the EMS. At the urging of AIT, Taiwan
Customs conducted a series of training sessions on March 29
at the Chiang Kai-shek International Airport for 160 Customs
officers responsible for inspections of airfreight and
general cargo in an attempt to mitigate the concerns of the
entertainment software industry. Training on how to
recognize counterfeit Nintendo products was conducted by
Nintendo representatives from Shay & Partners. Officers were
instructed how to identify counterfeit game products by use
of various security features as well as by looking for
obvious clues such as multiple games on one cartridge.
Customs officers said before the training that they had
seized four shipments of counterfeit Nintendo products in
March.

2. Customs officers said the training was helpful in giving
them the technical background necessary to recognize obvious
fakes and were eager to receive equipment promised from
Nintendo that would help them to identify less obvious
counterfeits. Even before the training, Taiwan Customs has
recently confiscatated a number of counterfeit game products,
including four seizures in March of Nintendo products,
totaling over 2000 items. Over 1000 fake Nintendo game
cartridges were seized by Taiwan Customs on March 27. In
March, Customs officials also seized eleven shipments of
counterfeit Sony Playstation 2 (PS2) games and ten shipments
of counterfeit DVDs totaling 767 items.

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3. The Export Management System (EMS) annual budget of
almost US$750,000 continues to be used to support anti-piracy
activities. Approximately 80 percent has been earmarked for
upgrading computers and other technical equipment used by
Taiwan's IP Police. The remainder will be used to fund
travel to study other regional IP enforcement regimes.

4. The March 29 session continues Taiwan Custom's recent
emphasis on training. In 2004, Taiwan Customs held 12
IPR-related workshops to train 870 officers. Training
included presentations by Microsoft on recognizing
counterfeit software and by Pfizer on counterfeit drug
packaging. Eight additional workshops are planned for April
and May to train Customs officers to identify fake tobacco
and alcohol products. Customs officials tell AIT the vast
majority of counterfeit products found are intercepted in
transit from Hong Kong, many presumably originating in China.
Interception of counterfeit products being exported directly
from Taiwan is reportedly rare.
KEEGAN

© Scoop Media

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