The past week saw a series of major raids on counterfeit products across Cambodia, a positive sign for foreign brands seeking to enforece their IP rights in the Kingdom.
The raids, undertaken by the economic police, took place in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, targeting counterfeit apparel, bags, luggage and cosmetics. As reported by the Phnom Penh Post, The North Face instigated a series of raids targeting infringing sellers, including one audacious enough to build an entire fake North Face store. Separately, the economic police conducted raids in Phnom Penh against King Well Trading Company, netting 160 cases of counterfeit cosmetics (story here).
While these raids are a good signal, more important will be whether the prosecutors pursue criminal charges. As specified in the trademark law, counterfeiters can be fined up to $5,000 per infringement and sentenced to up to five years imprisonment (repeat-infringers can face double these penalties). Unless those responsible face more than the seizure of their goods, they'll likely be back at it in short order. Stay tuned.