Consumer Rights Day—Chang Tsi & Partners in Action!



Every year on March 15th marks World Consumer Rights Day, established by the International Consumer Union in 1983 to advocate for expanded consumer rights protection globally. Chang Tsi has long been deeply involved in intellectual property rights protection, providing comprehensive online/offline market surveillance, various types of commercial investigations and evidence collection, administrative/criminal raid actions and customs border protection services. Chang Tsi has established smooth communication and good cooperative relationships with law enforcement agencies at all levels across China, effectively enhancing the efficiency and quality of IP protection for both domestic and international clients. Chang Tsi always tailors protection strategies for clients based on different forms of IP infringement. From initial investigations and evidence collection to various legal approaches such as litigations and non-litigation ways, Chang Tsi ultimately achieves the goals of punishing infringers and obtaining compensation.


Chang Tsi Assists Joint Criminal Raid Actions by Beijing Police and Chaozhou Police


Established in 1917, TOTO Corporation (TOTO) envisions "providing a healthy and culturally rich life." Since expanding its business to China in 1994, TOTO has deeply cultivated the Chinese market for nearly 30 years, with its products highly favored by Chinese consumers. Chang Tsi has always attached great importance to protecting TOTO's IP rights and consumer rights, cooperating with AMR(administration for market regulation), PSB(public security bureaus)and other law enforcement agencies to crack down on counterfeits. In recent years, Chang Tsi's efforts have borne fruit.


From Online to Offline:


After confirming through verification that several TOTO products sold on the online platform were counterfeit, Chang Tsi was entrusted by TOTO to conduct offline criminal crackdowns on five store operators. Preliminary investigations by the Chang Tsi in-house Investigation team revealed that these counterfeit goods were all produced in Chaozhou City, Guangdong Province. Chaozhou City is a concentrated area for the production of counterfeit sanitary products, with small hidden factories mainly located in towns such as Guxiang, Fengtang, and Fengxi. With years of experience in IP protection, Chang Tsi Enforcement and Investigation team developed meticulous investigation plans, using various investigative methods to uncover a series of information related to counterfeiting manufactured and selling in the aforesaid towns. This information played a crucial role in subsequent law enforcement actions and case investigations by PSB.


Offline Actions:


Subsequently, after refining the criminal clues and fully preparing the case materials, Chang Tsi Enforcement and Investigation team reported the cases to the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau. These five cases were coordinated by the Beijing PSB‘s Environmental Food, Drug and Tourism Brigade and handled specifically by the Xicheng Branch, Fengtai Branch and Daxing Branch. From January 10th, 2024 to the early hours of January 11th, the Beijing PSB‘s Environmental Food, Drug and Tourism Brigade, together with the Xicheng, Fengtai, and Daxing branches, with the strong assistance of law enforcement units at the city, district, and township levels of Chaozhou PSB, carried out the crackdown operations against criminal gangs selling counterfeit TOTO products. Based on the infringement information obtained by Chang Tsi in the early stage, PSB simultaneously launched multiple raids in Chaozhou City, successfully cracking down two counterfeit factories and detaining 13 criminal suspects. The Enforcement and Investigation team cooperated with the police throughout the entire operation and provided significant assistance.

This series of cases, from the formal launch in October 2023 to the successful completion of criminal crackdowns and arrests on January 10, 2024, took only three months. Chang Tsi efficiently and accurately completed preliminary investigations, criminal reporting and filing, and participated in criminal crackdowns. From tracking online stores to offline counterfeit factories, Chang Tsi ultimately eliminated the whole infringing chain and ensured that all involved sellers and manufacturers were detained criminally. This operation comprehensively and thoroughly stopped the infringement of producing and selling counterfeit TOTO registered trademark products in such area.


Significance of the Case:


Throughout the case, Chang Tsi integrated resources from all parties to successfully complete investigations and enforcement actions. The success of this case quickly ceased infringements, curbed the adverse effects of criminal activities on the TOTO brand, rapidly and efficiently protected TOTO's IP rights, and safeguarded the legitimate rights and interests of consumers. It fully demonstrated TOTO's longstanding good reputation and determination in combating counterfeiting, providing valuable experience for subsequent similar cases and making positive contributions to the healthy development of the local business for TOTO.


Case Management: Chang Tsi Enforcement and Investigation team led by Matt Hou, Tifosi Zhang and Rose Xu

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