Honda battles against counterfeiters for the first time in Sri Lanka

Monday, 1 April 2024 04:19 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

The Japanese multinational automobile giant Honda Motor recently took criminal action against several infringing entities who were engaged in the sale and possession of counterfeit automobile spare parts bearing the Honda brand and trademarks in Sri Lanka. Consequently, three wholesale dealers in automobile spare parts located in Colombo 10 and Homagama were subjected to criminal raid actions instituted by the Colombo Crime Division (CCD), based on the complaints lodged by Honda Motor Co., LTD through their local legal representatives, Sudath Perera Associates with the CCD. 

Upon application by the CCD, the search warrants were granted by Magistrate Lochana Abeywickrama of Magistrate’s Court of Maligakanda against Kevin Motors and Rebecca Motors, the two infringing entities located in Colombo 10 and Magistrate Rajeendra Jayasooriya of Magistrate’s Court of Homagama against D.M. Auto Holdings, another infringing entity located in Homagama, for the raid and seizure of any counterfeit Honda products bearing the registered logos and trademarks. 

Subsequently, the raid executed at D.M. Auto Holdings located in Homagama was followed by the raids conducted against Kevin Motors and Rebecca Motors located in Colombo 10 were carried out simultaneously, and the CCD was able to seize and take into custody a large volume of counterfeit Honda spare parts which were in the possession of the aforementioned accused entities. 

Notably, the CCD officers were also able to seize a large quantity of empty packaging containing Honda logos, trademarks and the Honda wing device, which were manufactured and/or sourced through illegal channels and suspected to be utilized to package and sell counterfeit spare parts under the disguise of genuine Honda spare parts. 

The sale of and dealing in counterfeit products is a strict violation and a criminal offense under the Intellectual Property Act No. 36 of 2006. Counterfeit products pose a major threat not only to the legitimate brand owners but also to the unsuspecting consumers as well. While this unlawful and/or illegal conduct causes substantial damage, reputation, and economic loss to the brand owners, it also poses severe safety issues to the unsuspecting consumers. As these counterfeit products are related to motor spare parts, there is a grave concern of consumer safety and road safety when unsuspecting consumers use these counterfeit products, as there is no assurance that these products are manufactured adhering to the quality and safety standards pertaining to the safe functioning of motor vehicles, especially considering the growing number of motor vehicle accidents recorded in Sri Lanka presently. 

Furthermore, such counterfeit products also present negative results to all other stakeholders from lost taxes to the Government, royalties and other revenues, loss of goodwill and reputation and reduced incentive to innovate and invest, hence it is therefore fundamental that steps are taken to enforce the laws to protect intellectual property rights to safeguard brand owners as well as the consumers.