Greg interviews Wiramrudee ‘Pink’ Mokkhavesa, an attorney at the law firm of in Bangkok. Tilleke is one of the most well-known firms in the city, and it is probably most famous for its intellectual property group, which leads the fight against...
Greg interviews Wiramrudee ‘Pink’ Mokkhavesa, an attorney at the law firm of Tilleke & Gibbins in Bangkok. Tilleke is one of the most well-known firms in the city, and it is probably most famous for its intellectual property group, which leads the fight against counterfeit goods in Thailand and Asia. Khun Pink begins with a brief introduction to her firm, but then launches into an explanation of the ‘counterfeit museum’ located in their law offices which displays various fake products that the firm has helped keep off the market. According to K. Pink, Tilleke’s museum is the largest such museum in the world. She then explains the absurdly large market in counterfeits, which has been estimated at 2.5 percent of all global trade as early as 2019.
Greg raises the interesting question of whether counterfeit goods are always harmful. If the consumer knows their ‘Gucci’ watch is not real, then who is being harmed? K. Pink gives several responses. First, due to lower quality, fake goods can actually be harmful, as in the case of decreased durability and likelihood of failure. Second, a market filled with counterfeits can discourage creators from taking the risks necessary to make new products. Third, companies making fake goods typically don’t pay taxes, thus depriving the government of revenue. And last, countries with a bad reputation for counterfeits can have trouble attracting foreign investment, thus hurting the economy as a whole. Then there is the question of - if you’re okay with shoes and watches, what about medicine and car parts? Where does it end?
The two continue their discussion of this complex issue, covering questions of the role of the Thai government in enforcing (or not enforcing) current laws to how K. Pink gives advice to clients considering doing business in Thailand.
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