Over a million counterfeit goods found. Employees facing prison sentences.
DID YOU KNOW? - COUNTERFEITERS PAY HEFTY PRICE IN TAIWAN FOR ILLEGAL MANUFACTURING AND DISTRIBUTION OF NINTENDO PRODUCTS
May 24, 2004 – Taiwan's Pan-Chiao District Court has rendered a judgment against Taiwan's Yudian Company, a major manufacturer and distributor of counterfeit Nintendo Game Boy® video game cartridges. Hwei-chu Chen, one of the principals of Yudian, was sentenced to six years in prison, while six other employees of Yudian received sentences of up to three years in prison.
The prosecution resulted from a raid on Yudian that was conducted by the Taipei County station of the Investigation Bureau of the Ministry of Justice (IB) on May 21, 2001. Yudian Company was owned by Chen-chi Kuo and Hwei-chu Chen, and has been suspected of manufacturing and distributing Nintendo counterfeits for years. The IB seized from Yudian more than 1.5 million pieces of counterfeit Nintendo goods, including components used to assemble those counterfeit products. The case was one of the largest counterfeit cases in Taiwan in years and the goods were destined for global distribution.
The huge quantity of counterfeits caused the Pan-Chiao District Attorney to indict all major defendants, including Hwei-chu Chen and seven employees, although the president of Yudian, Mr. Kuo, has fled and a warrant has been issued for his arrest. The Pan-Chiao District Court rendered guilty judgments against all the defendants and issued its sentences after a review of the detained counterfeits that were seized from Yudian.
"Chen-chi Kuo, Hwei-chu Chen and the companies they control have sold millions of Nintendo counterfeits around the world," said Jean Lin, manager of anti-piracy for Nintendo of America Inc. "This judgment will deter others from manufacturing and distributing Nintendo counterfeits in the future. We applaud the Taiwan governmental and judicial efforts to put an end to this major counterfeiting operation."
Worldwide piracy is estimated to have cost the United States entertainment software industry more than $3 billion annually. In 2003, Nintendo, together with its publishers and developers, suffered nearly $720 million in lost sales as a result of illegal copying of Nintendo products.