REDMOND, Wash., April 10, 2007 - Nintendo of America Inc. today announced its strong support of the U.S. Trade Representative seeking formal consultations with China regarding its failure to meet World Trade Organization obligations concerning intellectual property protection and enforcement in China. As part of its uncompromising campaign against international piracy, Nintendo continues to be an outspoken supporter of the U.S. government, given that more than 7.7 million counterfeit video game products from more than 300 Chinese factories and retailers have been seized during the past four years.
Despite aggressive efforts for the past decade, China has built itself to be the leading production site and exporter for counterfeit Nintendo video game products, and has the largest domestic consumption. Despite the millions of counterfeit Nintendo products seized from retailers and manufacturing plants in China through the years, there has only been one criminal prosecution. Numerous factories, where tens of thousands of counterfeit Nintendo products were seized, escaped with only trivial fines or no penalty at all. And often these production sites continue to operate after products are seized. In order to avoid punishment, many counterfeiters are sophisticated and keep stock levels below the criminal thresholds and avoid keeping sales records.
Each year Nintendo participates in the Special 301 process - the annual process by which the U.S. Trade Representative solicits views from the industry and makes judgments about the adequacy of intellectual property laws and enforcement in foreign countries. This year, Nintendo provided evidence to the U.S. Trade Representative regarding piracy in China, Hong Kong, Brazil, Mexico and Paraguay. The piracy not only affects Nintendo, but also more than 100 other companies who independently create, license, market and sell Nintendo products. In 2006, the estimated loss due to piracy was $762 million.
"Nintendo will continue to work with the U.S. government while aggressively pursuing counterfeit Nintendo products in China," says Jodi Daugherty, Nintendo of America's senior director of anti-piracy. "We're pleased the U.S. government is pushing China to comply with its trade commitments in an effort to protect the lifeblood of the copyright and trademark industries."
The worldwide innovator in the creation of interactive entertainment, Nintendo Co., Ltd., of Kyoto, Japan, manufactures and markets hardware and software for its Wii, Nintendo DS, Game Boy® Advance and Nintendo GameCube systems. Since 1983, Nintendo has sold nearly 2.2 billion video games and more than 387 million hardware units globally, and has created industry icons like Mario, Donkey Kong®, Metroid®, Zelda and Pokémon®. A wholly owned subsidiary, Nintendo of America Inc., based in Redmond, Wash., serves as headquarters for Nintendo's operations in the Western Hemisphere. For more information about Nintendo, visit the company's Web site at www.nintendo.com.