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Intellectual Property Rights

Los Angeles-area woman found guilty of trafficking more than 30,000 DVDs with counterfeit Dolby trademarks

LOS ANGELES – A federal jury convicted a California woman Friday on federal charges related to the trafficking of more than 30,000 DVDs with the counterfeit trademarks of Dolby Laboratory Licensing Corporation, a company responsible for sound quality for DVDs and movies.

Dong Qun Lin, who also used the name "Melissa," 42, was found guilty following a three-day trial of three counts of selling movies with counterfeit Dolby trademarks, as well as conspiring with the owner of Tema Media, Inc., a Monterey Park retail store where Lin was employed. The charges were the result of an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Tema Media sold counterfeit movies from China, some of which were compilation disks featuring the Chinese and American movies of actors such as Jet Li and Jackie Chan.

The case began in the fall of 2010, when U.S. Customs and Border Protection seized three shipments destined for Tema Media that contained nearly 5,000 DVDs with counterfeit Dolby trademarks. After the third seizure and after two notices by CBP failed to stop the unlawful conduct, HSI agents obtained a search warrant for Tema Media.

During the execution of that warrant in January 2011, ICE agents seized nearly 25,000 DVDs with counterfeit Dolby trademarks. Despite the search and the warnings about the counterfeit Dolby trademarks, Lin and the store owner re-stocked store shelves and continued to sell the same DVDs with the same counterfeit Dolby trademarks.

In May 2011, ICE agents executed another search warrant at Tema Media and seized another 3,000 DVDs with counterfeit Dolby trademarks. Lin and the owner of Tema Media, Jackie Weisheng Chen, were arrested on the same day of this search warrant. Chen previously pleaded guilty to trafficking in counterfeit goods and is scheduled to be sentenced later this year.

"The Department of Justice is committed to enforcing our nation's intellectual property rights," said U.S. Attorney André Birotte Jr. "This case sends a message to would be pirates and counterfeiters that my office can and will prosecute them for their crimes."

As a result of Friday's verdict, Lin faces up to five years in prison on the conspiracy charge and up to 10 years in prison on each of the three counts of trafficking in goods with counterfeit Dolby trademarks. Her sentencing is set for April 30.