What type of IP case dominates criminal prosecutions in China?
Answer: Surprise – Trademark Infringement! (Sorry patent fellows!)
As discussed in this series of posts (for earlier posts, click here), cases in Guangdong accounted for almost half of the IP criminal cases in China in 2016. Among these cases, TRADEMARK disputes took the crown for topping the criminal case list.
Below are some notable trends involving IP criminal cases in China:
- Trademark infringement cases remain dominant among all IP criminal cases in China.
- The top three products favored by Chinese infringers are: leatherwear, cigarettes and alcohol, and cosmetics.
- Despite this, the “trend” is now gradually shifting from luxury products to daily consumer products, such as cooking oil, mineral (clean) water, and automobile tires. Daily consumer product infringements are more likely to receive criminal treatment for public health and safety concerns.
- In addition to infringing internationally-famous brands (most trademark infringement cases in China deal with “Western” brands), local Chinese brands have started to get infringers’ attention (e.g., Joyoung (a kitchen appliance brand) and C’estbon (a water brand)). We take this as “good news,” because it means Chinese corporate giants will start to support lobbying efforts to stop this infringement .
- Since the 2014 trademark reform, lobbying efforts have focused on asking the policy makers to recognize – or at least make it easier to recognize – common law trademark infringement.
- Internet counterfeits are still the dominant cases – among the 1,390 IP criminal cases processed in Guangdong, 184 involved the internet. Statistics also show a dramatic increase in cyber IP crimes in China. Most of the online counterfeits, sadly, are from internal sources within a company.
The original article is available here :