Laws and Regulations
CNIPA Will Further Crack Down on Malicious Trade Mark Squatting
Issue Date: 2021-07-27
Effective Date: 2021-07-27
On 27 July 2021, the CNIPA issued a letter in response to the opinions raised by the deputies to the 13th National People's Congress (NPC) at the fourth session of the NPC. In their reply, the CNIPA proposed to further improve trade mark examination, increase the efforts to combat malicious trade mark registrations, and protect the interests of legitimate enterprises. For example, it is necessary to explore how to target malicious registrations at the stage of confirmation of registration, along with strengthening its connection to administrative enforcement. Draft departmental regulations such as "Measures for the Administration of Trade Mark Agencies", "Provisions for the Recognition and Protection of Well-known Trade Marks", "Measures for the Registration and Administration of Collective Marks and Certification Marks" have been included in the first and second categories in the SAMR Legislative Work Plan for 2021.
In its next step, the CNIPA will publish typical cases for the public and relevant departments for guidance and reference, and conduct research and demonstration on key issues such as malicious registration and strengthening of the obligation to use to further improve the rules and regulations.
The State Administration of Market Regulation Issues Typical Cases of Online False Advertising
Issue Date: 2021-07-28
On 22 and 28 July 2021, the SAMR released two batches of typical cases of unfair competition involving online false advertising on the Internet. As at the first half of 2021, the national market supervision departments have investigated and handled a total of 3128 cases of various types of unfair competition, with a total fine of RMB 206 million.
The two batches of typical cases consist of a total of 20 cases, involving different forms of click farming behavior. The SAMR believes that click farming behaviors affect the survival of businesses, damage the legitimate rights and interests of consumers, such as the right to know and the right to choose, undermine the market order of fair competition and violate Article 8 of the Anti-Unfair Competition Law.
Types of violations mentioned in the typical cases include: 1) using influencers to fabricate reviews: obtaining positive reviews through organized free “Big V” experiences while under click farming operations; 2) hiring professional teams and using technical software to click farm: fictitiously increasing the volume of transactions with the help of task platforms or other technical means ; 3) organizing friends, relatives and employees to click farm; (4) Hire "water armies" to bring in traffic and followers in live e-commerce broadcasts; 5) making false transaction through “Taking pictures of A and delivering B”: sending small gifts instead of the actual product, and giving positive reviews of the actual product after receiving the small gift for remuneration; 6) relying on old customers to click farm by giving gifts; and (7) sending empty parcels for the purpose of click farming.
Customs Announced 11 Typical Cases of Infringement of Intellectual Property Rights
Recently, the General Administration of Customs has announced a number of typical cases of infringement of intellectual property rights, mainly involving the equal protection of domestic and foreign rights holders' exclusive rights to trade marks, exclusive rights to the Olympic logo and other intellectual property rights, which cover food, cosmetics, clothing, cigarettes, glasses and other consumer goods, as well as freight, cross-border e-commerce, mail and other key channels.
Among them, Ningbo Customs seized 5788 food products infringing on the exclusive right of the trade mark "Lao Gan Ma + image"; more than 26,000 pieces of clothing infringing on the exclusive right of trade marks of many well-known brands such as "HUGO BOSS", with a total value of about RMB 800,000; a total of 200,00 bearings infringing the “HCH” trade mark; 53,300 lip gloss products, 3,600 mascara products, 288 primer products, and 1,080 foundation products infringing on the “L’OREAL” and “DIOR” trade marks.
Nanjing Customs seized more than 108,000 glasses infringing the "ROYALEX" trade mark with a total worth of around RMB 77,000, and seized 120,000 stickers containing the "DISNEY" trade mark.
Beijing Customs seized 2 to 8 cigarette products containing the words "NANYANG BROTHERS", consisting of a total of 374,400 cigarettes.
Tianjin Customs seized 1,958 belts that violated the exclusive rights of the Olympic logos. The belts used the "Olympic Five Rings" logo, and the words "OLYMPIA GO" were sewn on them. 712 boxes of insulation nails suspected of infringing on the "HILTI" trade mark were also seized.
Qingdao Customs seized 61 batches of T-shirts suspected of infringing the "Golf" brand and other brands, with a value of around RMB 9,735.
Guangdong Customs participated in the joint enforcement action of Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macau Customs to seize a series of infringing goods. Guangdong Customs seized more than 2.42 million pieces of infringing goods during the operation; Huanggang Customs under Shenzhen Customs seized 4,000 bags, leather goods, glasses, clothing, etc. suspected of infringement; Fenggang Customs under Huangpu Customs seized a batch of labels and stickers suspected of infringing the exclusive right of "Nestle" trade mark declared for export. A total of 1.025 million stickers were seized.