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4-Year Prison Term and 1.8 Million RMB Fine for Counterfeiting Registered Trademarks of Western Cosmetics in China

In yet another tough criminal sentence for counterfeiting of registered trademarks, the People’s Court of Hecheng, Hunan, China sentenced He XX to a 4-year prison sentence and 1.8 million RMB fine for counterfeiting registered trademarks of Western cosmetic brands including Dior, Hermes, Lancome, and SK-II.  Since December 2021, He XX purchased, at low prices, perfume, lipstick, face masks and other foreign-branded cosmetics from unknown sources. Without obtaining the permission of the aforesaid registered trademark owner, He XX instructed employees to attach Chinese labels listing a production date, validity period and product bar code and then representing the imported cosmetics as genuine cosmetics to stores in Huaihua, Zhuzhou, Yongzhou and other places, which then sold them at a 20% to 30% discount.

The Court found that He’s illegal production of cosmetics with counterfeit registered trademarks amounted to more than 3.3 million RMB, of which the value of cosmetics with counterfeit registered trademarks that had been sold was more than 350,000 RMB and 2.9 million RMB remaining unsold.

The court held that the defendant He XX used the same trademark as the registered trademark on the same product without the permission of the registered trademark owner. The circumstances were particularly serious, and He’s behavior constituted the crime of counterfeiting a registered trademark. This case is a joint crime but He XX played the main role and is the principal offender. Therefore, He should be punished accordingly for all the crimes according to law. Therefore, the court of first instance sentenced He to 4 years in prison and a fine of RMB 1.8 million and recovered illegal gains.

Accordingly to Article 213 of China’s Criminal Law, whoever uses the same trademark on the same commodity or service without the permission of the owner of the registered trademark, if the circumstances are serious, shall be sentenced to fixed-term imprisonment of not more than three years and shall also be fined; If it is serious, it shall be sentenced to fixed-term imprisonment of not less than three years but not more than ten years, and shall also be fined.

The original announcement can be found here (Chinese only).

Principal, and Director of China Intellectual Property Practice

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