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5-Month Criminal Detention Sentence for Legal Representative of Chinese IP Agency for Forging TM Documents

On January 5, 2023, the China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA) announced an administrative penalty decision for a Chongqing, China intellectual property agency.  The IP Agency was retained to file trademark applications but instead of filing forged the “Notice of Acceptance of Trademark Registration Application” by modifying the applicant, application address, etc. to that of the client and then transmitted it to the client. The legal representative of the agency was sentenced to 5 months of criminal detention and fined 10,000 RMB and the agency was permanently suspended from prosecuting trademark applications before CNIPA.

Upon investigation it was determined that in February 2020, Chongqing Qixin Intellectual Property Agency Co., Ltd. represented a client in the application for trademark registration of “Wujitai” (classes 33, 35) and “Wulin Baisui Liquor” (classes 33, 35). The electronic version of the “Notice of Acceptance of Trademark Registration Application” issued by the Trademark Office of the State Intellectual Property Office was used as a template, and the content such as the applicant and application address was forged by the Agency and delivered to the client. After the client found out, it reported to the Chongqing Market Supervision Administration. The Trademark Office of the CNIPA confirmed it did not issue the above-mentioned “Notice of Acceptance of Application for Trademark Registration.”
On March 3, 2021, the legal representative of the party was sentenced to 5 months of criminal detention and fined 10,000 RMB by the People’s Court of Rongchang District, Chongqing City for forging official documents of state organs. On March 15, 2022, the Market Supervision and Administration Bureau of Nan’an District, Chongqing City issued warnings and fines to the parties in accordance with Article 68 of the Trademark Law of the People’s Republic of China.
On December 6, 2022, the Trademark Office of CNIPA notified the party concerned of the facts, reasons, basis, and content of the proposed administrative punishment and the plan to be included in the list of serious violations and dishonesties in market supervision and management.. The party did not make a statement within the prescribed time limit, submit defense opinions, and no request for a hearing was filed.
CNIPA explained:
According to Article 68, Paragraph 1 (1), Article 68, Paragraph 2 of the “Trademark Law of the People’s Republic of China”, and Article 90 of the “Regulations for the Implementation of the Trademark Law of the People’s Republic of China”  if the CNIPA wants to stop accepting trademark agency services for trademark agency business, it may make a decision to stop accepting the trademark agency business for more than 6 months or to permanently suspend acceptance” and this will be announced on the government portal website of the CNIPA.
The above-mentioned behavior of Chongqing Qixin Intellectual Property Agency Co., Ltd. belongs to the “engaging in serious illegal patent and trademark agency behavior” enumerated in item (2) of Article 9 of the “Market Supervision and Management Serious Violation and Untrustworthy List Management Measures.” In accordance with the Article 2 and Article 12 of the Measures for the Administration of the List of Illegal and Untrustworthy Enterprises it is hereby decided to include Chongqing Qixin Intellectual Property Agency Co., Ltd. in the List of Seriously Illegal and Untrustworthy Enterprises for Market Supervision and Management, and to announce it through the National Enterprise Credit Information Publicity System and implement corresponding management measures. The period of inclusion is from December 30, 2022 to December 29, 2025. After the expiry of one year, the parties may apply to CNIPA for early removal from the List  in accordance with the provisions of Articles 16 and 17 of the Measures, stop publishing relevant information and lift corresponding management measures .
Chongqing Qixin Intellectual Property Agency Co., Ltd. shall properly handle the unfinished trademark agency business and bear the relevant responsibilities caused by the failure to properly handle it. If the parties are dissatisfied with this decision, they may apply to the CNIPA for administrative reconsideration within 60 days of receiving this decision, or file an administrative lawsuit with a competent people’s court within 6 months of receiving this decision. During the period of reconsideration and litigation, the execution of the above decisions shall not be suspended.
The full text of the Notice is available here (Chinese only).
Principal, and Director of the China Intellectual Property Practice

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