China’s Ministry of Public Security Announces 10 Typical Cases of Strengthening Protection of Intellectual Property Rights via Criminal Law Enforcement
On April 19, 2023, China’s Ministry of Public Security (MPS) announced 10 typical cases of strengthening protection of intellectual property rights via criminal law enforcement and supporting comprehensive innovation (公安部公布加强知识产权刑事保护支持全面创新10起典型案例). The MPS also stated that “in 2022, a total of 27,000 criminal cases of intellectual property infringement and the production and sale of counterfeit and inferior commodities were cracked, effectively curbing the frequent occurrence of such crimes.” The announcement from the MPS follows.
1. Crack down on typical cases of the crime of piracy and dissemination of cinema movies. In January 2023, according to the deployment requirements of the Ministry of Public Security, the public security organs of Zhejiang, Liaoning, and Shandong provinces cooperated closely, and with the strong support of the copyright management department, they cracked the “1.25” case of piracy and dissemination of Spring Festival cinema movies, and arrested 28 suspects. 32 illegal websites, apps, and online stores involved in the case were destroyed, and more than 450,000 pirated movies such as “The Wandering Earth 2”, “Full River Red”, “Boonie Bears: Guardian Code ” and “Deep Sea” were seized. They timely curbed the risks of the illegal recording and dissemination of films from the Spring Festival as well as effectively maintained a good copyright innovation and healthy development order and served to support the cultural market.
2. Crack down on typical cases of intellectual property infringement crimes of foreign-invested enterprises. In August 2022, the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau cracked the “8.18” case of producing and selling counterfeit Beijing Universal Resort cultural and creative products based on online clues, arrested 21 criminal suspects, destroyed 2 counterfeit manufacturing factories and 5 counterfeit gangs operating via the Internet, and confiscated 46,000 counterfeit Harry Potter “magic robes,” scarves, shirts and other cultural items, and seized 77,000 counterfeit trademark labels, protected the lawful rights and interests of foreign-funded enterprises in China according to law, created a market-oriented, legalized and international first-class business environment, and actively provided services to the public at a high level.
3. Crack down on typical cases of crimes involving the manufacture and sale of counterfeit brand cosmetics. In January 2023, the public security agency in Tonghua City, Jilin Province cracked the “7.11” case of manufacturing and selling counterfeit brand cosmetics based on tip-offs. The agency eradicated a criminal gang which rented houses for production, used counterfeit packaging materials to process and produce counterfeit cosmetics of well known domestic brands and sold them through the internet, destroyed two production and processing dens and three sales dens, captured seven criminal suspects, and seized 66,000 counterfeit cosmetics on the spot, which effectively maintained the enterprise’s intellectual property rights and the cosmetics market order, and vigorously protected the quality and safety of cosmetics and the lawful rights and interests of consumers.
4. Crack down on typical cases of infringement and counterfeiting crimes that hinder economic development with regional characteristics. In September 2022, the public security organs of Shuangyashan City, Heilongjiang Province cracked the “9.20” case of manufacturing and selling counterfeit brand ski equipment based on the tip-offs reported by the public, arrested 35 suspects, and destroyed 8 production and storage dens. Public security also seized more than 6,000 pieces (sets) of counterfeit brand ski suits, snowboards, ski goggles and other sports equipment, and more than 10,000 pieces (sets) of semi-finished products, effectively safeguarding the legitimate rights and interests of consumers and fair competition in the market order, and serving the high-quality “ice and snow tourism economy” development.
5. Typical cases of cracking down on copyright infringement of high-tech equipment special software copyrights. In January 2022, the Shanghai public security agency cracked the “1.5” case of infringement of the copyright of special software for high-tech equipment based on a tip-off reported by the copyright owner, arrested 15 suspects, destroyed special software for high-tech equipment that was pirated by means of hacking, and seized more than 700 servers storing the pirated software in question and 30 cracking tools, so as to effectively protect the legitimate rights and interests of high-tech enterprises in respect of their intellectual property rights, strengthen the confidence of enterprises in innovation and development, and stimulate the innovation and creativity of science and technology entities.
6. Crack down on typical cases of violations of geographical indications of agricultural products. In May 2022, the public security authority of Nanping City, Fujian Province, according to tip-offs of the public, cracked the “3/14” case about the production and sale of counterfeit agricultural products with geographical indications (GIs), and arrested 51 criminal suspects. More than 600 boxes of counterfeit “Wuyiyan tea” GIs, tea bags of some brands, and more than 120,000 tea bags and 78 boxes of tea raw materials were seized on the spot. The public security authority timely promoted the inclusion of GI tea in the scope of trademark protection, strengthened the criminal protection of intellectual property rights for GI agricultural products according to law, effectively served to guarantee the high quality development of GI agricultural products, and assisted the revitalization of rural areas.
7. Crack down on typical cases of crimes of using live broadcasts to bring goods and sell counterfeit goods. In February 2023, the public security agency in Pingxiang City, Jiangxi Province cracked the “11.17” case of manufacturing and selling counterfeit brand sportswear based on the tip-offs from the administrative law enforcement department, arrested six criminal suspects, eradicated three fake dens and three fake live webcasting rooms, and seized 13,000 counterfeit sportswear of famous domestic and foreign brands, effectively purifying the online market order, promoting the sound and sustainable development of the platform economy, and ensure the people’s confidence in buying and comfort in using them.
8. Crack down on typical cases of crimes involving the manufacture and sale of counterfeit brand fire protection products. In April 2022, the public security organs of Linyi City, Shandong Province cracked the “9.02” case of manufacturing and selling counterfeit brand fire extinguishers. Public security arrested 9 suspects, destroyed 5 criminal dens, and seized counterfeit fire extinguishers of multiple brands on the spot including 180,000 finished and semi-finished products, more than 150,000 valves, nozzles and other accessories, 500,000 counterfeit trademarks, and more than 100 tons of counterfeit raw materials, eliminating a number of potential safety hazards in time.
9. Crack down on typical cases of intellectual property infringement crimes of private enterprises. In September 2022, the public security organs in Zhengzhou City, Henan Province cracked the “8.11” counterfeit private enterprise brand optical module case based on the tip-offs reported by the right holders, completely destroyed the entire chain of production, storage, and sales crimes, arrested 34 criminal suspects, destroyed seven dens for production and sale of fake products, and seized more than 8,100 finished or semi-finished products of counterfeit light modules, so as to timely crack down on and deter the criminal activities that impede the innovative development of private enterprises, and spare no effort to safeguard the high quality development of the private economy.
10. Crack down on typical cases of crimes involving the manufacture and sale of counterfeit and shoddy personal chemical products. In June 2022, the public security organs of Panzhihua City, Sichuan Province cracked the “4.15” case of manufacturing and selling counterfeit and shoddy personal chemical products based on the tip-offs from the administrative law enforcement department, arrested 75 criminal suspects, smashed 16 production, storage and sales dens, sealed up 13 production lines, and seized over 150,000 bottles (bags) of counterfeit and substandard laundry detergents and other detergents that did not meet the national standards, with various types of counterfeit raw materials and packing materials of 64 tons, which strongly protected the legitimate rights and interests of enterprises and ensured the health and safety of the people.
The original text is available here (Chinese only).
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