Shanghai Third Intermediate Court Affirms 5-Year Prison Sentence for Counterfeit Alpenliebe Candy in Criminal Trademark Case
On December 19, 2022, the Shanghai Third Intermediate Court announced the affirmance of a 5-year prison sentence and 2.2 million RMB fine for Wu XX for for the crime of selling Alpenliebe candy with counterfeit registered trademarks. Perfetti Van Melle, the maker of the Alpenliebe candy is an Italian-Dutch multinational company of confectionery and gum and the sixth largest confectionery manufacturer in the world.
The court of first instance sentenced Wu XX to five years in prison and a fine of 2.2 million RMB for the crime of selling commodities with counterfeit registered trademarks. After the judgment of the first instance, Wu XX appealed to the Shanghai Third Intermediate Court.
From September 2019 to December 2021, the appellant Wu XX, without the authorization of the “Alpenliebe” registered trademark owner, knew that the candy with the “Alpenliebe” registered trademark was counterfeit and still paid 0.1 to 0.2 RMB per candy. They were purchased at various low prices and sold on two online e-commerce stores. After auditing, the two online stores opened by Wu XX and involved in the case sold counterfeit “Alpenliebe” brand products with a total amount of more than 4.2 million RMB.
The Shanghai Third Intermediate Court held that the appellant, Wu XX, knowingly sold the goods with counterfeit registered trademarks in order to seek illegal benefits, and the amount of crimes had reached particularly serious circumstances, and his behavior constituted the crime of selling goods with counterfeit registered trademarks. During the second instance, the defender proposed that more than 1.3 million RMB should be deducted from the fine determined in the original judgment. After investigation, the original public prosecution agency had already deducted more than 540,000 RMB in the amount of related billing when it filed the public prosecution. The more than 1.3 million RMB did not have sufficient evidence to confirm it, lacking factual basis, and cannot be established. The court of first instance found that the facts of the crime were clear, the evidence was reliable and sufficient, the application of the law was correct, the sentencing was appropriate, and the trial procedure was legal, so the Shanghai Third Intermediate People’s Court rejected the appeal and upheld the original judgment.
The original announcement from the Shanghai Third Intermediate People’s Court is available here (Chinese only).
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