SPC to introduce harsher penalties against IP infringement

"People's courts have been giving full play to their role in rendering judicial decisions and deterring violators of intellectual properties these years by employing various penalties to curb IP infringement", said Sun Jungong, spokesman of China's Supreme People's Court (SPC) on 22 October.

He said this when speaking at a press conference in Beijing that day, where eight typical IP cases of the year and the strengthened judicial efforts of people's courts to protect IP were also announced.

"The courts have continually intensified criminal penalties to combat IP violations and safeguard business safety, market order and food security," said Sun, citing a trade secret theft case biggest ever in China, where all the defendants were imposed both imprisonment and fines.

The firm attitude of the courts to protect well-known trademarks and safeguard food security can also be revealed by a trial against 28 defendants, who counterfeited registered trademarks, he said.

Sun also noted the importance of introducing and enforcing severe financial punishment besides criminal sanctions.

Defendants in the two cases mentioned above were imposed by 37 million and 27 million yuan in sum respectively, he said.

In addition to criminal and financial punishment, the courts also identify the necessity to confiscate illegal proceeds, criminal instruments and IP infringing products to deprive criminals of their capacity and tools for repeated offense.

Last year, 12,794 criminal cases on IP infringement were concluded by local courts and 15,518 persons were subject to verdicts taking effect, both hitting a five-year high.

"In future efforts on IP protection, the courts will continue to follow relevant state policies and reinforce the effectiveness of judicial measures, targeting a sound legal environment for economic development," Sun said. [Chinese version is availale on chinanews.com]

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