2019-2020 QBPC Annual Top 10 Cases in IP Protection
Author: Federico Bartolini
On April 28th, 2020, the QBPC, the Quality Brands Protection Committee of China, general meeting was held online this year, amid the epidemic public gatherings concerns. The association nonetheless, awarded the 2019-2020 “Annual Top 10 cases in IP protection” and “The model cases Bridging Administrative and Judicial IP enforcement”.
The Quality Brands Protection Committee (www.qbpc.org.cn) is a working committee of the China Association of Enterprises with foreign investment under the guidance of the Ministry of Commerce and the Ministry of Civil Affairs.
The participating cases are divided into three major categories of “Criminal intellectual property protection top ten cases”, “Non-criminal intellectual property protection top ten cases”, and “The model cases Bridging Administrative and Judicial IP enforcement”, which are independently nominated by member companies and elected by voting members.
Our Clients at TWE, Treasury Wine Estates, ABB group, and 3M Company, have seen recognition for three of their successful cases during the event, thanks to the support of the government authorities and the PSB and our legal team at HongFangLaw.
QBPC Association decided to award the “2019-2020 Top 10 Annual cases in IP protection for Criminal Cases”, on our case: “Refurbished ABB Breakers by Zhu et al. Found Counterfeiting”, for our client ABB. Counterfeiters were found selling refurbished ABB circuit breakers to various clients located in 6 cities of 3 provinces across the country, including Beijing, Guangzhou, Foshan, Jiangmen (Guangdong), Wenzhou (Zhejiang); Nanjing (Jiangsu). Fines granted to account for RMB 2.2 million in total.
QBPC Association decided to award the “2019-2020 Top 10 Annual cases in IP protection for Non-Criminal Cases”, on our case: “Southcorp Brands Pty Limited v. Huai’an Huaxiazhuangyuan Vintage Co., Ltd., Hangzhou Zhengsheng Trade Co., Ltd.”, for our client TWE. Nanjing Intermediate People’s Court, after reviewing this case, found that the Chinese trademark “BENFU”, the Chinese name of TWE’s renowned wine brand “Penfolds”, shall be granted the status of “unregistered well-known trademark” in China. The defendant infringed upon TWE’s registered trademark “Penfolds” and also unregistered well-known trademark “BEN FU” by using the sign “SIRI PENFUPUY” and its Chinese equivalent, on wines. Taking into account the popularity and reputation of the abused trademarks, as well as the defendant’s bad-faith imitation and large-scale advertising and sales campaign, the Nanjing Intermediate People’s Court fully supported our compensation claim for RMB 1 million.
QBPC Association, then also recognized another case and awarded the “2019-2020 Model Cases Bridging Administrative and Judicial IP Enforcement” on our case: “Counterfeiting registered trademarks, producing and selling fake or inferior products by Fu et al.”, for our client 3M. On February 3, 2020, Wanshang PSB assisted their fellow police forces in Anhui and Guangdong in simultaneous enforcement. The feat crushed multiple manufacturers and wholesalers on 7 sites for production, warehousing, and sale (2 for production) of counterfeit 3M respirators, capturing 8 individuals and seizing over 200,000 masks and 40 tons of raw materials with equipment and molds. The total value exceeds RMB 5.2 million (USD 730,000). The case has been filed and is under investigation. The illegal amount has met the threshold to establish a criminal case. In addition to the infringement of 3M Company’s intellectual property rights, the disruption caused to the control and prevention of COVID 19 constitutes aggravated circumstances. Currently, the people’s procuratorate has initiated the examination for prosecution.
We at HongFangLaw, are honored to be supportive of the recognition and the judicial and administrative authorities are awarded for their achievement.
In conclusion, we look forward to continuative cooperation with the authorities, and our clients to keep China and the Chinese market free of counterfeiters in the future.