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Beijing’s biggest trademark infringement case in 20 years, infringers fined over ¥55 million
date: 2018-11-27

On November 14th, 2018, Beijing Municipal Administration of Industry and Commerce issued ten major cases which deal with combating trademark infringement, manufacturing and selling of counterfeit and low-quality goods. Among them is the largest trademark infringement case decided by the Beijing Municipal Administration of Industry and Commerce in the past twenty years – the trademark infringement of the “Onitsuka Tiger” branded sneakers, with a fine of 55.87 million RMB.

 

Copycat brand punished

 

ASICS-branded athletic shoes featuring four diagonal intersecting lines are a favorite among young people, but this wave of popularity brings with it a slew of copycats. ASICS is a Japanese limited corporation which has registered many trademarks, including those with the word “tiger”. In December of 2017, the Fengtai Branch of the Beijing Municipal Administration of Industry and Commerce, filed a case investigation against Beijing Hongyuan Lide Trading Co. Ltd. in response to complaints. The logo used by the company on its athletic shoes is similar to that of ASICS’ “tiger” trademark, which causes confusion and misleads the public.

 

The Administration of Industry and Commerce ordered the company to stop the infringing behavior, confiscated 6687 pairs of infringing products and issued a fine of 55.78 million RMB, making this the largest case the administration has deal with in the last 20 years.

 

Another company punished for engaging in this risky and illegal behavior was calling itself the “sole authorized service center”. Beijing Zhixin Lixing Electronic Co. Ltd. marked their business operation on a mobile maps application as the sole “Apple official authorized service center”. Upon receiving a letter of complaint from Apple, the Municipal Administration of Ministry and Commerce ordered the company to stop the infringing behavior and issued an administrative fine of over 9.07 million RMB.

 

Today, the Municipal Administration of Ministry and Commerce has investigated 237 cases of trademark infringement related to brands like Apple, Mercedez Benz, BMW, and Shell.

 

Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei investigate counterfeit lubricating oil

 

At the end of 2016, Beijing Municipal Administration of Industry and Commerce, together with Tianjin Market and Quality Supervision Administration Committee and Hebei Administration of Industry and Commerce signed “Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei Trademark Protection Memorandum”, establishing better communication systems and strengthening law enforcement cooperation in the region.

 

The Beijing Municipal Administration of Industry and Commerce continued to promote the cooperation between the three regions following the signing of the agreement. In July 2018, the administration together with agencies from Tianjin and Hebei investigated a business illegally selling Shell lubricating oil – the authorities seized 640 barrels of oil, issued a fine of 50,000RMB and prohibited the business owner from continuing the illegal, unlicensed business activities.

 

Focusing on protecting the Olympic symbols in preparation for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games, the Beijing Municipal Administration of Industry and Commerce resolved 17 cases of trademark infringement, issuing fines of over 5.5 million RMB.

 

Statistics show that this year, the Beijing Municipal Administration of Industry and Commerce handled a total of 2334 cases, with total fines exceeding 102 million RMB, transferring 22 cases to judicial authorities and raiding 11 businesses where illegal goods were sold. Enforcement covered production facilities, distribution channels, warehouses, sales centers, and related personnel, wiping out infringing activities.

 

Over 1,450,000 registered trademarks

 

As the fight with trademark infringement is going on, Beijing is also strengthening brand building guidance and services, improving trademark supervision and enforcement protection.

 

As of today, Beijing’s total number of valid registered trademarks numbers over 1.45 million, placing it in third place in China. The average number of valid registered trademarks per 10,000 households is more than 6,600, which puts it in first place in the country. There are 233 well-known trademarks in China, ranking first among the four municipalities; and 1663 international Madrid trademarks, ranking sixth in the country and first among the four municipalities.

Source: Beijing Daily (in Chinese)

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