Beijing
15 March 2017
Reporter: Barney Dixon

China heeds calls for tougher counterfeiting penalties


Senior Chinese officials, including the country's premier, have acknowledged calls for tighter counterfeiting laws in China.

Director of the State Administration for Industry and Commerce, Zhang Mao, said during a press conference that China needs to impose “harsher penalties” on counterfeiters, following calls from Alibaba Group and its executive chair, Jack Ma.

Mao was speaking during the ‘Two Sessions’ meetings, which are held annually to set government policy for the coming year. Separately, Premier Li Keqiang said during his own press conference: “We need to solve and punish illegal and illegitimate issues such as counterfeiting, deceiving, and copyright violations, especially in areas like food, medicine, and environment protection."

Mao commented: “I noticed that some entrepreneurs like Jack Ma appealed for harsher penalties and for fighting counterfeits the same way we fight drunk driving. I agree with that. I think that we need to strictly follow the laws and regulations.”

Earlier this month, Ma called for stricter and more comprehensive laws against counterfeiters, who he said were “not held legally responsible for their actions”.

“The maximum penalty for anything above that amount is seven years. This is a 20-year-old law and a 10-year-old judicial interpretation, severely out-of-date from reality, resulting in 99 percent of counterfeit activities bearing no consequences at all,” Ma said.

Mao, addressing this, stated that “Alibaba thinks that only a small percentage of the counterfeit leads resulted in sentencing, most of which were too light.”

“Overall, the costs are too low not just for counterfeiting but also for illegal competition in our current market. Our agency is paying significant attention to this issue.”

Speaking on what the Chinese government can do to combat counterfeiting issues, Mao said that the country needs to establish a “robust social trust system and comprehensive laws” that will “alleviate the issue of counterfeiting”.

“I can’t say when we will have a world completely without counterfeits—no country dares to make such a statement. But that’s our wish.”

“Our goal is to have a world with less counterfeits and we will continue to work towards that goal.”

More news
The latest news from IPPro The Internet
Join Our Newsletter

Sign up today and never
miss the latest news or an issue again

Subscribe now
Duane Morris & Selvam appoints new director
24 January 2018 | Shanghai | Reporter: Barney Dixon
Duane Morris & Selvam, the joint law venture between Duane Morris and Singapore firm Selvam, has appointed Kening Li as a director in its Shanghai office
Beach Boys mark wins in UDRP
23 January 2018 | Geneva | Reporter: Barney Dixon
Brother Records, the owner of the intellectual property rights relating to The Beach Boys, has claimed beachboys.org in a UDRP dispute at the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Centre
Three-quarters of brands suffer trademark infringement
22 January 2018 | Boston | Reporter: Barney Dixon
Almost three-quarters of brands have been victims of trademark infringement in the past year, according to a new survey from trademark research and protection firm CompuMark
Delta claims "confusingly similar" domain
22 January 2018 | Minneapolis | Reporter: Barney Dixon
Delta Airlines has claimed 27 domains in a UDRP dispute at the Alternative Dispute Resolution Forum.
Brinks, Gilson & Lione elects new president
19 January 2018 | Chiacgo | Reporter: Barney Dixon
Brinks, Gilson & Lione has elected a new president to succeed James Sobieraj
TWiT sues Twitter for trademark infringement
18 January 2018 | California | Reporter: Barney Dixon
TWiT.tv, is suing Twitter for breach of contract, unfair competition and trademark infringement, stemming from a deal the two companies made in 2007
INTA wins in domain dispute
17 January 2018 | Minneapolis | Reporter: Barney Dixon
INTA has won a domain dispute at the Alternative Dispute Resolution Forum over inta2018.org