The Quality Brands Protection Committee of China Association of Enterprises with Foreign Investment (referred to as QBPC), which was founded 18 years ago, held the 2017-2018 QBPC Annual Meeting on Top Ten Cases in IP Protection and Model Cases Bridging Administrative and Judicial IP Enforcement Announcementin Beijing on June 8th, 2018. Over 300 people, including leaders of Legislative Affairs Commission of the National People’s Congress of the People’s Republic of China (hereinafter referred to as NPC), the Supreme People’s Procuratorate of the People’s Republic of China (SPP), Ministry of Public Security of the People’s Republic of China (MPS), Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China (MOFCOM), General Administration of Customs PRC (GACC), State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR), as well as the delegation of the Zhongshan City Government of Guangdong Province, representatives of organizations handling the “Top Ten Cases in IP Protection and Model Cases Bridging Administrative and Judicial IP Enforcement”, international organizations, embassies in China, chambers of commerce, well-known IP scientific research institutes, guests from state-owned and private enterprises, media platforms, and representatives from QBPC member companies attended the meeting.
George Chu, the Chairman of the Seventy-Fifth Anniversary of The United Nations, Yuan Gaoqiang, Vice Chairman of the China Association of Enterprises with Foreign Investment, Zhang Jingli, the Deputy Director General of the Economic Crime Investigation Department of MPS, Li Weiwei, Deputy Director of the IP Protection Division, Investigation, and Supervision Dept. of SPP, Xie Xinhong, Deputy Director of IP Office of Politics & Law Department, GACC , Günther Marten, Minister Counsellor EUIPO IP Attaché, David Bennett, IP Counsellor of International Policy & Cooperation and Governance Group of the Australian Embassy, Tom Duke, IP Attaché of the British Embassy Beijing Markus Richter, Counsellor Intellectual Property Rights and Legal Affairs of Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany, and Duncan Willson, Intellectual Property Attaché of US Patent and Trademark Office of the US Embassy Beijing, addressed the meeting. Jack Chang, Chairman of QBPC, gave the welcome remarks to kick off this event.
Since the QBPC Top Ten Cases were selected for the first time in 2002, the selection and announcement have continued to increasingly attract attention at home and abroad. The QBPC Top Ten Cases Announcement & Exchange Meeting has become an internationally influential platform for presentation and exchange so that the international society and foreign public and private institutions may objectively learn about the IP protection development in China. Cases taking part in this selection have been categorized into the Criminal Top Ten Cases in IP Protection, Non-Criminal Top Ten Cases in IP Protection, and Model Cases Bridging Administrative and Judicial IP Enforcement. The cases are nominated by members, and the winning cases are voted on by the Review Committee through secret ballots. After a fair, just, and open selection, a total of 26 cases were selected during this meeting.
The cases selected this year cover the following four characteristics:
1. The cases are relevant to the peoples’ lives: refurbished second-hand cell phones, fake scanners or refurbished/re-assembled worn-out parts, fake medicine for tumors with the original packaging but without the necessary active ingredients, etc. The cases show that the rampant application of defective or used originals, parts, or packages occurs frequently in counterfeit goods, found during the practice of anti-counterfeiting crimes campaign. The remedy results of the cases exemplify the resolution, and the favorable effect of criminal and judicial organizations fighting such crimes and maintaining the people’s property value and safety.
2. They are models of cross-border anti-counterfeiting cooperation: the counterfeiting dens in various Southeast Asian countries export large amounts of fake products to China. Due to this, Chinese and foreign policemen have carried out international police cooperation to jointly fight against the distribution of counterfeit goods. As displayed by these cases, IP protection has increased regionally and globally, and the governments of all countries, the international organizations, right holders, and all parties concerned have worked, and must continue to work, hard together. The cases also reveal the determination and performance of the Chinese government regarding the normalization of international law enforcement cooperation.
3. Multiple successful cases have been fighting trademark infringement and unfair competition: the law enforcement and judicial organizations and the right holders fight against the criminals and infringers. Then, they effectively provide multiple classic cases in the aspects of the criminal protection of color trademarks, administrative order for the renaming of the infringing enterprises, civil compensation worth millions of Yuan, and display references for the future IP protection practices.
4. The Model Cases Bridging Administrative and Judicial IP Enforcement are all IPR border protection cases that include cooperation between the Customs and Public Security organizations: said cases are significant achievements for promoting an effective linkage between administrative law enforcement and criminal justice. The cases sufficiently show that the right holders highly recognize the IP protection of China Customs and administrative and criminal law enforcement bridge between Customs and Public Security organizations in fighting against exported fake products.
Some of the selected cases won the top ten cases and best cases in their provinces and cities, and some cases are even listed in the Report on New Progress of IP Protection and Business Environment in China prepared by the Office of the National Leading Group on the Fight Against IPR Infringement and Counterfeiting. Various cases are also key cases of ministerial and departments’ special actions, and some are listed as typical cases by well-known e-business enterprises.
The case selections and announcement events for these seventeen years deeply show the close cooperation between government and enterprises in IP protection. China-based IP protection of foreign-invested enterprises has attracted more attention and obtained more support and acquired more pleasant achievements from government organizations. Because of their hard work, the foreign invested enterprises have given affirmation to the Chinese government, increasing the approval from the international society. The 2017-2018 Annual Top Ten Cases in IP Protection and Model Cases Bridging Administrative and Judicial IP Enforcement is only a snapshot of IP protection work in China. It continues to display the assertion and gratitude toward IP protection staff who stay true to the mission, work hard together, and continue to make progress, truly reflecting the central and local governments’ support and promotion of IP protection. The case selections and announcement events in these seventeen years provide more practical experience for QBPC members; provide precious experience for in-depth cooperation between the government and enterprises; provide typical cases for IP protection law enforcement and judicial and academic research activities; provide a platform for exchange and communication between China and the international community; and make active contributions to the development of IP protection in China.
The following sessions were particularly set in this meeting:
1. The Financial Procuratorial Department of Shanghai People’s Procuratorate has made prominent contributions to improve the legal status of IP right holders as victims in the criminal procedures. It is the forerunner in the notification of rights and obligations, and the pioneer exploring open and transparent procuratorial affairs. QBPC particularly granted the Appreciation Plaque to Shanghai People’s Procuratorate in this meeting.
2. In April of this year, leaders of Zhongshan Municipal Party Committee and Municipal Government, including Chen Xudong, Secretary of Municipal Party Committee, and Xu Xiaoli, the Vice Mayor of Zhongshan. Attended the Membership Meeting of QBPC in Zhongshan, Guangzhou, and reached a preliminary agreement on the Framework Agreement for IPR Strategic Cooperation between both sides. Now, four representatives of Zhongshan Municipal Government, including the Deputy Major Hu Jianpu, arrived in Beijing and formally signed the Framework Agreement for IPR Strategic Cooperation. Yin Ming, the Director General of Intellectual Property Office of Zhongshan, read the congratulatory letter from Chen Xudong at the meeting as well.
3. QBPC has acquired unselfish support from Hangzhou Customs, Xiamen Customs and the Administration of Xiamen Area of China (Fujian) Pilot Free Trade Zone when jointly building the China Customs IP Protection Exhibition Center (Yiwu) with Hangzhou Customs and Xiamen Free Trade Zone Customs IP Protection Exhibition Center with Xiamen Customs and Administration of Xiamen Area of China (Fujian) Pilot Free Trade Zone. As a result, QBPC granted the Appreciation Plaque to Hangzhou Customs and Xiamen Customs and Administration of Xiamen Area of China (Fujian) Pilot Free Trade Zone.