In March 2015 the State Council issued a detailed directive on combating IP infringement and the manufacture and sale of counterfeit and inferior products at a national level. Various authorities were tasked with strengthening their monitoring and prosecution efforts against such activities, with particular focus on cyberspace.

According to a recent report by Xinhua News Agency, based on statistics provided by the State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC), in the first six months of 2015 more than 23,000 cases relating to IP infringements or the manufacture and sale of counterfeit and inferior products were opened. Of these, more than 21,000 cases were successfully closed, with a total value of Rmb380 million. While 126 cases (with a total value of more than Rmb57 million) were transferred for criminal prosecution, 7,706 were concluded by way of administrative penalties.

As of August 2015, the SAIC had reportedly carried out more than 240,000 random checks on websites and 6,100 site visits. As a result of such efforts:

  • 532 websites were ordered to be amended;
  • 21 websites were shut down; and
  • 28,999 listings of illegal product information were removed from websites. 

While these interim results appear promising, the new efforts will benefit rights holders only if they continue in the long term.

Annie Tsoi

This article first appeared in IAM magazine. For further information please visit www.iam-magazine.com.