Anti-Unfair Competition Law plays an important role in maintaining market competition. China's Anti-Unfair Competition Law late, the "Anti-Unfair Competition Law" promulgated in 1993 has been applied for more than 20 years and was not revised until 2017 when it was first completed. Actually, whether it is the first legislation or the revision of this law, it is about what kind of law the anti-unfair competition law is, what its purpose and purpose are, its status and function, how it is practiced Play a role in other issues, both in law circles and substantive departments, there are many different understandings. With regard to these different views and understandings, the promulgation of the new law will not give a single word, the debate will still exist for a long time and will continue, and may to some extent affect the practice of law enforcement agencies and judicial organs. The purpose and purpose of anti-unfair competition law, function and positioning, nature and characteristics of these seemingly abstract issues, but for the application and practice of the Act, but it plays a fundamental and guiding role. A correct understanding of the above issues is conducive to a true understanding of the essence of the Anti-Unfair Competition Law and a proper clearance of the relationship between the law and the relevant legal departments such as the Intellectual Property Law and the Consumer Protection Law, so that the law can really play its role.

Protection of Consumer Interests - The Focus of the Debate on the Aims and Purpose of the Anti-Unfair Competition Law

The different perceptions about the purpose part of the legislation mainly reflect whether the anti-unfair competition law protects the interests of consumers. The Anti-Unfair Competition Law of 1993 stated in the legislative purpose part that "in order to safeguard the healthy development of the socialist market economy, encourage and protect fair competition, stop unfair competition and protect the lawful rights and interests of operators and consumers, law". The newly revised Anti-Unfair Competition Law stated in the legislative purpose part states: "In order to promote the healthy development of the socialist market economy, encourage and protect fair competition, stop unfair competition and protect the legitimate rights and interests of operators and consumers , Enacted this law. "Whether or not the Anti-Unfair Competition Law protects the interests of the consumers, theorists have had different opinions and even controversies over the course of this revision. Some scholars believe that: "From the perspective of aggression, unfair competition can be divided into unfair competition directly infringes on competitors, directly infringes unfair competition by consumers and directly infringes on other operators (mainly the counterparty of the transaction ) ... In view of the diversity of objects of unfair competition, it has reached a consensus in the world and China's "Anti-Unfair Competition Law" is also in the affirmative. " Competing administrative and law enforcement agencies have the power to stop unfair competition that harms the interests of consumers according to the law and empower consumer groups to bring public interest litigation on behalf of consumers in the revised Anti-Unfair Competition Law. [1] "Modern anti-unfair competition law exists in the protection of the object of 'Triad' phenomenon - while protecting competitors, consumers and the public interest." [2] And some scholars are explicitly opposed to this, pointed out: This Is a typical tendency of legal pragmatism (legal instrumentalism), only occurs between competitors, and directly or indirectly undermined the interests of competitors, thus undermining the legitimate competition order, is suitable for being considered as unfair competition behavior The 2016 version of the revised version of unfair competition practices extended to the operator to undermine the legitimate rights and interests of consumers, is a causal reversal of practice [3]

In our opinion, whether anti-unfair competition law protects the interests of consumers is not a single issue that can be clearly stated. It actually contains or can lead to the following three levels of problems: First, it should be the proper level, that is, anti-unjust law Whether it should protect the rights and interests of consumers; secondly, whether the anti-unfair competition law can protect the rights and interests of consumers or not; and thirdly, how should the anti-unfair competition law protect consumers' rights and interests if they are protected. Specifically, under the national conditions of our country, how does this law reflect the protection of the rights and interests of consumers in the process of law enforcement and litigation?

For the first two levels of problems, we can sort out the development of anti-unfair competition law to respond. The next level of questions, the answer may be hidden in our new "unfair competition law," the principle of which provisions.

Combining the Historical Inheritance of Anti-Unfair Competition Law - The Development of Law Has Broken Over the Old Scope of Application and Protection

Anti-Unfair Competition Law originated in Europe in the second half of the 19th century, accompanied by the market principles of industrial revolution and free competition. With the development of market economy, the major industrialized countries in the world, such as Britain, France, Germany and the later United States, developed their own anti-unfair competition laws in the late 19th and early 20th centuries [4] .

反不正当竞争法律最初都是聚焦于诚实经营者的利益,���众和消费者在衡量商业行为时只是一个参考因素,消费者保护问题只是一个次要因素和副产品。《保护工业产权巴黎公约》(以下称巴黎公约)引进不正当竞争条款也是以此为基础,即当初的目的就是保护经营者不受国外不正当贸易行为的侵害,该目标也足以诱惑这些国家克服各自国内法律的差异,而将其纳入条约之中。[5]消费者保护法是现代化大工业生产的产物,系由消费者运动推动而来。可以说没有现代化的大规模工业生产及流通,就不会有大规模的消费者致害问题,也就不会形成大规模的消费者运动,消费者保护法的制定也就缺乏必要的动力和压力。[6]始于19世纪六、七十年代的消费者运动,极大地推动了欧洲各国反不正当竞争法的改造,例如,德国通过修订反不正当竞争法第1条,使其同时保护竞争者、消费者和公共利益。同样,希腊、奥地利、卢森堡、波兰、瑞士、西班牙、荷兰等国将消费者保护纳入反不正当竞争法之中。丹麦、瑞典、挪威和比利时采取了更为现代的反不正当竞争法形式,从一开始就将消费者保护放在突出的位置。法国则是以单独的立法保护消费者。[7]传统反不正当竞争法与现代反不正当竞争法的主要区别在于保护主体与客体的不同:前者直接保护有直接竞争关系的经营者及其利益;后者在直接保护存在直接竞争关系和间接竞争关系的经营者及其利益的同时,还直接或反射保护与经营者相关的消费者乃至公众以及他们的利益。[8]在现代反不正当竞争法的策源地德国,原有的反不正当竞争法的司法和学说业已承认反不正当竞争法的三重保护目的(Schutzzwecktrias),即保护竞争者、消费者和其他市场参与者。[9]这使得反不正当竞争法的保护主体具有三重性,保护主体的扩张成为现代反不正当竞争法的发展趋势。[10]

回看前述粗疏的梳理,可以看出反不正当竞争法在由传统走向现代的过程中,体现出由私法领域的一般侵权法逐步走向更关注对市场秩序维护的带有公法特征的发展方向,与此相适应,共所维护的权益范围,也由单一的经营者的利益,逐渐扩大为经营者、消费者、公共利益的三位一体。

我国新修订的《反不正当竞争法》第二条第二款中的表述“经营者在生产经营活动中,违反本法规定,扰乱市场竞争秩序,损害其他经营者或者消费者的合法权益的行为”,也一定程度上迎合和体现了反不正当竞争法的这一发展趋势,具备了一定的现代化特征。

反不正当竞争法如何在保护消费者利益方面发挥作用

法的生命在于实施。在具体适用法律的过程中,实务部门更关注的在于,反不正当竞争法对于消费者权益的保护这种目的或宗旨性的宣示,如何通过赋予消费者以实际的诉权方式真正予以落实?对于此点,在新的《反不正当竞争法》中,除第二条第二款的原则性表述以外,尚无法找到直接依据。但考察其他国家的反不正当竞争法,可以发现,尽管大多数国家在反不正当竞争法或者与规制不正当竞争有关的法规中,并未赋予消费者个体以单独的诉权,但仍不乏赋予消费者团体以集体诉权者,如德国、瑞士。而由世界知识产权组织(WIPO)国际局编纂的《反不正当竞争示范法》第1条(a)款规定:“在工商业活动中违反诚实行为的任何行为或者做法,均构成不正当竞争行为》”世界知识产权国际局在其注释中指出,尽管巴黎公约第十条之二提到了“任何竞争行为”,示范法第1条(1)款第(a)项并不包含行为必须是竞争行为的条件。这意味着,示范法也适用于实施行为的一方与其利益受该行为损害的一方之间没有直接的竞争关系的情形。在行为不是针对实施行为者竞争者时,也可以通过增强行为人与其他竞争者的竞争而影响市场竞争。而且,不要求应当是竞争行为,表示消费者也受保护。(b)款规定“因不正当竞争行为遭受或者可能遭受损失的任何自然人或者法人。有权获得……规定的救济。”注释特别指出“第(b)项所提到的救济方式也可以由消费者和消费者团体行使。”可以看出,示范法基于不正当竞争行为的复杂性,已经明确放弃了认定竞争关系的纠结,将竞争行为定义为在工商业活动中的行为,而且明确承认了消费者的诉权地位。[11]不难看出,我国新修订的《反不正当竞争法》一定程度上受到前述德国等国法及示范法的影响。

那么,对于消费者的保护在新的反不正当竞争法视域下是否能够得以直接实现?实现的方式是什么?

在这个问题上,有为数不少的学者认为反不正当竞争法应与消费者权益保护法保持比较清楚的界限,不能也不应保护消费者权益。有学者表示,“按照相关的国际公约和很多国家的立法,反不正当竞争法是有关智力活动成果保护的法律,与消费者权益的保护没有关系。制止仿冒、虚假宣传和商业诋毁等行为,虽然也在客观上维护了消费者的利益,但是消费者不具有依据反不正当竞争法提起诉讼的资格。在这方面,世界上绝大多数国家的反不正当竞争法都规定,只有受到不正当竞争行为损害的竞争者才具有提起诉讼的资格。”[12]有学者甚至对反不正当竞争法的适用范围扩大批判为实用主义,认为“在不正当竞争行为认定上,我国实务界与理论界已表现出了明显的实用主义倾向-忽视不同法律制度间的立法目标差异以及不同法律制度间分工协调需要,极力扩大反不正当竞争法的适用范围,以致很多普通的侵权行为、违约行为,消费者权益保护法上的违法行为,也被作为不正当竞争行为看待。”[13]

不可否认,上述学者在论述时的依据基本上是准确的,所指出的问题也是存在的。但是,法的发展并不是一成不变的,其所承载的价值和利益,往往是随着时代的发展和社会经济文化的进步而有所调整的,体系的完美和协调其实不是法的终极目标。从这个意义上说,对反不正当竞争法的保护范围认识也应当是一个历史的,发展的过程。虽然作为众多国家反不正当竞争法重要渊源的巴黎公约在关于不正当竞争的问题上,基本上定位于竞争者之间的关系(conduct between competitors)。但是,1958年里斯本会议修订巴黎公约时引入的误导公众行为,已开始突破仅保护竞争者利益的限制,而为保护消费者利益提供了路径。鉴此,也就既可以根据保护竞争者利益的目标解释公约规定的不正当竞争一般条款,也可以从保护消费者的视角进行解释。[14]从这一角度出发,我们认为,与1993年法相比,我国新修订的《反不正当竞争法》在第二条第二款中加入“消费者权益”的字样并非单纯字面表述上的变化,也不是象征性宣示那么简单。法的内涵并不是一成不变的,而是随着法的运用而明确的,在涉及到一些原则性的规定时就更是如此。而法的运用则需要回应实践的发展,法一旦公布实施,即不再单纯是立法者的法,而是具有社会性,具有实践理性。实践的丰富性和变化性在一定程度上会影响和改变立法者在立法之初时的立法目的,原则性规定可能会随着法的运用发展出与立法之初有所区别的内涵与外延。我国新修订的《反不不正当竞争法》已明确了在保护范围上涵盖消费者利益,体现出现代化的特征。因此,我们在理解与适用上有什么理由,有什么必要仅因为体系的协调或完美,而将对消费者的保护排除在该法之外呢?

重要是的保护的方式与途径。在这一点上,我们认为,这恰恰是实务部门需要重点关注和发力的地方。新的《反不正当竞争法》第二条第二款已经体现了其对消费者利益的保护,正确地理解或者利用该条款规定所体现的对消费者利益保护的精神,从消费者角度出发,寻求对市场上的一些非类型化的侵害消费者权益的不正当竞争行为的规制,获取对消费者利益的更强有力的保护,并不偏离反不正当竞争法的立法目的和宗旨。

在具体的方式上,我们认为,鉴于大多数不正当竞争行为并不直接侵害具体消费者的利益,但有可能损害众多消费者的集体利益,但这种损害,与消费者权益保护法所要求的消费者与经营者之间发生交易行为的要求并不契合,因此,完全有必要,也有可能让反不正当竞争法发挥作用。德国等国家所给予消费者的团体诉权,尽管在我国反不正当竞争法修订过程中并未明确入法,但前述新的《反不正当竞争法》第二条第二款的原则规定,仍然给该类司法实践的探索留下了丰富的空间,期待着实践中有此类案例的出现。

结论:我们认为,反不正当竞争法在由传统走向现代的过程中,已突破了其原有的仅保护竞争者的历史使命,承载了更多的价值,即其目的和宗旨已转为保护市场竞争秩序、消费者权益和竞争者利益这样三元叠加的目标。我国新修订的《反不正当竞争法》不但在第一条的目的与宗旨规定中直接体现了对消费者利益的保护,而且在第二条的定义条款中亦明确承认了对消费者权益的保护,体现了较强的现代化特征。法的修订已经在一定程度上给消费者保护留下了空间,我们没有理由,也没有必要仅为了所谓的体系协调或完美,而将消费者利益的保护排除在反不正当竞争法之外。法律实务部门有可能,也有义务更好地利用法律的原则性规定,为消费者权益的保护创造更大的空间。

[1] 周樨平:《论我国<反不正当竞争法>的消费者保护功能》,载《竞争政策研究》2017年第2期。

[2] 孔祥俊:《论反不正当竞争法的现代化》,载《比较法研究》2017年第3期。

[3] 焦海涛:《不正当竞争行为认定中的实用主义批判》,载《中国法学》2017年第1期。

[4]注: 此处并非指成文法意义上的反不正当竞争法,许多国家实际上并不存在独立的《反不正当竞争法》,而是散见于不同规范之中。为行文方便,在此用反不正当竞争法统一指称。

[5] See Henning-Bodewig,supra note 4,at 1-2,转引自孔祥俊:《论反不正当竞争法的新定位》,见《中外法学》2017年第3期。

[6] 李胜利:《从两个关系看反不正当竞争法的修订》,见《法治现代化研究》2017年第5期。

[7] See Rogier W.de Very,supra note 20,at 46-47,转引自孔祥俊:《论反不正当竞争法的新定位》,见《中外法学》2017年第3期。

[8] 郑友德、伍春艳:《我国反不正当竞争法修订十问》,载《法学》2009年第1期,第57页。

[9] 郑友德、万志前:《德国反不正当竞争法的发展与创新》,载《法商研究》2007年第1期,第127页。

[10] 郑友德、胡承浩、万志前:《论反不正当竞争法的保护对象—兼评“公平竞争权”》,载《知识产权》2008年第5期,第33页。

[11] 周樨平:《论我国<反不正当竞争法>消费者保护功能》,载《竞争政策研究》2017年第2期。

[12] 李明德:《关于<反不正当竞争法>修订的几个问题》,载《知识产权》2017年第6期。

[13] Jiao Haitao: "The Critique of Pragmatism in the Determination of Unfair Competition", Chinese Legal Science, No. 1, 2017.

[14] See Hilty & Henning-Bodewig, supra note 5, at 57. Quoted from: Kong Xiangjun "On the modernization of anti-unfair competition law", contained in "Comparative Law Research" 2017 the third period.