Chinese trademark criminal case: counterfeit shoe polish

According to an announcement from the Shanghai Pudong New Area People’s Court on October 28, 2021, Judges Wu Zhiyong, head of the Intellectual Property Court of the Shanghai Pudong New Area People’s Court and Judges Ni Hongxia and Wang Xiao conducted a public trial that resulted in defendant Ding and four others being sentenced to prison terms ranging from one year seven months to three years for the offense of trademark infringement for KIWI shoe polish. The court also imposed a fine on the defendants.

Without the permission of the trademark owner, the defendants infringed the trademark of the internationally famous shoe polish brand “KIWI” for production and sale, and attempted to export it overseas. More than 250,000 boxes were seized at customs. According to the court’s announcement, “this type of malicious ‘famous trademark’ infringement not only harmed the legitimate rights and interests of the trademark owner, but also damaged the country’s image and caused serious damage to the brand. normal market order. “

At trial, words and graphics such as “KIWI” were found to be registered trademarks by the Trademark Office of the National Intellectual Property Administration of China in Class 3 for products such as shoe polish. shoes, etc.

From June 2020, without the permission of the trademark owner, Defendant Ding opened a factory in a village in Anhui Province and hired Defendants Ma, Zheng, Luo and others for the purpose of to illegally make a profit. In other places, they bought raw materials and accessories and organized workers to produce shoe polish under the trademark “KIWI”. Among them, Ma is responsible for on-site coordination, pay, delivery, etc., Zheng is responsible for purchasing waxing packaging and die processing, and Luo is responsible for manufacturing and quality control of waxing.

In March 2021, more than 250,000 boxes of counterfeit shoe polish sold by the involved factory were seized by Ningbo Customs, and the sales amount was around 230,000 RMB. After that, the Shanghai police raided the counterfeit premises of Ding and others, and seized a large number of finished shoe polish products that counterfeit the graphic trademark “KIWI”, valued at around 120,000. RMB. At the same time, they seized a large number of production equipment. Ma, Zheng, and Luo were arrested at the scene, and Ding also voluntarily surrendered to the public security organ a week later.

The Shanghai Pudong court ruled that Ding and four other people were using the same mark on the same product without the permission of the owner of the registered mark. The circumstances were particularly serious and their acts constituted the offense of infringement of the registered mark.

© 2021 Schwegman, Lundberg & Woessner, PA All rights reserved.Revue nationale de droit, volume XI, number 304

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