China Customs Intellectual Property Protection Status in 2012

In order to crack down on the infringement of Intellectual property rights in import and export and maintain fair competition and economic order, in 2012, China Customs earnestly fulfilled the functions of supervision and administration of entry and exit in accordance with relevant laws and policies, actively carried out the enforcement of intellectual property rights law, investigate and take care of a number cases of where the export and import of goods violated the Intellectual property rights.

1. The Basic Situation of 2012 Customs’ Law Enforcement concerning Intellectual Property Rights

In 2012, China Customs altogether took 18300 cases of intellectual property protection. Nearly 200 million goods were suspended for release and 15,600 batches of suspected goods as well as 931,2 million pieces of suspected infringing goods were detained.

Table 1.2012 overall statistics of customs IPR protection

 

The goods detained by the China in 2012 took on the following characteristics:

1) Infringement of the Trademark has become the main stream.
In 2012, goods detained by China Customs involves infringement in trademark, copyright and other rights related to copyright , patent and other types of intellectual property rights . Of which goods concerning trademark infringement amounted to more than 8821 million, accounting for 94% of the total number of suspected infringing goods detained by the Customs (see Table 2 )

Table 2, Overall statistic of types of IPR infringed of all the goods detained in 2012

Categories of IPR

The quantity of goods

Proportion

Total

93,117,335

Exclusive Right to Use Trademark

88,210,686

94.73%

Copyright

4,557,264

4.89%

Patent Right

349,385

0.38%

2) A majority of detention occurred during export control sector
In 2012, China Customs had detained in export sector over 15,000 batches of suspected infringing goods, accounting for 95.60% of the total detained goods; detained suspected infringing goods amounted to more than 92 million, accounting for 99.77% of the total (see Table 3)

Table 3.2012 Overall Statistics concerning the flow of goods detained by the Customs

Import and Export types

Batch

proportion

quantities of goods

proportion

total

15,690

93,117,335

import

690

4.40%

211,487

0.23%

export

15,000

95.60%

92,905,848

99.77%

3) The majority of the infringing goods are consumer products
In 2012, infringing goods detained by China Customs are mainly tobacco, food, hardware machinery, cosmetic and care products, clothing and shoes, auto parts and other products (see Table 3). a total of 8.06 million pieces of food products were detained over the year, an increase of 26 times as compared to the same period in 2011 (see Table 4 )

Table 4 Overall Statistics of Categories of Infringing goods

types of goods

quantities of goods

proportion

tobacco

35,780,838

38.43%

others

26,331,673

28.28%

food and drinks

8,061,086

8.66%

light industrial products

6,176,906

6.63%

Hardware Machinery

5,050,225

5.42%

Cosmetic and Care Products

3,655,282

3.93%

Clothing

2,804,191

3.01%

shoes

1,308,555

1.41%

Motorcycles and automobiles

1,122,513

1.21%

Other mechanical and electrical products

1,120,587

1.20%

Hat and cap

427,397

0.46%

Case and Bag and other Leather Products

369,924

0.40%

Telecom products

277,182

0.30%

Wrist watches

263,177

0.28%

Toys and games

144,012

0.15%

Medicine

100,764

0.11%

Storage Medium

83,902

0.09%

Sports facilities

25,679

0.03%

Jewelry products

13,082

0.01%

Medical equipment

360

0.00%

4) Large quantities of goods are detained through mail and express channels.
In 2012, China Customs detained in total 9820 and 2260 batches of goods through mail channels and express channels respectively, accounting for 62.58% and 14.40% of the total. However, as shipping enjoys capacity advantages, in 2012, most of the total infringing products were detained during shipping, accounting for about 92.78% of the total detained goods. (See Table 5)

Table 5 The statistics of means of transport of the infringing goods

Postal delivery

Express mail

Shipping

Aviation

Automobile

Railway

Others

Batch

9,820

2,260

1,931

686

393

101

proportion

62.58%

14.40%

12.31%

4.37%

2.50%

0.64%

quantities of goods

187,255

359,265

86,398,682

323,207

3,735,685

863,078

proportion

0.20%

0.39%

92.78%

0.35%

4.01%

0.93%

2. The major customs protection measures of intellectual property rights

In 2012, China Customs conducted the following measures to protect the IPRs
1) To actively check and detain the goods infringing the IPRs during import and export
For imported and exported products suspected of infringing intellectual property rights protected by Chinese laws and administrative regulations, the Chinese Customs, in accordance with existing laws and administrative regulations, shall detain those products either by applications of the holders of intellectual property rights or on its own initiative. In order to give full play to the protection of intellectual property rights in encouraging innovation and maintaining fair competition, the China Customs in 2012 actively conducted interception and investigation for products violating intellectual property rights in cross-border transport by strengthening supervision and risk management techniques. Most of suspected products detained in 2012 were detained by the Customs on its own initiative (see table 6).

Table 6. Customs Enforcement Mode statistics

Law enforcement model

Batch

Proportion

Quantities of Goods

Proportion

Detained ex officio

15,646

99.72%

88,532,362

95.08%

Detained in accordance with application

70

0.45%

4,584,973

4.92%

2) to organize and carry out special rectification actions on gravely infringing goods
During the one-year action of “Country Shield” in 2012, China Customs carried out “special rectification work against counterfeit medicine, food and auto parts”. In accordance with the requirements of the General Administration of Customs, the Customs at each port seized large quantity of counterfeit food, medicine and auto parts by means of focusing on law enforcement resources, increasing cargo inspection and carrying out pointed risk analysis. The following are some examples of major cases:

– March 1, 2012, a company in Shenzhen declared to Ningbo to export a number of concrete nails. Upon inspection, the Customs found concealed in the goods 3,120 pieces of counterfeited Shalina Betamethasone, 24,000 pieces propionate clobetasol cream, as well as 17,160 pieces of medicinal ointment; 120,000 box of counterfeited VICKS trademark cooling oil , and 92,880 pieces of counterfeited ZAM-BUK cooling oil.

– On February 5, 2012, when inspecting the EMS mails, Shenzhen Custom’s officers at the post office found a parcel named “herbal enhancer “. Through analyzing, the officers found the parcel very suspicious and therefore decided to open the parcel for inspection. As a result a total of 20,016 tablets of counterfeit drugs ” Levitra ”  were found, valued at nearly one hundred thousand .

– On March 20, an Anhui company declared to Shanghai Yangshan Custom for exporting a batch of compound seasoning. Customs decided to conduct inspection of the goods. As a result, a batch of seasonings counterfeit  the ” Jamila trademark of Ningbo Free Trade Zone New Oriental International Trading Co., Ltd, altogether 7.89 million cubes in 3700 boxes.

– On April 25 , according to the Report of Zhenjiang Vinegar Industry Association , Tianjin Customs seized  7188 bottles of vinegar to be exported to Singapore by one TianJin Company, which violated Zhenjiang Vinegar Industry Association trademark.

– on June 7 , a certain company in Huangshi, Hubei province declared to the Wuhan Customs’ Huangshi Branch for exporting of auto parts . The customs supervision staff decided to conduct inspection. Upon inspection, 1408 pieces of counterfeit ” AMG ” car wheels was found, worth about 31 million.

3) To jointly cope with challenges and expand law enforcement cooperation channel

In the year of 2012, China Customs carried out fruitful cooperation in protecting intellectual property rights together with domestic law enforcement agencies and the holders of intellectual property rights.

On June 15, the General Administration of Customs and the State Administration for Industry and Commerce signed a memorandum of cooperation, stipulating that both sides will cooperate in various fields, including the enforcement of intellectual property rights.

Besides, General Administration of Customs and the Administration for Industry and Commerce jointly issued the “Interim Provisions of Strengthening Law Enforcement Cooperation for Protection of the Exclusive Right to Use Trademark” .

Director Yu Guangzhou and Director Zhou Bohua attended the signing ceremony of the Memorandum of Cooperation between the General Administration of Customs and Administration for Industry and Commerce.

According to the requirement of State Council to further strengthen the combination of law enforcement and criminal justice; in 2012 the China Customs further transferred suspected criminal cases of intellectual property rights to public security organs, which became a strong support for public security organs to fight with criminals at the source.

In 2012, the strategic partnership between China Customs and the holders of intellectual property rights was also further strengthened.

In order to encourage the industry to actively support the enforcement of intellectual property rights by customs, a memorandum of understanding to strengthen intellectual property rights cooperation was signed on April 19th by General Administration of Customs, International Trademark Association and Jiangsu Province Photovoltaic Industry Association.

4) To encourage business innovation and further strengthen the protection for intellectual property rights

In 2012, through holding forum on protecting independent intellectual property rights with enterprises, inviting enterprise to participate in training to identify infringing products, introducing relevant laws and regulations of protecting intellectual property rights to enterprises and other methods, the Customs strengthened protection for intellectual property rights and helped enterprises to solve their problems.

In April of 2012, General Administration of Customs held in Wuxi the Forum of Customs and Domestic Enterprises to Protect Intellectual Property Rights. Deputy Director Zou Zhiwu attended the meeting and made a speech.

In 2012, the total number of imported and exported products violating domestic independent intellectual property rights investigated and captured by China Customs was approximately 28million pieces, which increased 66%.

Effective protection of the Customs towards intellectual property rights renovated domestic enterprises which have been constantly infringed, and also stimulate the enthusiasm of domestic enterprises to apply to the customs protection of intellectual property rights.

In 2012, the General Administration of Customs examined and approved 2123 filing applications of intellectual protection rights protection from domestic enterprises, which accounted for 51.3% of the total number, and was an increase of 25%.

5) Actively engaging in international cooperation and safeguarding the security of the international trade supply chain

In 2012, in the meantime of strengthening the domestic law enforcement, Chinese customs actively carry out law enforcement cooperation with the EU, U.S., Russia and other countries against infringement from the exports and imports of all aspects of trade, so as to maintain the security of the international supply chain of goods .

– China Customs and the EU Customs, under the China – EU Customs Action Plan on IPR, jointly carries out the exchange of cases information, law enforcement cooperation with other law enforcement agencies and the enforcement activities concerning holder of the intellectual property rights.

– In accordance with the consensus concerning the strengthening of the enforcement of intellectual property rights reached when Yu Guangzhou, Director and Zou Zhiwu, Deputy Director of General Administration of Customs visited the United States. China Customs and U.S. Customs and Border Protection Bureau developed the 2012-2013 action plan concerning the cooperation in the customs intellectual property rights enforcement memorandum and carried out the exchange of case statistics and cooperation from other aspects.

– On August 29, 2012, the General Administration of Customs of China and the Russian Customs Service in St. Petersburg signed the ” Sino – Russian Customs IPR Working Group 2013-2014 work plan

– China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and other countries of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization jointly signed the Memorandum of Cooperation of The Member States of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Customs on Intellectual Property Right Protection on December 5, 2012 in Bishkek. The countries agreed to cooperate in aspects such as the exchange of intellectual property law, exchange of case information, as well as exchange of law enforcement experience, etc.

– March 1, 2012, the fifth Conference of the China-EU Customs Intellectual Property Experts Group was held in Rotterdam, the Netherlands

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