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Nearly 30,000 convicted in China for IPR crimes

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By June 2012, had received 20,596 IPR-related criminal cases and concluded 19,691, Wang said during a briefing to legislators at an ongoing bimonthly session of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC).

During the same period, 180,213 civil suits were closed, including 5,670 involving foreign parties, Wang, also president of China's Supreme People's Court, was quoted as saying by state-run Xinhua agency.

Trials were concluded in 8,749, with 1,088 resulting in revocation of government decisions, Wang said.

China had 2,731 IPR judges working in 420 courts by June, according to Wang.

Also China's national legislature the National People's Congress deliberated a draft amendment to the Trademark Law that would prevent the malicious registration of trademarks that are already in use.

"Applications should not be accepted if the applicants know beforehand that the trademarks to be registered are already in use by other companies," the draft said.

The draft is intended to curb the malicious registration of trademarks by individuals who have insider knowledge of other companies using said trademarks.

The amendment also offers protection for renowned trademarks, giving their owners the right to ban others from registering the trademarks or using similar ones even if such trademarks are not registered.

In such a case, the trademark in question must be determined to be well-known, with to be valid only for that specific case, the amendment stated.

The draft amendment comes after multiple trademark infringement disputes, including a fight over the "iPad" trademark that resulted in Apple Inc paying USD 60 million to Proview Technology (Shenzhen) to settle.

The draft increases the ceiling for fines imposed on trademark violators from half a million yuan (USD 78,800) to 1 million yuan in the event that financial losses and gains from the infringement cannot be determined.

In addition, the amendment simplifies trademark registration application procedures and shortens the application period, allowing the registration of multiple trademarks using just one application.

Official figures show that the number of trademark registration applications reached 10.54 million, among which 7.17 million were approved, in the first half of 2012 -- a sharp rise from the 19,000 applications submitted in 1983, when the trademark law took effect, the Xinhua said.

  

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