China sentences 69 defendants for counterfeiting Chanel, Cartier and Gucci products


In a October 21, 2021 announcement speak Shanghai Pudong Court, the court sentenced 69 defendants to terms of imprisonment ranging from eight months to five years and nine months and fines ranging from 5,000 RMB to 11.7 million RMB (~ 1.8 million USD) for the offense of trademark infringement or the crime of selling products bearing counterfeit registered trademarks of Chanel, Cartier, Gucci and many other brands.

In the series of branded clothing counterfeiting cases, the court found after the trial that from January 2018 to July 2020, the defendant Liu and his wife, Zhang, organized company employees or told d ‘other processing plants the processing and production of counterfeit clothing from “Chanel”, “Gucci”, “Balenciaga”, “Dior”, “Fendi”, “Loewe”, “LV” and other brands, with a turnover of over 42.4 million RMB.

The division of labor within this group is clear. Liu ran a business, and Zhang was responsible for purchasing authentic clothing, which was reproduced by the company’s clothing design bureau, and then handed over to a wholesale production factory. Finally, these counterfeit clothes were sold by in-store vendors. Among them, Wang was responsible for collecting store payments and paying wages, and Li was responsible for financial affairs. The chain also involved dozens of designers, samplers, quality inspectors, salespeople and more.

After the revelation of the case, the Public Security Bureau seized a large quantity of counterfeit “Chanel“, “Gucci” and other designer clothes from the warehouse, point of sale and processing plant. respectively, and some of the accused were captured on the spot.

After a lawsuit, the Shanghai Pudong Court ruled that: in order to seek illegal advantages, the defendant named Liu hired a large number of employees to produce and sell counterfeit clothing from several internationally renowned brands. His acts constituted the offense of counterfeiting registered trademarks, which was subjective malice and a serious social nuisance. Therefore, the accused surnamed Liu was sentenced to a prison term of five years and nine months with a fine of RMB 11.7 million. Three defendants, Zhang, Wang and Li, were also sentenced to criminal penalties and fines.

Previously, 44 other defendants in this series of cases had been sentenced to prison terms ranging from one year and six months to four years and three months for the offense of infringement of registered trademarks, with a total fine of more than 3 million RMB.

In a series of cases involving fake designer jewelry, the court found during the trial that from June 2019 to October 2020, Huang, together with Liu, Luo and eight other people, ran a jewelry business, produced fake Cartier. , Van Cleef, Earl and others. branded jewelry and made profit through Taobao stores and WeChat sales, amounting to over 700,000 RMB.

At the same time, Huang also bought shares in a company actually controlled by Feng carrying on the same business, which produced and sold counterfeit Cartier brand jewelry by purchasing raw materials to be processed by itself or by processing materials. firsts for customers after their purchase. Knowing this situation, Yang, Ma, Tan, and eight other people still held positions and helped produce counterfeit jewelry. Wu and Guo were also aware of the infringement act, but invested in the stocks and received monthly income and interest.

On October 22, 2020, the public security bureau arrested some defendants and seized on the spot the jewelry and Cartier-branded packaging as well as the 1,370 grams of gold used in the manufacture of counterfeit Cartier jewelry.

After the trial, the Shanghai Pudong Court ruled that: the 21 defendants used the same trademark as the registered trademark on the same type of products without the permission of the trademark owner, and the acts constituted the crime of trademark infringement. In addition, the amount involved in this series of cases was over RMB 61 million, and the criminal circumstances were particularly serious, which seriously damaged the brand’s reputation and economic interests, and also brought harm to the interests of consumers. Based on the accused’s criminal circumstances, social harm and attitude towards confessing his crime, the court sentenced 21 people to imprisonment from eight months to five years and nine. months and imposed corresponding fines.

© 2021 Schwegman, Lundberg & Woessner, PA All rights reserved.Revue nationale de droit, volume XI, number 296

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