Supreme People's Procuratorate statistics reveal growth in IP rights crimes
The Supreme People’s Procuratorate (SPP) has released some statistics on IP rights-related crimes for the first half year of 2013.
Statistics indicate that procuratorates across the nation have issued warrants to arrest 2,176 suspects in 1,428 IP rights-related criminal cases and have prosecuted 3,805 persons in 2,253 cases.
From 2008 to 2012, 19,786 suspects were arrested in 11,723 IP rights-related criminal cases, and 29,481 were prosecuted in 17,062 cases.
The statistics show a year-on-year growth in IP rights-related crimes, with trademark-related crimes accounting for 80% of the total number of cases. Furthermore, IP rights-related crimes are more often committed by natural persons in economically developed regions, using a concealed and professional modus operandi, resulting in a lower chance of being detected by the law enforcement authorities.
Since the launch of the National Intellectual Property Strategy in 2008, the SPP has been making efforts to crack down of IP rights-related crimes. For example, the SPP jointly issued with other governmental agencies several judicial interpretations on penalising IP rights-related crimes, such as:
- the Provisions (I) and Provisions (II) of the Supreme People's Procuratorate and the Ministry of Public Security on the Standards for Filing Criminal Cases under the Jurisdiction of the Public Security Organs for Investigation and Prosecution, which were jointly promulgated with the Ministry of Public Security in June 2008 and May 2010;
- the Opinion on Several Issues Concerning the Application of the Law in Handling Criminal Cases involving Intellectual Property Infringement, which was jointly promulgated with the Supreme People’s Court and the Ministry of Public Security in January 2011.
The procuratorates have fulfilled their prosecution and investigation responsibilities on IP rights-related crimes by processing a substantial number of criminal cases during the past five years.
Given the difficulty in implementing private prosecution in China, the People’s procuratorates are indispensable in combating IP rights-related crimes in terms of locating concealed evidence and assessing the damage caused by multiple crimes involved in a single action.
Jiang Nan, Wan Hui Da Law Firm & Intellectual Property Agency, Beijing
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