Opinions Concerning Some Questions of Applicable Law in Criminal Intellectual Property Law Infringement Cases

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In order to resolve new circumstances and new problems that have been met by public security organs, people’s procuratorates and people’s courts in handling criminal intellectual property rights infringement cases in recent years, punish criminal intellectual property rights infringement activities according to the law, protect socialist market economy order, according to the provisions of the Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure Law and relevant judicial interpretations, integrating investigation, litigation and trial practice, these Opinions are formulated.

 

I, Concerning the question of jurisdiction of criminal intellectual property rights infringement cases

Criminal intellectual property rights infringement cases to be filed and investigated by the public security organ of the locality of the crime. When necessary, public security organs of the criminal suspects’ place of residence are permitted to file and investigate. The crime location of criminal intellectual property rights infringement, includes infringing products’ production sites, storage sites, transportation sites or sales sites, the server locations, network access locations or the location of the establisher or manager of websites transmitting infringing works or selling infringing products, the location of the uploader of infringing works, or the location where the rights holder received real damages of the consequences of the infringement. Where there are many criminal intellectual property rights infringement locations, the public security organs initially accepting the case or the public security organ of the main crime location has jurisdiction. Where public security organs of many criminal intellectual property rights infringement locations contest jurisdiction, the joint higher-level public security organ shall appoint jurisdiction, where it is necessary to submit for approval of arrests, submit for examination and litigation or indictment, the Peoples Procuratorate and People’s court of the same level at the location of the public security organ shall accept.

Criminal intellectual property rights infringement acts such as production, storage, transportation, sale, etc., concerning the same batch of infringing products effected across regions by different criminal suspects or criminal gangs, where conforming to the requirements of combining cases, may be filed and investigated by relevant public security organs in one batch, where it is necessary to submit for approval of arrests, submit for examination and litigation or indictment, the Peoples Procuratorate and People’s court of the same level at the location of the public security organ shall accept.

 

II, Concerning the question of effect of evidence collected and gathered by administrative law enforcement entities in handling criminal intellectual property rights infringement cases

 

Material evidence, written evidence, audiovisual material, examination reports, appraisal conclusions, on-the-spot examination notes or scene notes collected, gathered or produced by administrative law enforcement entities according to the law, after examination by public security entities, and People’s Procuratorates, and confirmation by the People’s Court in hearing or interrogation, may be used as criminal evidence.

Investigation notes such as witness testimonies, and party statements made by administrative law enforcement entities, where public security organs believe that they are necessary to be used as criminal evidence, may be produced or collected again according to the law.

 

III, Concerning the question of sampling evidence collection and the question of entrusted appraisal in handling criminal intellectual property rights infringement cases

When public security entities handle criminal intellectual property rights infringement cases, they may collect sampling evidence according to work requirements, or request the same level’s administrative law enforcement entities or relevant inspection organs to assist in collecting sampling evidence. Where laws or regulations have provisions on sampling organs or sampling methods, it shall be entrusted to the provided organ and sampled according to statutory methods.

When Public security organs, people’s procuratorates or people’s courts handle criminal intellectual property rights infringement cases, they shall entrust matters required to be appraised to State-certified appraisal organs having appraisal qualifications to conduct appraisal.

Public security organs, people’s procuratorates or people’s courts shall conduct examination of the appraisal conclusion, hear the opinion of rights holders, criminal suspects and defendants, and may require the appraisal organ to make corresponding explanations.

 

IV, Concerning the question of privately raised criminal intellectual property rights infringement case evidence collection

Where people’s courts accepting privately-raised criminal intellectual property rights infringement cases, in which the parties because of objective reasons cannot obtain evidence, and can sufficiently provide relevant case clues at the time of filing the case, and applying to the people’s court for collection, the People’s Court shall collect according to the law.

 

V, Concerning the question of determining “like products” as provided in Article 213 of the Criminal Law

Products with identical names as well as products with different names but the same objects may be determined as “like products”. “Name” refers to the name as the name for the product used by the State Administration of Industry and Commerce Trademark Bureau in trademark registration work, which generally is the product name as provided in the “Trademark Registration Using International Product and Services Classifications”. “Products with different names but the same objects” refers to products which are the same or basically the same in aspects such as functioning, purpose, main raw materials, consumption targets, sales, channels, etc., and which the corresponding public generally considers to be like products.

Determination of “like product” shall be made on the basis of comparison between the product of which the trademark is registered by the rights holder and approved for use, and the actor’s really produced and sold product.

 

VI, Concerning the question of determining “trademarks identical to registered trademarks” as provided in Article 213 of the Criminal Law

Where one of the following circumstances is present, it may be determined as “trademarks identical to registered trademarks”:

(1) changing the font, letter size or characters’ horizontal and vertical arrangements, there only being a subtle difference with the registered trademark;

(2) changing the spacing between the registered trademark’s characters, letters, numbers, etc., not influencing the expression of the distinguishing features of the registered trademark;

(3) changing the registered trademark’s colour;

(4) other trademarks basically not visually differing from the registered trademark, sufficient to mislead the public.

 

VII, Concerning the question of the price of products to which a fake registered trademark has not yet been appended or not completely appended is to be calculated into illegal business value

When calculating the value of produced, stored, transported and unsold fake registered trademark products, the value of products of which production is finished but to which a fake registered trademark is not yet appended (including stuck on), or not completely appended (including stuck on), if there is reliable and full evidence to prove that the products would pass off another’s registered trademark, may be calculated into illegal business value.

 

VIII, Concerning the question of the punishment measurement under circumstances where fake registered trademark products in criminal cases are unsold or partly sold

Knowingly selling products with a fake registered trademark, where one of the following circumstances is present, in accordance with the provisions of Article 214 of the Criminal Law, shall be punished as selling fake registered trademark products (aborted):

(1) unsold fake registered trademark products, of which the monetary value is 150.000 Yuan or higher;

(2) Partly sold fake registered trademark products, where the monetary value of the sold part is lower than 50.000 Yuan, but together with the unsold fake registered trademark products’ monetary value is 150.000 Yuan or higher.

Unsold fake registered trademark products, where the monetary value reaches 150.000 Yuan or more but less than 250.000 Yuan, and 250.000 Yuan or higher, shall be convicted and punished respectively according to the statutory punishment levels provided in Article 214 of the Criminal Law.

Where the sales value and the value of unsold products separately reaches different statutory punishment levels or all reach the same statutory punishment level, punishment is discretionary within the relatively higher statutory punishment or the same punishment level.

 

IX, Concerning the question of conviction in criminal cases of selling registered trademark symbol made by others illegally which are unsold or partly sold.

Selling of counterfeit or unauthorized registered trademark symbol made by others, where one of the following circumstances is present, according to the provisions of Article 215 of the Criminal Law, shall be punished as selling illegally produced registered trademark symbols (aborted):

(1) unsold counterfeit or unauthorized registered trademark symbol made by others with a quantity of 60.000 items or more;

(2) two or more unsold counterfeit or unauthorized registered trademark symbol made by others with a quantity of 30.000 items or more each;

(3) partly sold counterfeit or unauthorized registered trademark symbol made by others, where the sold amount of symbols is less than 20.000, but together with the unsold symbol amount is 60.000 items or more;

(4) two or more partly sold counterfeit or unauthorized registered trademark symbol made by others, where the sold amount of symbols is less than 10.000 each, but together with the unsold symbol amount is 30.000 items or more each.

 

X, Concerning the question of determining “with the aim of profit” in criminal copyright infringement cases

Except for selling, where one of the following circumstances is present, it may be determined as “with the aim of profit”:

(1) with methods such as publishing fee-collecting advertising in others’ work, binding third parties’ works, directly or indirectly collecting revenues;

(2) disseminating others’ works through information networks, or using infringing works uploaded by others, to provide publishing or fee-collecting advertising services on websites or web pages, directly or indirectly collecting fees;

(3) with the membership method uploading others’ works through information networks, and collecting membership registration fees or other fees;

(3) other circumstances using others’ works for personal gain.

 

X, Concerning the question of determining “without authorization of the copyright holder” in criminal copyright infringement cases

“Without authorization of the copyright holder” generally shall be determined on the basis of copyright authentication letters of the work at issue provided by the copyright holder or the authorized agent, collective copyright management group, State administrative copyright entity-appointed copyright authentication organ, or evidence proving the publisher or distributor counterfeited or altered authorization documents or exceeds the scope of authorization, in combination with other evidence.

Cases where many sorts of works are at issue and rights holders scattered, and the abovementioned evidence is truly hard to obtain one by one, but there is evidence proving that the reproductions at issue are illegally published, duplicated or distributed, publishers, reproducers or distributers cannot provide corresponding evidence materials of their obtaining permission of the copyright holder, may be determined as “without authorization of the copyright holder”. This is except where there is evidence proving that rights holders have waived their rights, the copyright in the work at issue is not protected in our country’s Copyright Law, or the copyright protection term has already expired.

 

XII, Concerning the question of determining “distribution” as provided by Article 217 of the Criminal Law

“Distribution” includes activities such as general distribution, wholesale, retail, dissemination through information networks as well as rental, exhibition selling, etc.

Illegally publishing, reproducing or distributing others’ works, where it constitutes a copyright infringement crime, is to be punished as criminal copyright infringement, and is not to be determined as other crimes such as illegal business crimes, etc.

 

XIII, Concerning the question of conviction and punishment standards for disseminating infringing works through information network

With the aim of profit, without permission from the copyright holder, through information networks disseminating others’ literary works, musical, film, television, fine art, photography or recording works, audiovisual products, computer software and other works to the public, where one of the following circumstances is present, shall fall under “other grave circumstances” as provided in Article 217 of the Criminal Law:

(1) illegal business value of 50.000 Yuan or more;

(2) disseminating others’ works in an amount of 500 items (films) or more in total;

(3) disseminating others’ works with an amount of hits of 50.000 times or more;

(4) disseminating others’ works through a membership system, with 1000 or more registered members;

(5) although amounts or numbers do not reach the standards provided in item (1) through (4), but separately reach more than half of at least to of these standards;

(6) other circumstances with grave details.

Committing the activities provided in the above items, where the amounts or numbers reach five times or more the standards provided in item (1) through (4), it shall fall under “other especially grave circumstances” as provided in Article 217 of the Criminal Law.

 

XIV, Concerning the question of the cumulative calculation of amounts in repeated committing of intellectual property rights infringement activities.

According to the provisions of Article 12 Paragraph 2 of the “Supreme People’s Court and Supreme People’s Procuratorate Interpretation Concerning Some Issues on the Concretely Applicable Law in Handling Criminal Intellectual Property Rights Infringement Cases”, the illegal business value, unlawful gains or sales revenues of repeated committing of intellectual property rights infringement activities, where not yet punished administratively or criminally, can be cumulatively calculated.

Repeated committing of intellectual property rights infringement activities within two years, which is not yet punished administratively, where the cumulative value constitutes a crime, shall be convicted and punished according to the law. For the prosecution time limits of committing intellectual property rights infringement activities, the relevant provisions of the Criminal Law apply, and the abovementioned term of two years is not accepted.

 

XV, Concerning the question of determining the activity of providing raw materials, machines, equipment, etc., to others for the committing of criminal intellectual property rights infringement

Those clearly knowing others to commit criminal intellectual property rights infringement, and providing them with the main raw materials, supplementary materials, semi-finished products, packaging materials, machines, equipment, labels or symbols, production technology, directions, etc. for the production or manufacture of infringing products, or providing services such as Internet access, server management, network storage space, communication and transmission channels, agency fees, fee settlement, etc., shall be punished as criminal intellectual property rights infringement accomplices.

 

XVI, Concerning the question of combined handling of criminal intellectual property rights infringement

Those committing criminal intellectual property rights infringement, which simultaneously constitutes the crimes of production and sale of inferior products, shall be convicted and punished according to the provisions of which crime are heavier: criminal intellectual property rights infringement and production or sale of inferior products.

关于办理侵犯知识产权刑事案件适用法律若干问题的意见

为解决近年来公安机关、人民检察院、人民法院在办理侵犯知识产权刑事案件中遇到的新情况、新问题,依法惩治侵犯知识产权犯罪活动,维护社会主义市场经济秩序,根据刑法、刑事诉讼法及有关司法解释的规定,结合侦查、起诉、审判实践,制定本意见。

一、关于侵犯知识产权犯罪案件的管辖问题

侵犯知识产权犯罪案件由犯罪地公安机关立案侦查。必要时,可以由犯罪嫌疑人居住地公安机关立案侦查。侵犯知识产权犯罪案件的犯罪地,包括侵权产品制造地、储存地、运输地、销售地,传播侵权作品、销售侵权产品的网站服务器所在地、网络接入地、网站建立者或者管理者所在地,侵权作品上传者所在地,权利人受到实际侵害的犯罪结果发生地。对有多个侵犯知识产权犯罪地的,由最初受理的公安机关或者主要犯罪地公安机关管辖。多个侵犯知识产权犯罪地的公安机关对管辖有争议的,由共同的上级公安机关指定管辖,需要提请批准逮捕、移送审查起诉、提起公诉的,由该公安机关所在地的同级人民检察院、人民法院受理。

对于不同犯罪嫌疑人、犯罪团伙跨地区实施的涉及同一批侵权产品的制造、储存、运输、销售等侵犯知识产权犯罪行为,符合并案处理要求的,有关公安机关可以一并立案侦查,需要提请批准逮捕、移送审查起诉、提起公诉的,由该公安机关所在地的同级人民检察院、人民法院受理。

二、关于办理侵犯知识产权刑事案件中行政执法部门收集、调取证据的效力问题

行政执法部门依法收集、调取、制作的物证、书证、视听资料、检验报告、鉴定结论、勘验笔录、现场笔录,经公安机关、人民检察院审查,人民法院庭审质证确认,可以作为刑事证据使用。

行政执法部门制作的证人证言、当事人陈述等调查笔录,公安机关认为有必要作为刑事证据使用的,应当依法重新收集、制作。

三、关于办理侵犯知识产权刑事案件的抽样取证问题和委托鉴定问题

公安机关在办理侵犯知识产权刑事案件时,可以根据工作需要抽样取证,或者商请同级行政执法部门、有关检验机构协助抽样取证。法律、法规对抽样机构或者抽样方法有规定的,应当委托规定的机构并按照规定方法抽取样品。

公安机关、人民检察院、人民法院在办理侵犯知识产权刑事案件时,对于需要鉴定的事项,应当委托国家认可的有鉴定资质的鉴定机构进行鉴定。

公安机关、人民检察院、人民法院应当对鉴定结论进行审查,听取权利人、犯罪嫌疑人、被告人对鉴定结论的意见,可以要求鉴定机构作出相应说明。

四、关于侵犯知识产权犯罪自诉案件的证据收集问题

人民法院依法受理侵犯知识产权刑事自诉案件,对于当事人因客观原因不能取得的证据,在提起自诉时能够提供有关线索,申请人民法院调取的,人民法院应当依法调取。

五、关于刑法第二百一十三条规定的 “同一种商品”的认定问题

名称相同的商品以及名称不同但指同一事物的商品,可以认定为“同一种商品”。“名称”是指国家工商行政管理总局商标局在商标注册工作中对商品使用的名称,通常即《商标注册用商品和服务国际分类》中规定的商品名称。“名称不同但指同一事物的商品”是指在功能、用途、主要原料、消费对象、销售渠道等方面相同或者基本相同,相关公众一般认为是同一种事物的商品。

认定“同一种商品”,应当在权利人注册商标核定使用的商品和行为人实际生产销售的商品之间进行比较。

六、关于刑法第二百一十三条规定的“与其注册商标相同的商标”的认定问题

具有下列情形之一,可以认定为“与其注册商标相同的商标”:

(一)改变注册商标的字体、字母大小写或者文字横竖排列,与注册商标之间仅有细微差别的;

(二)改变注册商标的文字、字母、数字等之间的间距,不影响体现注册商标显著特征的;

(三)改变注册商标颜色的;

(四)其他与注册商标在视觉上基本无差别、足以对公众产生误导的商标。

七、关于尚未附着或者尚未全部附着假冒注册商标标识的侵权产品价值是否计入非法经营数额的问题

在计算制造、储存、运输和未销售的假冒注册商标侵权产品价值时,对于已经制作完成但尚未附着(含加贴)或者尚未全部附着(含加贴)假冒注册商标标识的产品,如果有确实、充分证据证明该产品将假冒他人注册商标,其价值计入非法经营数额。

八、关于销售假冒注册商标的商品犯罪案件中尚未销售或者部分销售情形的定罪量刑问题

销售明知是假冒注册商标的商品,具有下列情形之一的,依照刑法第二百一十四条的规定,以销售假冒注册商标的商品罪(未遂)定罪处罚:

(一)假冒注册商标的商品尚未销售,货值金额在十五万元以上的;

(二)假冒注册商标的商品部分销售,已销售金额不满五万元,但与尚未销售的假冒注册商标的商品的货值金额合计在十五万元以上的。

假冒注册商标的商品尚未销售,货值金额分别达到十五万元以上不满二十五万元、二十五万元以上的,分别依照刑法第二百一十四条规定的各法定刑幅度定罪处罚。

销售金额和未销售货值金额分别达到不同的法定刑幅度或者均达到同一法定刑幅度的,在处罚较重的法定刑或者同一法定刑幅度内酌情从重处罚。

九、关于销售他人非法制造的注册商标标识犯罪案件中尚未销售或者部分销售情形的定罪问题

销售他人伪造、擅自制造的注册商标标识,具有下列情形之一的,依照刑法第二百一十五条的规定,以销售非法制造的注册商标标识罪(未遂)定罪处罚:

(一)尚未销售他人伪造、擅自制造的注册商标标识数量在六万件以上的;

(二)尚未销售他人伪造、擅自制造的两种以上注册商标标识数量在三万件以上的;

(三)部分销售他人伪造、擅自制造的注册商标标识,已销售标识数量不满二万件,但与尚未销售标识数量合计在六万件以上的;

(四)部分销售他人伪造、擅自制造的两种以上注册商标标识,已销售标识数量不满一万件,但与尚未销售标识数量合计在三万件以上的。

十、关于侵犯著作权犯罪案件“以营利为目的”的认定问题

除销售外,具有下列情形之一的,可以认定为“以营利为目的”:

(一)以在他人作品中刊登收费广告、捆绑第三方作品等方式直接或者间接收取费用的;

(二)通过信息网络传播他人作品,或者利用他人上传的侵权作品,在网站或者网页上提供刊登收费广告服务,直接或者间接收取费用的;

(三)以会员制方式通过信息网络传播他人作品,收取会员注册费或者其他费用的;

(四)其他利用他人作品牟利的情形。

十一、关于侵犯著作权犯罪案件 “未经著作权人许可”的认定问题

“未经著作权人许可”一般应当依据著作权人或者其授权的代理人、著作权集体管理组织、国家著作权行政管理部门指定的著作权认证机构出具的涉案作品版权认证文书,或者证明出版者、复制发行者伪造、涂改授权许可文件或者超出授权许可范围的证据,结合其他证据综合予以认定。

在涉案作品种类众多且权利人分散的案件中,上述证据确实难以一一取得,但有证据证明涉案复制品系非法出版、复制发行的,且出版者、复制发行者不能提供获得著作权人许可的相关证明材料的,可以认定为“未经著作权人许可”。但是,有证据证明权利人放弃权利、涉案作品的著作权不受我国著作权法保护,或者著作权保护期限已经届满的除外。

十二、关于刑法第二百一十七条规定的“发行”的认定及相关问题

“发行”,包括总发行、批发、零售、通过信息网络传播以及出租、展销等活动。

非法出版、复制、发行他人作品,侵犯著作权构成犯罪的,按照侵犯著作权罪定罪处罚,不认定为非法经营罪等其他犯罪。

十三、关于通过信息网络传播侵权作品行为的定罪处罚标准问题

以营利为目的,未经著作权人许可,通过信息网络向公众传播他人文字作品、音乐、电影、电视、美术、摄影、录像作品、录音录像制品、计算机软件及其他作品,具有下列情形之一的,属于刑法第二百一十七条规定的“其他严重情节”:

(一)非法经营数额在五万元以上的;

(二)传播他人作品的数量合计在五百件(部)以上的;

(三)传播他人作品的实际被点击数达到五万次以上的;

(四)以会员制方式传播他人作品,注册会员达到一千人以上的;

(五)数额或者数量虽未达到第(一)项至第(四)项规定标准,但分别达到其中两项以上标准一半以上的;

(六)其他严重情节的情形。

实施前款规定的行为,数额或者数量达到前款第(一)项至第(五)项规定标准五倍以上的,属于刑法第二百一十七条规定的“其他特别严重情节”。

十四、关于多次实施侵犯知识产权行为累计计算数额问题

依照《最高人民法院、最高人民检察院关于办理侵犯知识产权刑事案件具体应用法律若干问题的解释》第十二条第二款的规定,多次实施侵犯知识产权行为,未经行政处理或者刑事处罚的,非法经营数额、违法所得数额或者销售金额累计计算。

二年内多次实施侵犯知识产权违法行为,未经行政处理,累计数额构成犯罪的,应当依法定罪处罚。实施侵犯知识产权犯罪行为的追诉期限,适用刑法的有关规定,不受前述二年的限制。

十五、关于为他人实施侵犯知识产权犯罪提供原材料、机械设备等行为的定性问题

明知他人实施侵犯知识产权犯罪,而为其提供生产、制造侵权产品的主要原材料、辅助材料、半成品、包装材料、机械设备、标签标识、生产技术、配方等帮助,或者提供互联网接入、服务器托管、网络存储空间、通讯传输通道、代收费、费用结算等服务的,以侵犯知识产权犯罪的共犯论处。

十六、关于侵犯知识产权犯罪竞合的处理问题

行为人实施侵犯知识产权犯罪,同时构成生产、销售伪劣商品犯罪的,依照侵犯知识产权犯罪与生产、销售伪劣商品犯罪中处罚较重的规定定罪处罚。

One thought on “Opinions Concerning Some Questions of Applicable Law in Criminal Intellectual Property Law Infringement Cases

    […] Last week, the Supreme People’s Court and the Ministry of Public Security rolled out a new set of guidelines for criminal ipr infringement cases: the Opinions Concerning Some Questions of Applicable Law in Criminal Intellectual Property Law Infringem…. […]

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