Yang Hongcan: to enhance coordination and improve IPR law enforcement in online and foreign trade areas

Recently, the State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR), Ministry of Public Security, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, General Administration of Customs, National Intellectual Property Administration and National Copyright Administration jointly released the Implementation Measures of IPR Law Enforcement in Online Shopping and Foreign Trade Areas (hereinafter referred to as “the Implementation Measures”). Concerning the measures, Yang Hongcan, Head of Law Enforcement Inspection Bureau of SAMR took the media interview.

Q: What is main consideration behind the Implementation Measures? What problems are to be resolved?

Yang Hongcan: Based on the problem-oriented principle, the Implementation Measures propose specific measures against online IPR infringement to strengthen law enforcement coordination. Currently, the Internet economy has broken the limit of time and space of traditional business model and promoted the integrated development of different businesses and industrial chains, which significantly improves the trading efficiency and expands the trading scale and market capacity.

However, the counterfeiters also take advantage of Internet economy. It is found from the IPR infringement and counterfeiting cases in recent years that IPR infringement is usually online-offline integrated, involving a full chain of material procurement, processing, distribution and sales and covering many provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities or even the whole country.

In such cases, a single department or local area can only crack a single link or part, and may act rashly and alert the “enemy”. Only by enhancing the regional and inter-department coordination and joint action, can the problem of fragmented law enforcement be solved and the illegal industrial chain be completely eradicated.

Q: what key measures are to be taken in terms of enhancing law enforcement coordination?

Yang Hongcan: There are two levels of law enforcement coordination.

The first one is regional law enforcement coordination. The case clue discovered by the law enforcement departments beyond their jurisdiction should be transferred to those with jurisdiction in a timely manner. As for the cases of IPR infringement involving several regions, the relevant law enforcement departments should enhance the joint and coordinated investigation to pool the synergy of crackdown and law enforcement.

The second one is inter-department law enforcement coordination. The administrative law enforcement departments should inform each other of information about infringing goods and infringers discovered in the production, sales and foreign trade fields in a timely manner. The illegal acts of IPR infringement should be tracked down for its source, the measures of domestic market regulation and border control should be improved and the chain of sales network and cross-border distribution about IPR-infringing goods should be destroyed. Meanwhile, the linkage of administrative law enforcement and criminal justice should also be strengthened so that the administrative law enforcers and the public security authorities can transfer the cases with each other based on the regulations and the administrative and criminal punishment can be imposed when necessary and the efficacy of law enforcement and crackdown can be enhanced.

Q: The improved IPR law enforcement cannot be separated from the support of right holders. So, what measures will be taken in this regard?

Yang Hongcan: The crackdown on crimes related to IPR infringement is a systematic work. Only by coordination between law enforcement departments and right holders, can the good results about law enforcement be guaranteed. To this end, the Implementation Measures propose to enhance social governance. It is requested law enforcers should improve the communication mechanism with right holders to fully leverage the role of right holders in the infringement investigation and product testing; reinforce the coordination with e-commerce platforms, fully utilize the clues of IPR infringement offered by the e-commerce platform to work on case information verification, goods flow tracking and relevant evidence preservation; and boost the communication with industrial organizations, associations and chambers to grasp the key issues related to industrial situation and IPR infringement, support these organizations in self-discipline and jointly prevent and combat the criminal activities related to IPR infringement.

Q: What other specific measures do the Implementation Measures include regarding the strengthened IPR law enforcement?

Yang Hongcan: The Implementation Measures combine the crackdown and construction together.

On one hand, the relevant administrative law enforcement departments and the public security authorities are required to carry out strict law enforcement, make full use of complaint and tip-off hotlines and online supervision platforms of competent departments to obtain the clues to IPR infringement, focus on the new IP-related problems in the Internet field to improve the law enforcement measures and increase the efforts on punishment over the illegal infringement acts.

On the other hand, it is required to establish a complete work guarantee system, including case consultation, statistics and expert consulting system. The administrative law enforcers can team up with the police to study the case, develop the measures of investigation and evidence collection, in a bid to ensure the smooth case investigation and handling. The experts’ database can be set up to include the elite case investigators, legal experts and surveyors to provide policy, legal and technical support to enhanced law enforcement and case solution.

(Source: China Market Regulation News)