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Litigation practice - CHINA: Strict Penalties for Perjury
Time: 2022-02-28
Litigation practice - CHINA: Strict Penalties for Perjury

Wanlin Huang | Feb 28 2022

First published by INTA


The Beijing Intellectual Property Court held a briefing on September 10, 2021, on the penalties for perjury in trademark cancellation proceedings for non-use. As part of the briefing, the court published a review of cases which are exemplary for penalties for perjury.

The court applied the maximum penalty for perjury, namely, RMB 10,000 (around US $1,500) under the Administrative Procedure Law (Article 59(1)(b)) in most cases.

The false evidence in these cases predominantly included forging and modifying trademark information on documents, including invoices, inspection reports, and advertising registration certificates. In all instances, it was trademark owners who were penalized; no trademark agencies were found to be involved.

Providing false evidence disrupts litigation proceedings and undermines judicial authority. To address this issue, the court announced at the briefing five measures:

1. Tightening examination standards and requiring trademark owners to submit original evidence of trademark use;

2. Utilizing official government websites to verify evidence, such as the authenticity of invoices;

3. Explaining the consequences of falsifying evidence and ordering trademark owners to give reasonable explanations for such actions;

4. Canceling the non-use trademarks in accordance with the law; and

5. Dealing strictly with perjury and imposing penalties in accordance with the law.

Background on China’s Cancellation System

Similar to other major jurisdictions, China has a cancellation system for trademarks that have been registered for a certain number of years. In China, a third party may request the cancellation of any trademarks that have been registered for three years, and the trademark owners are required to prove genuine and effective use of the trademarks.

Cancellation actions are examined and decided by the Trademark Office of the China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA). If the parties are not satisfied with the decision, they may apply for a review. If the review results are not satisfactory, the parties may appeal to the Beijing Intellectual Property Court.

Since 2019, the court has concluded 3,843 administrative cases covering non-use cancellation, with a total of 970 cases overturning CNIPA decisions made, higher than the average rate of other trademark prosecution cases.

Although every effort has been made to verify the accuracy of this article, readers are urged to check independently on matters of specific concern or interest. Law & Practice updates are published without comment from INTA except where it has taken an official position.

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