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China Mulls Heavier Criminal Penalties for IPR Infringements

China's new draft amendment to its Criminal Law has proposed stricter punishment for intellectual property crimes.

The draft Amendment XI to the Criminal Law was submitted Tuesday to the ongoing session of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC), China's top legislature, for the third reading.

The maximum prison term for trademark and copyright infringements will be increased from seven years to 10 years, according to the draft amendment.

Whoever, without permission of the owner of a registered trademark, uses a trademark which is identical to the registered one on the same kind of commodities or services shall, if the circumstances are especially serious, be sentenced to fixed-term imprisonment of not less than three years but not more than 10 years and shall also be fined, the draft says.

Convicted criminals who knowingly sell commodities bearing counterfeit registered trademarks, who forge or make representations of registered trademarks without authorization or sell such representations shall be jailed for 3-10 years and fined, if the amount of sale is huge or if the circumstances are especially serious, it says.

Those who commit acts of infringement on copyright or other rights related to copyright for the purpose of making profits shall be sentenced to 3-10 years of imprisonment and fined, if the amount of illegal gains is huge or if there are other especially serious circumstances, according to the draft.

In a report submitted to the legislature, the NPC Constitution and Law Committee suggested the draft amendment be passed at the current session of the NPC Standing Committee which runs from Tuesday to Saturday.  

Source: Xinhua

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