China Revises Administrative Regulations to Raise IPR Infringement Penalties
 

The State Council of China published on 16 January 2013 the amendments to four administrative regulations to increase momentum in the fight against intellectual property rights infringement and manufacture and sale of counterfeit and substandard goods. 
 
The amended administrative regulations, effective concurrently on 1 March 2013, comprise: 1) Implementing Regulations of Copyright Law of China, 2) Regulations on the Protection of the Right to Network Dissemination of Information, 3) Regulations on the Protection of New Varieties of Plants, and 4) Regulations on Computer Software Protection.
 
In the amendments, monetary penalties are raised and consisted with respect to civil liabilities for IPR infringing acts that cause damage to the public interest. The penalties for IPR infringement prescribed under respective administrative regulations before and after the amendments are detailed in the table below. 
 

IP rights infringed
Administrative regulations concerned
Penalties
before amendment
Penalties
after amendment
Copyright 
Implementing Regulations of Copyright Law of China (Article 36)
i) A fine of up to 3 times the related illegal turnover;
ii) Where related illegal turnover is difficult to determine, a fine of up to RMB100,000
i) Where related illegal turnover/value of goods is RMB50,000 or above, a fine of 1 to 5 times the illegal turnover/ value of goods;
ii) Where related illegal turnover/value of goods is unavailable or under RMB50,000, a fine of up to RMB250,000
Right to network dissemination of information
 
Regulations on the Protection of the Right to Network Dissemination of Information (Article 18, 19)
A fine of up to RMB100,000
Right in new varieties of plants
Regulations on the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (Article 39.3, 40)
A fine of up to 5 times the related illegal proceeds
Right in computer software
Regulations on Computer Software Protection (Article 24.2)
For any of the following acts performed without prior authorisation of the software right owner, a fine of up to RMB50,000
i) to knowingly circumvent
or sabotage technological measures for protecting the software copyright;
ii) to knowingly remove or alter any electronic rights- management information attached to software;
iii)  to transfer, or authorise another person to exploit, the software copyright of the right owner.
 
For the acts stated in i) – iii) on the left column, a fine of up to RMB200,000