Per a Notice (“蓝天行动”：严厉打击商标代理伪造证据行为) released June 21, 2022, China’s National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA) has sanctioned three Chinese trademark firms for forging evidence in applications for geographical indications (GI). A GI is a distinctive sign used on products that have a specific geographic origin and possess qualities or a reputation that are due to that origin. Two agencies were fined 40,000 RMB each and a third was fined 20,000 RMB as well as issued warnings. In addition, the responsible individuals also issued warnings and fined.
In the process of applying for the trademark for the geographic indication “Guanmen Hongmei”, a Sichuan trademark agency tampered with the Annals of Nanjiang County; a Hebei Intellectual Property Agency tampered with the Notice of Qiu County during the course of applying for the trademark for the geographic indication “Qiu County Abalone Mushrooms.” In the process of applying for trademark with geographic indication on “Shaoguan Triangle” and “Shaoguan Bighead Bream” on behalf of a company in Shaoguan, a Shaoguan firm tampered with the Shaoguan Yearbook (1996—2000), Shaoguan Yearbook (2009) and Shaoguan Municipal Records (1988—2000). The above-mentioned three trademark agencies submitted the altered materials as evidence to the CNIPA, which violated the relevant provisions of the Trademark Law, and, after the trademark law enforcement department where they were located investigated and obtained evidence, imposed a warning and a fine of 40,000 RMB upon the Sichuan agency according to law; a warning and a fine of 40,000 RMB imposed upon the Hebei agency; and a warning and a fine of 20,000 RMB against the Shaoguan firm. Further, the administrative penalties of warning and fine of undisclosed amount were imposed on the relevant liable persons.
CNIPA stated that it
will continue to crack down on trademark agency violations of laws and regulations in accordance with the highest standards, strongest measures, and strictest requirements, increase public exposure, further purify the trademark agency market, and promote the standardized development of the trademark agency industry.
The Notice can be found here (Chinese only).