On January 4, 2023, the Shanghai Third Intermediate People’s Court announced it affirmed a 3-year prison sentence and 100,000 RMB fine for Wang XX for crime of counterfeiting the registered collective trademark “Bordeaux.” Yantai Wine Co., Ltd. was also fined 450,000 RMB. The defendants had appealed the original sentencing on the grounds that the wine involved in the case complied with national standards and did not endanger the health rights and interests of consumers and therefore Wang XX should receive a lighter sentence.
Defendants Wang XX and Zhao YY(handled in another case) and his wife invested in the establishment and operated a certain wine company in Yantai, the defendant unit.
Since March 2019
Wang XX and Zhao YY hired Wang ZZ (handled in another case) as a sales manager during the period when they were in charge of operating the defendant’s unit. In order to seek illegal benefits, they produced and manufactured wines that counterfeited French Bordeaux geographical indication trademarks without authorization. In the meantime, Jiang (handled in another case) provided wine labels bearing the “BORDEAUX” registered trademark. Wang XX and Zhao YY purchased wine and accessories, organized employees to fill wine bottles and paste on wine labels. The counterfeit Bordeaux wine was sold to the winery of Zhao AA (handled in another case) and other places.
March 2019 to April 2021
The defendant unit produced more than 60,000 bottles of counterfeit Bordeaux wine for Jiang, with a value of more than 880,000 RMB. In addition, Wang XX and Zhao YY organized employees to produce wine with a registered trademark of “BORDEAUX” totaling more than 250,000 RMB during the operation of the defendant’s unit, and Wang ZZ organized employees to sell the above-mentioned counterfeit Bordeaux wines.
April 27, 2021
The police arrested Wang XX during the inspection of the defendant’s unit and its warehouse, and seized more than 16,000 bottles of wine bearing the counterfeit “BORDEAUX” trademark, with a value of more than 260,000 RMB. Wang XX confessed the facts of the crime during the review and prosecution stage. In September of the same year, the defendant’s unit compensated the trademark owner with 1.28 million RMB.
The Shanghai Third Intermediate People’s Court held that
Yantai Wine Co., Ltd., the defendant in the original trial, and Wang XX, the appellant, used the same trademark on the same product without the permission of the registered trademark owner. The circumstances were particularly serious, and their actions constituted the crime of counterfeiting a registered trademark and should be punished. In the joint crime, the appellant Wang XX played the main role and was the principal offender, and should be punished according to all the crimes he participated in. The appellant Wang XX truthfully confessed his crime during the review and prosecution stage after arriving at the case, and he can be given a lighter punishment according to law. The appellant Wang XX actively compensated the trademark owner , and was given a lighter punishment as appropriate; if he voluntarily pleaded guilty and accepted punishment, he could be dealt with leniently. On the basis of comprehensive consideration of Wang XX’s criminal facts, production amount, sales amount, confession, guilt and punishment, compensation and understanding, the court of first instance has given him a lighter punishment and dealt with him leniently. The penalty was within the range prescribed by the law, and the sentencing was not inappropriate. Therefore, the appeal reasons and defense opinions put forward by the appellant Wang XX were not accepted and the above judgment was made according to law.
The full text of the announcement is available here (Chinese only).