15 Rolex Counterfeiters Sentenced to up to 6.5 Years Prison in 300 Million RMB Counterfeit Case

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On July 22, 2023, the Zhenjiang Economic Development Zone People’s Court announced the sentencing of 15 defendants to prison sentences ranging from suspended sentences to six years six months plus fines for the crime of counterfeiting registered trademarks belong to Rolex. The amount involved in the counterfeit case that ran from July 2015 to April 2021 was over 300 million RMB.

From July 2015 to early April 2021, the defendant Xu conspired with others to manufacture and sell counterfeit registered trademark brand watches, and successively cooperated with defendants Zhuang , Wang (handled in another case), Xu , Chen and others to engage in the production, assembly, and sales of counterfeit “ROLEX” (Rolex) and other brand watches in Guangzhou City . After Zhuang and others purchased domestic movements and counterfeit parts, they entrusted others to assemble the dial, and then built their own factory for assembly, packaging, etc.; Wang sold the finished counterfeit watches to Jiang and others, andĀ  collected payment and profit distribution; Zeng was responsible for warehouse management and accounting in the factory. During this period, Zhuang and Wang withdrew in September 2019, Xu and Chen invested, with Chen carrying out purchases and sales, and Xu receiving dividends but actively participating.

Defendant Hou accepted the entrustment of Chen and others to disassemble the watch movement provided by him, and entrusted others to mark theĀ  the movement with logo and then reassemble it. After accepting the entrustment of Chen and others, Cai and Wu produced and marked the dials, watch cases, bezels, bottom covers, etc. of counterfeit registered trademark brand watches in their own factories .

Defendant Wang and others knew that the defendants Zhuang , Xu , Chen and others were selling watches with counterfeit “ROLEX” (Rolex) and other brand registered trademarks, but they still bought and resold them.

After the first review, it was found that the amount involved in the case exceeded 300 million RMB.

The People’s Court of Zhenjiang Economic Development Zone held that Xu and other defendants used the same trademark as the registered trademark on the same product without the permission of the trademark owner, and their behavior constituted the crime of counterfeiting a registered trademark. Defendants Jiang and Wang sold commodities with counterfeit registered trademarks knowingly, and their actions constituted the crime of selling commodities with counterfeit registered trademarks, and should be punished according to law. Based on the criminal facts, circumstances, and degree of social harm in this case, the above judgment was made according to law.

The Judge stated,

This case is a typical case of punishing the crime of counterfeiting registered trademarks and the crime of selling commodities counterfeiting registered trademarks, and it is also an important part of the huge counterfeit watch case investigated by the Zhenjiang public security organs in December 2021. The defendants knew that making and selling counterfeit goods was an illegal and criminal act, but still took chances and took risks, producing and selling counterfeit “ROLEX” and other brand watches. The large number of people involved in the case seriously infringed on the reputation of the trademark and the legitimate interests of the right holders, and disrupted the order of the market economy. Through judicial judgments, the court encourages innovation and creation, severely cracks down on such crimes of infringement of intellectual property rights, effectively deters the crime of counterfeiting registered trademarks, and effectively maintains the normal market order…

The full text is available here (Chinese only).

Author: Aaron Wininger

Aaron Wininger is a Principal and Director of the China Intellectual Property at Schwegman Lundberg & Woessner.

Author: Aaron Wininger

Aaron Wininger is a Principal and Director of the China Intellectual Property at Schwegman Lundberg & Woessner.