China’s State Administration for Market Regulation Releases Interim Provisions on Anti-Unfair Competition on the Internet

Share Post:

On May 6, 2024, China’s State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) announced the Interim Provisions on Anti-Unfair Competition (AUCL) on the Internet (网络反不正当竞争暂行规定) effective September 1, 2024.  The AUCL has been an effective tool for foreigners to enforce their unregistered trademarks in China. The new Provisions clarify how the AUCL applies to the Internet.  The Provisions not only cover data scraping (that may affect collecting training date for generative AI) and fabricated reviews, but also covers more traditional intellectual property issues, which are excepted below.

Article 6 Platform operators shall strengthen the standardized management of competition within the platform. If an operator on the platform is found to have adopted unfair competition methods, illegally sold goods or provided services, or infringed upon the legitimate rights and interests of consumers, necessary measures shall be taken in a timely manner. Measures should be taken, relevant records should be kept, and reported to the market supervision and management department at or above the county level where the platform operator is domiciled as required. The record retention period shall be calculated from the date when disposal measures are taken, and shall not be less than three years.

Article 7 Operators shall not use the Internet to carry out the following confusing behaviors, leading people to mistakenly think that they are other people’s goods (commodities as mentioned in these regulations include services) or have a specific connection with others :

(1) Unauthorized use of logos that are identical or similar to the main part of domain names, website names, web pages, etc. that have certain influence on others;

(2) Unauthorized use of other people’s product names, business names (including abbreviations, trade names, etc.), social organization names (including abbreviations, etc.), names (including pen names, stage names, translated names, etc.) that have certain influence as the main part of domain names and other online business activities logo;

(3) Unauthorized use of logos that are identical or similar to the page design, name, icon, shape, etc. of application software, online stores, clients, mini programs, public accounts, game interfaces, etc. that have certain influence on others;

(4) Unauthorized use of other people’s network abbreviations, network symbols, network abbreviations and other identifiers that have certain influence;

(5) Producing and selling goods that can lead people to mistake them for others or have a specific connection with others;

(6) Conduct confusing behaviors with other operators by providing online business premises and other convenient conditions;

(7) Other confusing behaviors carried out using the Internet that can lead people to mistake the goods for others or have a specific connection with others.

Using someone else’s commercial mark that has a certain influence as a search keyword without authorization, enough to cause people to mistake it for someone else’s product or having a specific connection with someone else, is an act of confusion stipulated in the preceding paragraph.

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.