Counterfeiting in China: Platform Operators Must Demonstrate Measures

When fighting counterfeiting against online shops, it is often difficult for brand owners in China to identify the manufacturer of the counterfeits and to prosecute him legally. Therefore, the platform operator should also be sued in the lawsuit if he violates legal obligations. 

According to the Chinese E-commerce Law, the owner of intellectual property right has the right to send a notification to the e-commerce platform operator if an infringement is suspected. For example, if a company has discovered that individual online shops on platforms such as Taobao or TMall are selling counterfeit products, it can send a notification of the infringement to the platform operator and ask him to take action in time such as deleting or blocking information, deactivating links or terminating transactions and services.

In order to determine the civil liability of the platform, the court will examine whether the platform should have been aware of the infringement and should have taken appropriate measures within a reasonable period of time in the circumstances. In determining whether the platform should have known of the infringement, the court will consider two important facts: Did the platform comply with the legal obligations to formulate rules for the protection of intellectual property and to check the business qualifications of shop operators? And has the platform failed to take effective technical measures to detect and block critical links?

Picture: from Hannes Edinger on Pixabay

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