Rouse secures rare criminal sanctions against fake Babyzen strollers in Shanghai

China’s counterfeit crackdown continues

 

  • Boost for foreign brands as Chinese courts show resolve on IP infringement
  • IP specialist consultancy Rouse advised Babyzen on matter

Babyzen, a leading French manufacturer of baby strollers, has won a rare criminal case against counterfeiters in China.

The Shanghai Minhang Court found infringers guilty of knowingly sourcing and selling counterfeit copies of Babyzen’s popular ‘yoyo’ strollers via an online retail platform.

In a rare decision, the defendants were sentenced on 10th October to four years’ imprisonment and a fine of RMB 1.5m (approx. US$225,000) – an uncommonly heavy financial penalty and one of the first such cases to result in a custodial sentence.

Rouse, a leading global IP consultancy, together with its associated law firm Lusheng in China, advised Babyzen on the case.

It is extremely rare for Chinese courts to hand down such severe punishment in relation to IP infringement, with most cases resulting in suspended sentences and lower fines.

The decision further signals China’s determination to provide – and be seen to provide – a robust IP legal framework in which foreign brands can operate with confidence.

Commenting on the case, Adelaide Yu, Partner at Rouse, said:

“The prison sentences and highly punitive fines handed down by the Shanghai Court send a clear message to both Chinese counterfeiters and global brands – the sourcing and selling of fake goods will not be tolerated. Although such criminal sentencing is currently rare, we expect to see further such judgments as Beijing signals to the world that how seriously it takes intellectual property protection.”

Luke Minford, Chief Executive Officer, Rouse commented:

“Babyzen’s victory will bring confidence to countless global brands that have historically felt uncertain over their ability to protect their IP assets in China. With regards to IP, Beijing’s direction of travel is unmistakable and the message is clear – with the right support and advice, you can protect, enforce and prosecute in China.”