The Perfect House of Butter Story!! “4.5-Year Prison Sentence in Shanghai for Counterfeiting of Anchor Butter”

The National Law Review reports c/-

On October 24, 2023, the Shanghai Jinshan Primary People’s Court announced the sentencing of Wang XX to 4.5 years in prison and a 2 million RMB fine for the crime of counterfeiting registered trademarks for Anchor and Fonterra after a year on the run.  A co-defendant Wang YY received a suspended sentence. Over several years they sold about 8 million RMB of butter and other dairy products bearing counterfeited trademarks.

On October 28, 2020, the public security agency seized 453 packages of labeled counterfeit “Anchor” butter (500g/pack), 658 packages of “Anchor” cheese shreds (500g/pack), and a large number of “Anchor-labeled information sheets, packaging films, etc., with a total value of more than 30,000 RMB.

On March 31, 2022, the co-defendant Wang YY was captured by the public security organs. He  confessed the facts of his participation in the crime. On July 6 of the same year, the defendant Wang XX was arrested by the public security organs and refused to confess the facts of the crime. During the trial of the case, with the help of his family members, the defendant Wang YY voluntarily surrendered his illegal income of 13,000 RMB.
The People’s Court held that the defendants Wang XX and Wang YY used the same trademark as someone else’s registered trademark on the same kind of goods without the permission of the owner of the “Anchor” registered trademark, and the illegal business revenue was huge, which was considered a particularly serious circumstance, and their actions constitute the crime of counterfeiting registered trademarks.

The defendant Wang XX provided funds, purchased raw materials, customized labels, opened an online store, determined product types and production quantities, and directed others to counterfeit registered trademarks. He played a major role in the joint crime and was the principal offender. He did not surrender or confess. Probation may be applied if the criminal voluntarily withdraws his illegal gains, the circumstances of the crime are minor, and he shows repentance.

The Court reasoned, the defendant Wang YY played a secondary or auxiliary role in the joint crime and was an accessory, so he should be given a lighter or reduced punishment. He voluntarily surrendered his illegal gains, the crime is relatively minor, and he shows remorse, so he may be subject to probation.

Based on the two defendants’ criminal circumstances, status, role, social harm, attitude of confession and repentance, etc., in order to maintain the socialist market economic order and protect intellectual property rights from infringement, the Jinshan District People’s Court convicted the defendant Wang XX of the crime of counterfeit registered trademarks in accordance with the law and was sentenced to four years and six months in prison and fined RMB 2 million. The defendant Wang YY was sentenced to two years and six months in prison, suspended for three years, and fined 60,000 RMB for the crime of counterfeiting a registered trademark.
Judge Li Jing stated,

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