China: 海关商标保护几个特殊问题的界定

导读海关知识产权保护既是履行入世承诺的实际行动,也展现知识产权侵权打击的坚定决心。在发展"一带一路"等国际区域经济战略过程中,海关的知识产权起到了提高国际声誉,稳定国际贸易的重要作用,在进出口环节中,商标侵权类型案件是海关查出案件量最大,罚没款最多的案件。因此,本文针对几种特殊的商标侵权情况结合案例进行研究,希望对司法实务和企业对外贸易具有借鉴意义。

文/张峰 张博 兰台知产团队律师

随着我国"一带一路"等战略性贸易政策的实施,我国贸易顺差也在持续扩大,作为贸易"进出口"起点和终点的海关,成为了企业的第一位安全卫士,海关知识产权保护为净化国际商业竞争环境发挥着重要作用,受中国海关保护的知识产权有商标专用权、专利权、著作权及其邻接权,其中商标侵权类型案件,在进出口环节中是海关查出案件量最大,罚没款最多的案件。

截止今年6月,我国海关总署备案商标共计27495件,2016年中国海关全年共采取知识产权保护措施1.95万次,实际扣留进出境侵权嫌疑货物1.74万批,涉及货物4025万件,其中以侵犯商标专用权货物为主,高达4145.64万余件,占侵权嫌疑货物总量的98.56%。

因此,本文针对几种特殊的商标侵权情况结合案例进行研究,希望对司法实务和企业对外贸易具有借鉴意义。

问题1

货物与商标标识相分离的情况

货物与商标分离的情况,是海关认为较为隐蔽的反查侵权行为,虽然商品标识尚未贴附于货物,但此时,如果海关仍能够取得证据证明,或推定商标与货物具有结合使用的意图,并视为一个整体来进行判断,只要符合侵权构成要件的,仍应进行行政处罚。

《最高人民法院、最高人民检察院、公安部关于办理侵犯知识产权刑事案件适用法律若干问题的意见》指出,对已经制作完成但尚未附着假冒注册商标标识的产品,如果有充分的证据证明该商品将冒用他人商标,无疑将构成侵权,其价值也纳入非法经营额。

因此,问题的焦点就在于如何认定分离的标识是将应用于货品上的,用于证明该问题的证据,是否达到了确实、充分的标准,以及如何确定该认定标准的问题,这还要在很大程度上结合案件的具体情况进行分析。

2008年,山东海关查处一批出口摩托车配件及"SUZUKI"商标标牌数千箱,该批车辆钥匙上也标有"SUZUKI"商标,且该批独立装箱的标识与机动车在发动机、油箱上预留的位置和形状完全相符,海关最终认定该批车辆为侵权货物,并对其进行了行政处罚。

海关对于上述标准的确定,同最高人民法院颁布的《关于办理侵犯知识产权刑事案件适用法律若干问题的意见》所持态度一样,进行行政处罚,要有充分证据证实该商标将用于特定产品。

问题2

仅在货物外包装上标注他人注册商标的情况

《TRIPS协议》及《商标法》第48条都对"在商业中使用"的范围作了相同的规定,均指商品、商品包装或容器及交易文书,或将商标用于广告宣传、展览及商业活动。在过往的实际案例中,也频频出现仅在商品的外包装上使用他人注册商标,而其商品本身却不做任何标识的情况。

商标侵权应当以是否会造成消费者混淆,以至于无法起到标识商品来源为判断标准,外包装属于商品的一个组成部分,在出售时与商品一道交付消费者,消费者也借此判断和认定产品的来源,因此,对于商品包装,应做扩大解释,既包括直接接触商品的独立包装或称小包装,通常具有保护产品,介绍商品,便于销售的功能;也包括中层包装,即有一定抗挤压支撑、防污染、防变质、功能的外包装;还包括用于物流运输的最外层包装,主要起到装载多件同种类商品,保障流通安全的作用。

例如,2011年上海海关查扣一批汽车风扇耦合器,小包装盒上使用了"Mercedes-Benz"商标,而风扇耦合器本身并不带有商标,报关方辩称其未在商品本身使用商标,不应构成侵权,而海关没有认可此说法,且对包装盒及商品一并予以没收。

本案中的小包装上的"Mercedes-Benz"商标已经发挥了识别货品来源的作用。因此,此情况已经很容易给社会造成混淆,也就是说,如果相关公众会将包装与产品视为一体,且会将其视为有绝对联系,从而进行整体认知,那么,这就有可能使相关公众产生混淆的可能。

问题3

仅在报关单证中使用他人注册商标的情况

在商业性文件中使用商标,也应当视为对商标的使用,譬如《国家工商行政管理局关于如何理解商标法38条第一项所述'使用'问题的答复》(工商标字【1995】第129号)明确指出:"销售发票、合同等商业文件,是商品交易活动的重要组成部分"因此,在前述商业文件中使用,同样视为对商标的'使用'。

《海关进出口货物申报管理规定》第27条规定,进、出口货物报关,应当随附的单证包括合同、发票、装箱清单、舱单、提单、代理报关授权委托协议、进出口许可证件、海关要求的加工贸易手册等。那么在报关单证的所附文件中使用侵权商标,是否构成侵权,是否要予以查处呢?

我们认为,虽在报关单证中出现他人商标,但并未直接与商品结合,根据《知识产权海关保护条例》,海关保护的对象是与出入境货物直接相关的知识产权,也就是保护产品本身,那么,如果报关单证中出现了商标,但是该商标并未与产品产生直接联系,不宜直接认定侵权。

其次,虽然有商标法意义上的使用行为,但是否构成侵权还是要以侵权构成要件为评判标准,根据《商标法》第五十七条有关商标侵权的判断标准,也是以在产品上使用为要件,其保护客体也是产品本身,因此,仅仅在报关单证中出现可能侵权的商标,但未在产品中实际使用的,不宜认定构成侵权予以查处。实践中,海关也是秉承相同的标准来执法的。

问题4

仅涉外贴牌加工的商标侵权问题分析

贴牌加工,也叫定牌加工(OEM),是国际贸易中特有的知识产权问题,从进口角度来讲,按照普通的商标侵权问题进行判断,在这一点上是不存在争议的;而我国是出口的贴牌加工大国,在国内承揽加工,而后销售到海外的情况比较普遍,就此情况,涉及两种不同观点。

倾向判定侵权说认为,判定涉外贴牌生产侵权,强调的是我国商标保护体系的尊严与权威,更是对商标持有人维护商标权的鼓励与支撑,也是与创新驱动发展,保护知识产权的国家战略相吻合的,因此应判定侵权。而另一种观点,则认为此情况不构成侵权,这也是目前大多数司法判例所秉承的原则。

2015年11月26日,最高人民法院就浦江亚环锁业有限公司(下简称"亚环公司")与莱斯防盗产品国际有限公司(下简称"莱斯公司")侵害商标权纠纷一案作出(2014)民提字第38号民事判决,认定亚环公司在根据他人委托生产的,用于出口墨西哥的挂锁上使用"PRETUL"相关标识的行为,最高院认为,委托加工产品上贴附的标志,既不具有区分所加工商品来源的意义,也不能实现识别该商品来源的功能,故其所贴附的标志不具有商标的属性,在产品上贴附标志的行为亦不能被认定为商标意义上的使用行为。

不属于《商标法》意义上的商标使用,其行为不构成商标侵权。

最高院没有再去审查标志是否相同或近似的问题,而是指出:"亚环公司受储伯公司委托,按照其要求生产挂锁,在挂锁上使用'PRETUL'相关标识并全部出口至墨西哥,该批挂锁并不在中国市场上销售,也就是说,该标识不会在我国领域内发挥商标的识别功能,不具有使我国的相关公众将贴附该标志的商品,与莱斯公司生产的商品的来源产生混淆和误认的可性能。

商标作为区分商品或者服务来源的标识,其基本功能在于商标的识别性,亚环公司依据储伯公司的授权,使用相关'PRETUL'标志的行为,在中国境内仅属物理贴附行为,为储伯公司在其享有商标专用权的墨西哥国使用其商标提供了必要的技术性条件,在中国境内并不具有识别商品来源的功能。同理,在海关的查处中,对于此OEM贴牌加工也不应视为侵权。

应当说,海关知识产权保护既是履行入世承诺的实际行动,也展现知识产权侵权打击的坚定决心。在发展"一带一路"等国际区域经济战略过程中,海关的知识产权起到了提高国际声誉,稳定国际贸易的重要作用,在海关查处中,对可能出现的特殊的商标问题的研究理应不断深入。

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