China ups IPR protection, lowers criminal liability age

2020-12-27 12:03:18

BEIJING - The Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, China's top legislature, on Saturday voted to adopt the Amendment XI to the Criminal Law. The booth introducing intellectual property rights protection at the trade in service fair in Beijing, on Sept 9, 2020. [Photo/VCG] The amendment stipulates heavier criminal penalties for IPR infringements, raising the maximum prison term for trademark and copyright infringements from seven years to 10 years. The amendment also lowers the minimum age of criminal responsibility to 12 for severe crimes such as murder. If a person who has reached the age of 12 but not the age of 14 commits intentional homicide, intentionally hurts another person so as to cause death of the person, or by resorting to especially cruel means, causes severe injury to the person, reducing the person to utter disability, shall bear criminal responsibility if the Supreme People's Procuratorate decides to prosecute the crime after examination, it says. Children aged 14-16 can be held criminally liable if they commit serious crimes such as murder, rape, and drug smuggling or trafficking. To safeguard biosecurity, the law stipulates penalties for illegally implanting gene-edited or cloned human embryos into human bodies or animals. Convicted criminals could face up to seven years of imprisonment. The amendment will take effect on March 1, 2021.