中國商標平行進口法律規制硏究

Research on Legal Regulations of Parallel Import of Trademarks in China

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis

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Award date24 Sep 2019

Abstract

平行进口问题是一个因知识产权保护而引起的国际贸易问题,被视为国际贸易领域中与知识产权有关的最扑朔迷离的现象之一。随着经济全球化的发展和中国改革开放的持续推进,日益深深融入世界大市场之中的中国,必然越来越多地面对平行进口问题。尤其是在国家贸易政策、经济发展的新业态以及商标权人经营模式等综合作用之下,商标平行进口现象愈发普遍,而商标平行进口纠纷的妥善解决不仅关系商标法治本身,而且与国际贸易和竞争秩序息息相关。

中国欲有效应对商标平行进口问题,不仅要深入研究和准确把握相关的基础理论,以确保应对举措的科学合理和理路清晰,又要睁眼看世界,学会从境外(如中国香港、澳门和台湾)和国外立法及司法实践中汲取宝贵经验,寻求有益借鉴,更要埋头梳理中国的商业实践和司法实践,以确保对中国商标平行进口实践复杂性的清晰认知。

基于以上考量,中国对商标平行进口问题的法律规制应首先明确处理纠纷的原则,而后在立法上把能够明确的、已有共识的认知予以明确,剩下的留给司法去衡量。在比较研究的基础上,本文提出利益平衡的原则来处理商标平行进口问题,主要包括:遵守国际规则与维护国家利益兼顾的原则;综合运用商标法与对外贸易法、关税法和竞争法的原则;诚实信用与利益均衡相协调的原则;商标功能检视与分类规则相并行的原则。据此,文章主张在实践中必须及时回应具体案件呈现的现实问题,审慎推进,坚持循序渐进的法律成长路径;个案灵活处置,注重依法认定与充分说理;借鉴域外经验,明确禁止情形和免责事由。
Parallel import is an international trade issue caused by intellectual property protection and is regarded as one of the most confusing phenomena related to intellectual property rights in the field of international trade. With the development of economic globalization and the continuous advancement of China’s reform and opening up, the country, which tightly integrates into the world structure increasingly, will be bound to face more and more parallel import issues. In particular, with the comprehensive effects of national trade policy, new business forms of economic development and trademark owner business model, trademark parallel imports are becoming increasingly prevalent, and the proper settlement of their disputes is not only related to the trademark law itself, but is also closely linked to international trade and competition order.

To effectively handle the issues concerning trademark parallel import, China should not only conduct in-depth research and accurately grasp relevant basic theories to ensure that the countermeasures it adopts are scientifically reasonable and clear in thinking methods, but also set its eyes on the whole world and learn to obtain valuable experience and seek beneficial reference from the legislative and judicial practices of foreign countries and international community as well as those of Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan. Moreover, China should sort out its business and judicial practices to ensure a clear understanding of the complexity of practices of Chinese trademark parallel import.

Based on the above considerations, China's legal regulation of trademark parallel import issues does not mean that clear and specific norms have to be formulated, but rather the principles of handling disputes should be clearly defined and legislation should clarify the recognition that is definite and consensual, leaving the rest for the judiciary to measure. The dissertation therefore proposed an interests-balancing principle to handle trademark parallel import issue, including: balancing international rules compliance and safeguarding national interests; balancing interests in application of trademark law, foreign trade law, tariff law and competition law; and the balance of good faith doctrine with interest balancing principle, as well as balancing various function of trademark regime. In practice, the actual problems presented in specific cases have to be responded timely and prudently advanced, and a gradual and orderly path of legal growth should be adhered to; for general cases, flexible solutions should be adopted and legal identification and full reasoning be emphasized; foreign experience should be referenced to clarify prohibited conditions and exemptions.