China’s amended Anti-Unfair Corruption Law (AUCL) has been in force only a matter of weeks, yet the body charged with investigating potential AUCL violations, the State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC), has already announced two investigations. China’s Nanjing and Hefei AICs are the municipal arms of SAIC reported to be investigating separate alleged breaches of the “acts of confusion” offences under Article 6. The investigations involve alleged theft of characters / writing style and misuse of brand names and product design, respectively. The investigations appear to capitalise in part on the looser criterion for confusion under the new law (sufficiency to mislead).
Article 6 of the AUCL prohibits businesses from misleading people about their products. In particular, they are prevented from using, without permission:
Press releases issued by SAIC indicate that the Nanjing AIC in Jiangsu is investigating a fertiliser company which is alleged to have used, via digital and distribution channels, the words and marks of competitors, resulting in dealers and farmers being misled.