Unfair competition consultation room

Unfair competition consultation room

 

With the rapid progress of technological innovations such as IoT and AI, so-called big data, its analysis technology, and business models that utilize them have become new sources of competitiveness. On the other hand, data digitization has made it easier to copy and steal valuable data. Once data is illegally obtained, it can spread rapidly and the damage can spread rapidly and widely, so creating a business environment where data can be used safely and securely has become an urgent task.

The "Bill to Partially Amend the Unfair Competition Prevention Act, etc." that came into effect in 2019 introduced a system that accommodates information technology such as big data that does not fall under trade secrets.

In addition to consultations related to big data, the Unfair Competition Counseling Office also accepts consultations regarding product labeling, trade secrets, etc., which have traditionally been protected by the Unfair Competition Law.

 

Services

  • Consultation services related to trade secret management
  • Consultation services related to big data management
  • Preparation of an expert opinion regarding the applicability of acts of unfair competition
  • Warning letter preparation work based on the Unfair Competition Prevention Act
  • Confidentiality agreement drafting services (for details)please use this form.please look at. )

 

Matters to keep in mind

Limited provision data such as big data is likely to be jointly researched and developed and managed by multiple companies or managed using an external cloud, but if confidentiality management measures are taken, it can be protected as a trade secret. You can receive For example, when disclosing your company's trade secrets to multiple companies, it is effective to conclude an NDA (non-disclosure agreement) with the company you are disclosing to to demonstrate your company's intention to manage the secrets. Additionally, in order to prevent information leaks, it is extremely important to have clear clauses in the contract at the time of data provision that prohibit the use of data for other purposes and the obligation to prohibit disclosure to third parties. Our office also accepts inquiries regarding the drafting of contracts such as non-disclosure agreements. For more information,Intellectual Property Contract Strategy Office.

 

About the Unfair Competition Prevention Act

The Unfair Competition Prevention Act typologically enumerates acts that constitute unfair competition in Article 2, Paragraph 1, Items 1 to 22, and provides for the right to claim damages and the right to claim for business interests when business interests are infringed upon by acts of unfair competition. We allow the right to seek an injunction in cases where our interests have been or are likely to be infringed.

 

Due to revisions to the Unfair Competition Prevention Act
Big data protection

 

Limitations of conventional methods

something creative TheCopyrights, patent rights, etc.protected byUtility/Secret management/Non-public knowledgeThe data withTrade secrethas been protected as such. However, with regard to big data, there is a question of whether creativity can be recognized, and since it is assumed that it will be provided outside the company, there is also a problem in that it is not public knowledge, so it could not be protected under conventional law. Also, if your data is used without permission,civil law tortHowever, the request for an injunction was not granted and the spread of the information could not be stopped.

 

New data protection

Therefore, in the 2018 "Bill to partially amend the Unfair Competition Prevention Act, etc.", apart from "trade secrets", data provided after managing IDs, passwords, etc. The illegal acquisition and use of data ("data") has been newly classified as "acts of unfair competition," and a provision has been established to allow civil measures such as the right to seek an injunction. (Revised Unfair Competition Prevention Act Article XNUMX, Paragraph XNUMX, Items XNUMX to XNUMX, Paragraph XNUMX, Article XNUMX, Paragraph XNUMX, Item XNUMX)

(From the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry's "Summary of the bill to partially amend the Unfair Competition Prevention Act, etc. (Unfair Competition Prevention Act, Industrial Standardization Act, Patent Act, etc.)")

Protected by the Unfair Competition Prevention Act"Limited offer data"And

Definition (Article 2, Paragraph 7 of the Unfair Competition Prevention Act)

Technical or business information that has been accumulated and managed in considerable amounts by electromagnetic means as information provided to specific persons in the course of business (excluding information that is managed as confidential).

⇒In other words, the following three requirements must be met

  • ①Limited availability
  • ②Electromagnetic manageability
  • ③Significant accumulation

Access rights must be limited through ID/password authentication and encryption, as well as dedicated lines and apps, excluding those that are available to the public free of charge.

In particular···

Primarily, this refers to data that is provided and shared among multiple companies and is expected to be used in ways such as creating new businesses or increasing the added value of services and products for consumers.

 

Example :

Data for external provision provider How to Use
Vehicle driving data Car maker By providing this information to public institutions during disasters, it is useful for understanding road conditions.
Consumption trend data (POS processed data for retail sales, etc.) research company By providing processed purchasing data and POS data from retail stores to each manufacturer, it is used for product development and sales strategies.
People flow data (foreign tourists, events, etc.) mobile phone company By providing people flow data collected from mobile phone location data to event companies, local governments, etc., it is useful for alleviating traffic congestion at events and for tourism business targeting foreigners.
Case law database Legal information provider It is used by researchers, practitioners, and students in their research activities and practices.
Machine operation data (ship engine operation data, etc.) Data analysis company By collecting, analyzing, and processing real data collected from ships and providing it to ship equipment manufacturers, weather companies, and insurance companies, it is useful for improving shipbuilding technology and for maintenance inspections.

 

Overview of unfair competition related to restricted data

(From the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry's "Summary of the bill to partially amend the Unfair Competition Prevention Act, etc. (Unfair Competition Prevention Act, Industrial Standardization Act, Patent Act, etc.)")

Regarding mislabeling of country of origin, etc.

Misidentification of country of origin, etc. (1)

first

Recently, there have been many reports of cases in which domestically produced products, especially food products, are sold at higher prices than foreign products, and where foreign products are falsely sold as domestically produced products.

In order to deal with this problem, administrative measures such as the Act on the Standardization and Appropriate Quality Labeling of Agricultural and Forestry Substances (so-called JAS Act) and the Act on Prevention of Unjustifiable Premiums and Misleading Representations (the so-called Appearance Act) have been implemented. Control is prescribed.

In addition to administrative enforcement, the Unfair Competition Prevention Act also stipulates that ``the place of origin, quality, content, manufacturing method, use, or quantity of goods or services, or documents or communications used for their advertisements or transactions, or the quality of their services. , or transfer, deliver, exhibit for transfer or delivery, export, import, or provide through telecommunications lines products bearing such markings that may mislead as to content, purpose, or quantity; or the act of providing services with such indication" is defined as unfair competition (Paragraph 2, Paragraph 1, Item 20 of the Act).

If this unfair competition occurs, the sanctions include the right to seek an injunction (Article 3 of the Act), the right to claim compensation for damages (Article 4 of the Act), and criminal penalties against individuals (Article 21, Paragraph 2 of the Act). (Article 1 of the same law) and penalties for corporations (Article 5 of the same law).

Therefore, I would like to take a look at the main court decisions and look at the court's approach to mislabeling of origin, etc. under the Unfair Competition Prevention Act.

Misidentification of country of origin and national flag

(1) Tokyo High Court No. 48 of 2922 (Criminal Appeal Case)
 

This case involves the use of an iron to stamp transcription marks such as "Bloodfort, England, London" or "Manchester, London, England" on Japanese-made clothing fabrics, and sell them in Japan through people. This is a criminal case in which the issue was whether or not this falls under Article 5, Item 3 of the old Unfair Competition Prevention Act. At the appellate court, the defendant argued that the district court erred in interpreting and applying the term "purpose of unfair competition."

Regarding this point, the court, following the Grand Bench decision of the Supreme Court on April 35, 4, stated that ``The purpose of unfair competition generally means to engage in business with others by unfair means, that is, by means contrary to public order and morals, truth and equity.'' ``In the context of Article 6, Item 5 and Article 3, Paragraph 1, Item 1 of the (old) Act in this case, it means that the products manufactured or sold by oneself are subject to Intention to compete in business with other companies by unfair means, such as displaying products that mislead people to believe that they are superior products manufactured in a place other than the place where they were actually manufactured. The reason for punishing the offender with such an intention is to protect the interests of other businesses that will be harmed, as well as the interests of general consumers. "It is clear that this is the case," he said, confirming the general norm.

As applied to this case, ``the act of defendant A and others in placing the above-mentioned label on the men's clothing fabrics they sell is such that, as in the previous finding, the same label allows general consumers to believe that it is made in England. In light of the well-known fact that English-made clothing fabrics are generally recognized as being of high quality in Japan, the above-mentioned unfair measures fall under the above-mentioned unfair measures. It is recognized that this puts the defendant company in an unfair advantageous position in competition with distributors.

Therefore, in considering whether defendants A and C had a specific purpose of unfair competition as mentioned above, the fact that both defendants repeatedly and continuously made numerous representations as stated in the original judgment itself. Furthermore, all of the clothing fabrics bearing the markings in this case, which is recognized from the relevant evidence, were sold to Italian peddlers with so-called poor patterns; We were aware that the fabric was being sold to general consumers in Japan, and that the Italians had been coming and going from the defendant company for about a year before the crime, and that our office did not rent an iron at the store. The same type of transcription mark was affixed, but gradually employees of the defendant company began to affix it on each sale as a service, and in April 1, C transferred the transcription mark to defendant B in response to a request from an Italian. Since the order was placed, the defendant company has been preparing these items, and the company has ordered and delivered many of these items to defendant B one after another in response to demand.During this time, the defendant company The number of Italians who come to purchase articles is increasing, sales are increasing dramatically, and furthermore, if we take together the descriptions of the scope in each investigator's report of defendants A and C, we can see that both In this case, each of the labels in question misleads general consumers in Japan into thinking that the Japanese-made clothing fabrics sold by the defendant company with these labels are made in the UK, and that the clothing fabrics are Recognizing that large quantities are being sold to domestic consumers through the Italians mentioned above, and knowing that displaying the label on the right is an unfair business method, the company increases sales by displaying this label. Since it is recognized that this act was continued in response to the requests of the Italians with the intention of causing the Italians to suffer, it should be said that there was the purpose of unfair competition. ”.

 

(2) Tokyo High Court No. 52 of 522 (Criminal Appeal Case)
 

In this case, when exhibiting and selling rings, etc., the advertisement flyer included the headline ``Rough Stone Imported Directly from Belgium'' despite the fact that this was not the case, and the double price display was also carried out. This is a criminal case in which the issue was whether an act that included the words ``Gem Quality Guarantee Certificate'' and ``Theft Traffic Accident Certificate'', which are not issued by insurance companies, falls under Article 5, Item 1, etc. of the old Unfair Competition Prevention Act. Although there are multiple issues at issue in this judgment, we will focus on the description of "raw stone imported directly from Belgium."

At the appellate court, the defendant stated, ``No matter where you look in this leaflet, there is no conclusive indication that the rough diamonds were directly imported from Belgium by the defendant company; The defendant company was found to have falsely misrepresented the rough diamonds in a way that led the general reader to believe, by mistake, that the rough diamonds were imported directly from Belgium by the defendant company. What is shown is that ``representation that causes misunderstanding'' is the same as ``false representation that causes misunderstanding'' and applies Article 5, Item 1 of the (old) Unfair Competition Prevention Act to cases where it should not be applied. ``I made the mistake of doing so.''

In response to this argument, the court stated, ``According to each of the flyers in this case, the main headline ``Only on the same day of promotional sale (approximately half the market price of all products)'' was followed by the large headline ``Rough stone imported directly from Belgium.'' Moreover, the name of the defendant's company is displayed in large letters at the end of the back of the flyer, and if we objectively look at each leaflet in this case as a whole, the defendant is the entity that sells all products at approximately half the market price on the day of the sale. In the same way that the entity that directly imported the raw stone from Belgium is recognized as having indicated that it is a defendant company, it is also recognized that it has indicated that it is a defendant company, and there is usually no other way to interpret it. In fact, witness K and others have made statements to the effect that they thought so when they saw the flyers in this case, and of course there is no fact that the defendant company directly imported raw stones from Belgium. ...It is believed that the display on the right was made in conjunction with the double price display, knowing that customers would assume that the product would be sold at approximately half the market price due to the shortened distribution channel. , it is recognized that the part written on the right side of this flyer constitutes a false statement that causes general readers to misunderstand the ``quality and contents of the product.'' However, upon further consideration, the original judgment did not It can be interpreted that the judgment has found that there was a false indication that caused misunderstanding regarding the "country of origin of the product," but even if the product is a natural product, the value of the product is greatly affected by the processing, such as diamonds. The processing area is generally referred to as the ``country of origin,'' and it is clear that the diamond in question was processed in Belgium, which is said to be one of the world's leading processing areas. The above-mentioned indication does not misrepresent the ``country of origin'' of the product, and the original judgment misunderstood the facts on this point, but it misinterpreted and applied Article 5, Item 1 of the (old) Unfair Competition Prevention Act. However, when considering the other parts to which the same article was applied, this error does not affect the judgment.''

This ruling ultimately established the norm that ``Even if it is a natural product, the value of the product is largely determined by the processing, such as diamonds, and the place where it is processed is generally referred to as the ``place of origin''.'' ``It is clear that the diamonds in question were processed in Belgium, which is considered one of the world's leading processing centers, so the above-mentioned indications on the flyer do not misrepresent the ``country of origin'' of the product.'' I conclude that.

 

(3) Matsue District Court 15 (W) No. 116 (Criminal case)
 

In this case, the defendant company, which has its head office in Shimane Prefecture, confused Yamato Shijimi from Lake Alpha with Chinese clam and posted it on the internet, and placed a label saying ``Directly from the farm, Specially Selected Yamato Shijimi from Lake Alpha, Shimane.'' is attached to each item, and labeled as if all the clams were from Lake Alpha, and the act of selling the clams with false labeling that would mislead people as to the origin, quality, etc. of the product. This is a criminal case in which the issue was whether or not this constituted an act of unfair competition.

The court stated, ``Looking at the ``act of misrepresenting the country of origin,'' which is the center of this case, it is natural that free business activities in pursuit of profit must be conducted under the order of fair competition. In order to maintain and expand the scale of his own clam sales and earn a large profit, the defendant misrepresented the Chinese clams as the α Lake clams, which are more popular and more expensive due to their stable quality. It must be said that this is a serious violation as it harms the fairness among the same industry and deceives the customers and consumers.Furthermore, the defendant said that the social situation has changed in recent years. However, various legal amendments have strengthened regulations regarding the labeling of the country of origin, and while fully recognizing that there has been a strong social demand for proper labeling of the country of origin, it is necessary to change the falsification of the country of origin that has existed since then. Rather, from around 13, the amount of imported clams was increased, and the crime was committed while shipping tens of tons of clams every month. The illegal profits obtained by the defendant company in the form of differences in sales prices due to a series of falsified production areas are difficult to identify because the price of clams is affected not only by the display of the production area but also by the quality of the clams. Although it is difficult, according to the relevant evidence, it is recognized that the calculated amount is no less than tens of millions of yen, and it is also highly conceivable that sales were only possible after the clams were labeled as being from Lake Alpha. It is believed that the actual illegal profits are even greater.Shimane Prefecture had been promoting the branding of freshwater clams from Lake Alpha, and this crime damaged the credibility of that brand and created a new brand for freshwater clams from Lake Alpha. It must be said that the defendant's actions have had an extremely large impact on society as a whole, including prefectural officials, fishermen, and market participants. It is only natural that they are demanding appropriate punishment.Because of the suspicion of falsifying the production area, they refused an on-site inspection by prefectural officials, and even though a compulsory investigation was carried out through criminal procedures. Furthermore, the criminal situation is not good in that they continued to falsify the country of origin almost every day until the day before their arrest.In light of these circumstances, the criminal responsibility of the defendants cannot be taken lightly.''

In terms of sentencing, it should be noted that although the defendant denied having committed the forgery at the beginning of the investigation, he has since admitted his guilt and has now stated in the trial court that he is remorseful. The defendant has no criminal record, the factory and offices of the defendant company in this case have already been closed, and the defendant has stated that he will not work in the clam-related business in the future. However, the sentence was suspended on the basis that there were extenuating circumstances for the defendants, such as the fact that the case had been widely reported and had already received certain social sanctions.

 

(4) Osaka District Court No. 7 of 501 (Wa) (civil case)
 

This case is a civil case in which the issue was whether acts such as pasting a sticker with a foreign national flag printed on the surface of a packaging bag when selling hairpins constituted acts of unfair competition. The court carefully examined the stickers, lids, etc. in question and ruled as follows.

``All of the products in question have a sticker printed on the surface of the transparent packaging bag with a foreign national flag printed on it, either with words that simply indicate the selling point, or on its own, and the right sticker shows the color of the foreign flag. The position of the flag attracts consumers' attention, and if a foreign national flag is displayed on a product in the manner shown on the right, it will easily remind consumers that the product is made in the foreign country. It must be said that there is a high possibility that consumers who come into contact with the product will misunderstand that the product was manufactured in the foreign country.

In addition, the main part of the defendant Y.S. Park's trade name was written as "Y. S. PARK'' and ``NEW YORK'' written in English, and furthermore, the instructions placed on the back side of the transparent packaging bag read ``Y. S. PARK World Hairpin Collection'', ``For the first time in the world...a collection of pins from all over the world - Types'', ``Y. S. PARK PIN OF THE WORLD” “Professional hair stylist Young-soo ParK scientifically formulated total hair care products for proven results.” “Y. S. PARK World's Hair Pins'' and ``The world's first collection of pins from all over the world - 35 types'', and these statements should further strengthen the above-mentioned misconception among consumers. .

Regarding this point, the defendants argue that the foreign national flag is not an indication of the country of origin, but rather an indication of the ``type'' of each hairpin. , ``American type'' and ``European type.'' In this way, in the hairpin industry, it is common practice to use country names to indicate the type of hairpin, and foreign national flags are also used in the same way. Assert that it is used for the intended purpose.

It is certainly recognized that hairpins have traditionally been called "American pins," but these constitute a single word as the name of the pin, whereas foreign flags represent the country itself. However, since there is no sufficient evidence to confirm that the use of foreign national flags to indicate the type of hairpin is commonly practiced, this argument cannot be accepted.

もっとも、本件商品のうち、商品目録1の商品についてはイタリア国旗の表示のほかに『イタリアンタイプ』との文言が、同3、8、9,21ないし24の各商品についてはイギリス国旗の表示のほかに『ブリティッシュタイプ』との文言が、同4、10、18の各商品についてはアメリカ国旗の表示のほかに『アメリカンタイプ』との文言が、同7、25の各商品についてはフランス国旗の表示のほかに『フレンチタイプ』との文言が、それぞれ当該外国国旗が表示されているのと同じ面(表面)において表示されているところ、被告らは、これらの商品については、外国国旗を表示していてもこれが原産地を表示するものではなく、ヘアピンのタイプを表示するものであることは明確であると主張するが、右のような「・・・タイプ」との文言は、例えば、『made in Japan』『日本製』『国産』というような表示とは異なり、ヘアピンが当該外国製であることと相反するものではなくて両立しうるものであり、前示のとおり、ヘアピンのタイプを表示するものとして外国国旗を使用することが一般的に行われていると認めるに足りる証拠はないこと、商品であるヘアピンを入れた缶容器の蓋及び透明の包装袋の裏面側に入れられた説明書における前示のような記載を併せ考えれば、右のような外国国旗の表示のほかに『イタリアンタイプ』『ブリティッシュタイプ』『アメリカンタイプ』『フレンチタイプ』との文言が当該外国国旗が表示されているのと同じ面(表面)において表示されているからといって、外国国旗の表示が前示のとおり消費者をして当該外国において製造されたものと誤認させる可能性を打ち消しあるいは減殺させるものということはできないから、被告らの主張は採用することができない。」

``According to the above, the indications attached to the products in question should all fall under the mislabeling of the country of origin as defined in Article 2, Paragraph 1, Item 10 of the (former) Unfair Competition Prevention Act.'' Masu.

In this case, the request for an injunction was granted, but regarding the claim for damages, it was stated that ``there is a substantial causal relationship between the fact that the product in question had the label in question and the decrease in sales of hairpins made by the plaintiff.'' It is difficult to do so.'' and rejected the proposal.

 

Brief Summary

It appears that courts are taking a strict stance regarding mislabeling of the country of origin.

In addition, the judgment in case (2) stated that ``Even if the product is a natural product, the value of the product is greatly affected by the way it is processed, such as diamonds, the place where it is processed is generally referred to as the ``place of origin.'' I think the judgment that "there is no such thing" is worth noting.

Additionally, as in case (4), I think it is important to note that depending on how a foreign national flag is used, it can also fall under the category of indicating the country of origin, and unless there is a sign that negates the flag, it can also fall under the category of acts of unfair competition. I will.

 

Misidentification of country of origin, etc. (2)

Mislabeling of country of origin (domestic)

(1) Tokyo District Court Heisei 3 (Wa) No. 10542 (civil case)
 

This case involves a label containing the words "Kyoto no Kakicha" or "KYO NO KAKICHA" on "persimmon leaf tea," which is not manufactured or processed in Kyoto and does not contain ingredients produced in Kyoto. This is a civil case where the issue was whether the act of attaching a chapter falls under Article 2, Paragraph 1, Item 10 of the old Unfair Competition Prevention Act. In other words, it was disputed whether the characters "Kyo no" and "KYO NO" meant "Kyoto."

Regarding this point, the court stated that ``General consumers who come into contact with the defendant's products bearing the defendant's mark should be aware that the ``Kyoto'' and ``KYO NO'' parts of the defendant's mark are the place of manufacture of the defendant's product or its location. Although it is recognized that many people understand that the indication indicates that the raw materials are produced in Kyoto City and its surrounding areas or Kyoto Prefecture, the defendant's products are not manufactured or processed in Kyoto, and the raw materials are not manufactured or processed in Kyoto. Since the product was not produced in Kyoto, the act of using the defendant's mark on the defendant's product or its advertisement is considered to be an indication on the product or its advertisement that may mislead as to the origin or quality of the product (formerly )The act of unfair competition is deemed to fall under Article 2, Paragraph 1, Item 10 of the Unfair Competition Prevention Act.''The court ruled that ``Kyoto'' meant ``Kyoto.''

In response, the defendant stated, ``What the defendant has entrusted with the label ``Kyoto'' is the ancient capital, which regionally represents the traditional culture of our country, and which also represents the Japanese people's love of persimmons within the aristocratic society. By using the image of ``Kyoto,'' which is one of the places where the product originated, the defendant tried to convey to consumers the image of antiquity and elegance that the product contained.'' I object to this.

In response to this objection, the court stated, ``While some consumers may perceive the defendant's products in the image that the defendant claims from the display of the defendant's mark, on the other hand, there may be consumers who perceive the defendant's products in the image that the defendant claims. Considering that the images of "Kyoto" and "KYO NO" are not in harmony with each other, it is rather true that the defendant's products are manufactured and processed in Kyoto, or that persimmon leaves were collected in Kyoto. It is recognized that there are quite a few consumers who mistakenly believe that the product was manufactured using the raw material.''

In addition, the defendant stated, ``Kyoto is not a famous production area for persimmon leaf tea, and there is no famous production area for persimmon leaf tea in Japan, so Kyoto is not considered to be the origin of persimmon leaf tea. "There is no particular meaning or benefit in terms of product sales in displaying the label," he argues.

In response, the court stated, ``By using the defendant's mark, which is perceived by consumers to indicate that the place of manufacture of the defendant's products or the place of production of raw materials is Kyoto City and its surroundings or Kyoto Prefecture, It gives the impression that it is manufactured using a manufacturing method and uses raw materials cultivated and harvested in the same area using ancient cultivation methods, and Uji City in Kyoto Prefecture and its surrounding area are famous as tea producing areas. This is obvious to the court, and if the labeling of ``Kyo no Kakicha'' or ``KYO NO KAKICHA'' is used for persimmon leaf tea, which is recognized as a drink similar to tea, then the labeling is contrary to the facts. The court held that this would give the product a false impression.

In addition, in the appellate court and appellate court of this case, since the plaintiff's trademark was approved for trademark registration under the application of Article 3, Paragraph 2 of the Trademark Act, the issue shifted to whether or not there was infringement of trademark rights, and the former Unfair Competition Prevention Act The issue of Article 2, Paragraph 1, Item 10 was not an issue in both trials.

 

(2) Osaka District Court No. 19 of 3407 (Criminal case)
 

In this case, the defendant company, whose head office is in Higashi-Osaka City, Osaka Prefecture, mixed Koshihikari rice produced in Chiba Prefecture produced in 15, Koshihikari produced in Chiba Prefecture produced in 16, and untested rice of unknown variety. Around August 17, 100, a total of 18 bags of polished rice (approximately 8 kg in total) related to the packaging were transferred to a company located in Suita City, Prefecture. It's a case.

The court stated, ``It appears that the defendant company had been repeating similar acts since around October 15 at the latest, and at the time of this case, under the instructions of defendant A, the manufacturing staff In order to manufacture rice and use it as raw material, the returned milled rice will be stored, sales personnel will sell the falsely labeled products as conforming to the labeling, and accounting personnel will carry out on-site inspections, etc. In preparation for this, the defendant company prepared and kept a daily report that contradicted the actual situation, and this case is part of a habitual crime committed by the defendant company as an organization for the sake of its own profits. There are differences in the sales price of polished rice even for the same variety depending on the year of production, etc., and the accuracy of the labeling is not obvious from the appearance of the product, but is determined by DNA testing, etc., so to speak. , manufactured and sold products with false labeling using brown rice, etc. whose DNA matched the labeling, and this case was a highly planned and sophisticated crime.Furthermore, the defendants were involved in the manufacture and sale of falsely labeled products. Despite being asked by the victim company to wait for payment due to a police raid, the company dispatched sales staff to collect the payment, and the nature of the fraud is also egregious.

The fair competitive order is actually being harmed by this case, and it is practically difficult for purchasers to voluntarily inspect the authenticity of food quality indications. "There is trust placed in the common sense of consumers, and this case is a fundamental betrayal of that trust, and the impact this case has had on consumers is significant."

 

Summary

Mislabeling of the country of origin and place of origin not only destroys the order of fair competition but also fundamentally undermines consumer trust, so courts take a strict stance in both civil and criminal matters. Masu. Although the purpose of Article 1 of the Unfair Competition Prevention Act is not to protect consumer trust, at least with regard to mislabeling of the country of origin and place of origin under Article 2, Paragraph 1, Item 20 of the Act, the court has determined that consumer protection It is thought that they are conscious of this aspect.

 


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