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      News & Cases from China: October 2020

      Published on 01 Dec 2020 | 7 min read

      膳魔师专利维权诉讼获赔百万元

      原告膳魔师(中国)家庭制品有限公司(下称膳魔师公司)和膳魔师株式会社是名为“饮料用容器”发明的专利权人。膳魔师公司发现被告上海炫林日用品有限公司(下称炫林公司)生产、上海优有日用品有限公司(下称优有公司)在线销售的“泰福高”儿童保温杯的防喷防烫安全阀等部件涉嫌侵犯其涉案专利权,遂诉诸法院,要求判令炫林公司及优有公司停止侵权,并连带赔偿其经济损失及合理费用共计103万元。

      近日,上海知识产权法院对此案做出一审判决,法院认为:被诉侵权保温杯技术方案包含了与涉案专利权利要求记载的全部技术特征相同的技术特征,因此落入涉案专利权利要求所要求保护的范围;两被告未经许可的制造、销售和许诺销售行为侵害了原告的专利权;同时两被告系关系极为密切的经营主体,二者分工合作,对被诉侵权产品进行制造和销售,共同实施了侵权行为,应就该行为承担连带赔偿责任。

      由于原告的实际损失或两被告的侵权所得难以确定,法院最终综合各种涉案因素,确定了两被告应当承担的赔偿数额,并判决支持原告的全部诉讼请求。

      目前,被告已就该案提起上诉。

       

      Thermos Awarded Damages of 1 Million Yuan (approx. US$150,000) in Patent Litigation against Shanghai company

      The Plaintiff, Thermos (China) Housewares Co.,Ltd, the exclusive licensee of Thermos Corporation’s patented invention described as a ‘Beverage Container’, claimed that the safety valve and other components of a thermos cup produced by Shanghai Xuanlin Daily Necessities Co., Ltd  and sold online by Shanghai Youyou Daily Necessities Co., Ltd. fell within the scope of the patent.  It commenced patent infringement proceedings in the Shanghai Intellectual Property Court, seeking Orders that the Defendants cease the infringement and pay compensation of CNY 1 million (approx. US$150,000). 

      The Shanghai Intellectual Property Court held that the Defendants’ thermos cup made use of the technical features set out in the patent claims and fell within the scope of the patent claims. The two Defendants had manufactured, sold, and offered to sell, without authorization, an infringing product. Because the Defendants were closely related business entities, and had cooperated in the manufacture and sale of the infringing products, they were held jointly liable for the infringement.

      As the actual loss of the patent holder and the gains derived by the infringer were hard to determine, the Court considered various other factors involved in the case before making its final compensation determination. Ultimately, it awarded the amount the Plaintiff had sought.

      The Defendant has appealed.

       

      D站因侵犯B站商标权被判赔300万元

      原告上海宽娱数码科技有限公司系哔哩哗哩弹幕网 (以下简称B站)的主办单位,并经B站授权,独占使用第11356033号

      、第15362394号

      、第11356069号

      、第19068427号

      bibili商标。而被告福州市嘀哩科技有限公司、福州羁绊网络有限公司、福建天下无双投资集团有限公司共同经营www.dilidili.wang (以下简称D站), 且三被告在该网站、D站手机APP以及羁绊网的诸多界面、持续大量使用与原告涉案商标极度近似的“dilidili”标识。原告认为,被告意图误导广大网络消费者,以进一步诱骗用户使用该网站,该行为不仅损害了其与B站的良好商誉和品牌形象,也有损公共利益,遂向法院提起诉讼。

      2020年8月31日,上海市杨浦区人民法院一审审理该案,法院认为:结合实际情况来看,涉案商标具有一定的显著性和知名度。此外,就被告具体侵权行为来看,首先,被告被控侵权商标与原告涉案商标在整体外观上极为相似,且读音皆为相似叠音,极易造成混淆,故两者构成近似;其次,D站被控侵权标识的使用与原告涉案商标的核定服务项目和商品类别相同;最后,原告指控被告行为还侵犯了其第11356033号bilibili商标专用权,该商标的核定使用商品为USB闪存盘,但D站上提供下载的动漫与该产品存在较大差异,故法院未予认可原告前述主张。

      综合上述理由,上海杨浦法院做出一审判决,责令三被告立即停止侵权行为,并连续五日于新浪微博平台刊登声明以消除影响,同时向原告支付经济损失及合理费用共计311万元,驳回原告其余诉讼请求。

       

      Dilidili Companies Ordered to Pay Compensation of 3 Million Yuan (approx. US$450,000) for Infringement of Bilibili trademarks

      The Plaintiff, Shanghai Kuanyu Digital Technology Co., Ltd., the operator of the video sharing the website Bilibili.com (Bilibili), is the exclusive licensee of the following trademarks:

      No. 11356033   

      No. 15362394         

      No. 11356069    , and

      No. 19068427   .

      The Defendants, Fuzhou Dili Technology Co., Ltd., Fuzhou Bondage Network Co., Ltd., and Fujian Tianxia Wushuang Investment Group Co., Ltd, jointly operate the dilidili.wang (Dilidili) website.   On both the Dilidili website and a Dilidili App, the Defendants made use of a large number of ‘dilidili’ logos that the Plaintiff considered deceptively similar to the Bilibili registered trademarks.

      The Plaintiff claimed that the Defendants’ use of the ‘dilidili’ logos was likely to mislead and deceive online consumers into believing they were dealing with Bilili.  This not only harmed the Plaintiff’s and Bilibili‘s good reputation and brand image, but was also contrary to the public interest.

      On 31 August 2020, the Shanghai Yangpu District People’s Court heard the trade mark infringement action and held that the Plaintiff’s Bilibili trademarks, with the exception of trademark no. 11356033, had been infringed. The Defendants’ Dilidili trademark as a whole was extremely similar to the Bilibili trademarks and the pronunciation of both marks was similar.  Further, with the exception of trademark No. 11356033, the Defendants’ marks were being used in relation to the products and services in respect of which the Bilibili marks were registered.   As a result, there was a likelihood of confusion or deception arising. 

      Accordingly, the Court found in favour of the Plaintiff and ordered the Defendants to cease the infringement immediately; publish an appropriate statement for five days to reduce the impact of the infringement; and compensate the Plaintiff for economic loss and reasonable costs in the sum of CNY 3 million (approx. US$450,000).

       

      盗版春节档电影被判侵犯著作权罪
      日期:2020-09-26

      2019年,《流浪地球》《飞驰人生》《疯狂的外星人》等8部春节档国产电影因盗版侵权损失近8亿元,为此扬州市人民检察院以侵犯著作权罪为由提起公诉。

      经查,被告人马振予、马青松自2016年6月开始便未经许可,以营利为目的,采取高清技术手段,复制盗版影片,向下线影院销售。2017年初,被告人文劲杰、鲁明等人入伙,该团体逐渐形成人数较多、重要成员基本固定的犯罪组织。2019年春节前期,被告人马振予、马青松、文劲杰等人分别复制发行《流浪地球》等多部春节档盗版影片,致使上述影片在互联网上泛滥。

      9月25日,扬州中院受最高法指定审理了此案,并当庭做出了公开判决。

      法院经审理认为:4名被告犯罪事实清楚,证据确实充分,侵犯著作权罪罪名成立。另外,4被告长期共同实施犯罪行为,成员固定且有明确分工,因此应当被认定为犯罪集团,同时法院还根据各犯罪人在犯罪中所起的作用不同区分了首要分子和主犯。此外,法院在做出判决时也充分考虑了以下事实:被告人马振予、马青松、文劲杰、鲁明具有坦白情节,可以从轻处罚;悔罪态度较好,自愿认罪认罚,可以从宽处理。被告人文劲杰自愿退出部分赃款,可以酌定从轻处罚。

      法院最终综合各被告人犯罪的事实、性质、地位、作用和社会危害性,判定认为4被告侵犯著作权罪罪名成立,并判处4名被告有期徒刑4-6年不等,同时判处罚金共计1280万元。

       

      Four Defendants Convicted for Pirating Films Launched at the Spring Film Festival

      In 2019, eight Chinese domestic films that had been launched at the Spring Film Festival - including ‘The Wandering Earth’,  ‘Pegasus’ and ‘Crazy Alien’ - lost nearly CNY 800 million (approx.US$120 million) as a result of piracy and copyright infringement.  The Yangzhou People's Procuratorate filed a public prosecution under the Criminal Law for the Crime of Copyright Infringement: infringements involving relatively large illegal gains, or other serious circumstances.

      The Defendants Ma Zhenyu and Ma Qingsong produced pirated videos using high-definition technology and began selling the videos to theaters in June 2016. At the beginning of 2017, with the participation of the Defendants Wen Jinjie, Lu Ming, the activities expanded and by the time of the Spring Festival in 2019 included the production and distribution via the internet of many pirated films including ‘The Wandering Earth’. 

      On 25 September, the Yangzhou Intermediate People's Court, appointed by the Supreme People’s Court to hear the case, handed down its judgment.

      The Court held that evidence of the Crime of Copyright Infringement was clear and sufficient, The four Defendants had engaged in this activity for a long time: it was a criminal group, with fixed members and a clear division of labour.  The Court determined the ringleaders and principal participants. It took account, however, of the fact that Ma Zhenyu, Ma Qingsong, Wen Jinjie, and Lu Ming had showed repentance, pleaded guilty and accepted punishment.  On this basis it  decided to impose a more lenient punishment, in accordance with the law, than it would otherwise have done.

      After considering the facts, nature, status, role and social harmfulness of each Defendant’s crime, the Court found them all guilty of the Crime of Copyright Infringement; sentenced them to terms of imprisonment ranging from four to six years; and imposed fines amounting to a total of CNY 12.8 million (approx.US$1,920,000).

       

      《诛仙》诉《青云志》著作权纠纷案二审审结

      完美世界(北京)软件科技发展有限公司(下称完美世界公司)发现网络游戏《青云志》的开发运营商广州华多网络科技有限公司(下称华多公司)未经许可,擅自使用了其享有游戏改编权和信息网络传播权的小说《诛仙》中的角色名称、角色关系、故事情节、经典场景等多种元素,同时在《青云志》的宣传过程中还存在虚假宣传的不正当竞争行为。为此,完美世界公司以著作权侵权以及不正当竞争为由向法院提起诉讼。

      一审法院经审理,判决被告华多公司向原告支付损害赔偿300万元和合理开支3600元,双方皆对此判决结果不服,遂向北京知识产权法院提起上诉。

      二审法院认为:从整体上来看,两作的对应内容足够具体,可以体现作者在作品表达中进行的取舍、安排和设计,构成具有独创性的表达,因此被告关于游戏人物名称、场景等元素不具有独创性,不构成表达的抗辩不能成立。故一审法院综合人物名称、人物关系、神兽名称及故事情节等要素,认为两作在上述部分构成实质性相似,并无不当。

      其次,在未获许可的情况下,华多公司将《诛仙》系列小说中的部分内容改编成《青云志》游戏中的组成部分,侵害了完美公司享有的就《诛仙》系列小说改编为游戏的改编权。华多公司未经许可通过信息网络运营《青云志》游戏,使公众可以在个人选定的时间和地点获得《诛仙》系列小说中的相关内容,亦侵害了完美公司的信息网络传播权。

      再者,华多公司的宣传行为可能导致相关公众认为《青云志》游戏获得了《诛仙》系列小说的授权,而实际上该事实并不存在,相关公众基于该不存在的事实可能做出错误的消费判断,因此,华多公司的宣传行为构成虚假宣传。

      最后,鉴于在案证据无法充分证明侵权损失或违法所得,故一审法院综合考虑各种涉案因素,认定的赔偿以及合理开支数额合理,故予以维持。

      基于上述理由,北京知识产权法院判决驳回原告上诉,维持原判。

       

      Appeal Court Upholds Decision that online game ‘Noble Aspirations’ infringed Copyright in the novel ‘Jade Dynasty’ - in particular, the adaptation right and right of communication through an Information Network

      Perfect World (Beijing) Software Technology Development Co., Ltd. (Perfect World Company) was the owner of the adaptation rights, and the right of communication via an information network, in the novel ‘Jade Dynasty’.  It alleged that Guangzhou Huaduo Network Technology Co. Ltd. (Huaduo Company) had, without authority, developed and operated an online game, ‘Noble Aspirations’, that used various elements such as character names, character relationships, story plots, and classic scenes from ‘Jade Dynasty’.  It had also included false statements in ‘Noble Aspirations’ advertising material.  Perfect World Company brought an action for copyright infringement and unfair competition.

      The Court of First Instance ordered Huaduo Company to pay damages of CNY 3 million (approx. US$450,000) and costs of CNY 3,600 (approx. US$540). Both parties appealed to the Beijing Intellectual Property Court.

      First, the Beijing Intellectual Property Court affirmed the infringement decision of the Court of First Instance.  It held that the Defendant’s game had reproduced elements of ‘Jade Dynasty’ that were capable of protection. The defence that elements such as character names and scenes were not capable of protection, was not accepted.

      Secondly, it held that Huaduo Company had adapted the novel ‘Jade Dynasty’ and applied the adapted content in its game  ‘Noble Aspirations’ without permission, thereby infringing the right of adaptation enjoyed by Perfect Company.  Its operation of the game online infringed Perfect World Company’s right of communication through information network.  

      Thirdly, Huaduo Company’s promotional material contained false statements and was likely to mislead the relevant public to believe that the ‘Noble Aspirations’ game had been authorized by the owner of rights in ‘Jade Dynasty’

      Finally, given that both the actual loss of the copyright owner and the gains derived by the infringer were hard to determine, and considering various other factors involved in the case, the Court decided that the amount of compensation determined by the Court of First Instance was reasonable. 

      Accordingly, the appeal was rejected and the judgment of first instance was maintained.


       

       

       

       

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      Principal, Global Head of Dispute Resolution
      +852 3412 4004
      Principal, China Head of Trade Marks
      +86 10 8632 4000
      Principal, Global Head of Dispute Resolution
      +852 3412 4004
      Principal, China Head of Trade Marks
      +86 10 8632 4000