On January 25, the President of the Beijing Higher People's Court issued the 2020 Work Report (the “Report”) at the fourth session of the 15th People's Congress of Beijing. According to the Report, the Beijing Courts received 839,175 new cases and concluded 836,514 cases.
In 2020, the Beijing Courts committed to actively promoting innovation-driven developments and playing a major role in intellectual property trials to stimulate innovation. They have also successfully concluded a total of 68,327 intellectual property cases. The Beijing Courts will further strive to improve the level of judicial protection, formulate guidelines for adjudication of damages for the infringement of intellectual property rights, improve the mechanism for the judicial determination of damages for infringement damages, and raise the standard of damages in accordance with the law. For this purpose, the Beijing Internet Court has created a world-leading Internet litigation platform to further the judicial protection of intellectual property rights.
Recently, the China National Intellectual Property Administration (“CNIPA”) published its 2020 intellectual property statistics in its first quarter press conference, which are as follows:
Recently, the Trade Mark Office of the CNIPA issued major trade mark statistics for provinces, cities and counties for the fourth quarter of 2020, including the number of trade mark applications and registrations for each province, as well as for administrative regions at the provincial, municipal and county levels, along with the number of applications and registrations for collective trade mark and certification trade marks in all provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities under the Central Government.
According to the statistics, the total number of trade mark applications in China in 2020 reached 9.116 million, a 20.23% increase compared to 2019, and the number of valid registered trade marks was 28,393,188. Among the provinces, Guangdong Province ranks first with 1,755,995 trade mark applications and 1,079,852 trade mark registrations. Among the various categories of trade marks, Class 35 had the highest number of trade mark applications with over 2 million applications. For collective trade marks and certification trade marks, Jiangsu Province ranked first with 1,273 applications and 1,365 registrations.
Recently, the National Copyright Administration issued significant achievements of copyright work in China during the period from 2016 to 2020, which are as follows:
Bytedance filed an anti-unfair competition lawsuit against Beijing Chuangrui Media (“Chuangrui”) for the illegal copying of short videos and comments from Bytedance’s Douyin onto its Shuabao app.
The Beijing Haidian People’s Court held that Bytedance, as the developer and operator of Douyin, invested labour and financial resources to attract users to publish, watch, comment and share short videos through proper and lawful operation. The short videos and comments displayed on Douyin are legitimate business activities of Bytedance and such legitimate rights and interests shall be protected by the Anti-Unfair Competition Law. Secondly, Chuangrui did not operate its app normally to attract users, establish a competitive advantage and obtain business benefits in a legal manner. Instead, Chuangrui directly uses technical and manual means to obtain the short videos and comments Bytedance relies on for business and profit. Without investing corresponding costs, Chuangrui competed with Bytedance for traffic and users, weakening Bytedance’s competitive advantage and damaging its legitimate rights and interests. The court held that this type of behaviour violated the principal of good faith and recognised business ethics, constituting as unfair competition.
The Court granted an injunction and ordered Chuangrui to compensate Bytedance for the economic loss of RMB 5 million.