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      News & Cases from China: December 2020

      Published on 27 Jan 2021 | 6 min read

      米家商标侵权纠纷案二审审结

      日期:2020-11-20

      此前,杭州联安安防工程有限公司(下称杭州联安)因认为小米通讯技术有限公司(下称小米通讯)、小米科技有限责任公司(下称小米科技)等七家公司侵犯其第10054096号“MIKA米家”商标专用权,故以此为由向杭州市中级人民法院提起诉讼。法院经审理认定被告侵权行为成立,并判令被告小米通讯向原告支付经济损失及合理开支共计人民币12,103,767元,被告小米科技对前项被告小米通讯应承担赔偿金额中的6,803,767元承担连带责任,同时责令其他5被告立即停止侵权行为。小米科技与小米通讯不服,遂向浙江省高级人民法院提起了上诉。

      二审法院经审理认为: 首先,关于被诉侵权商品与涉案商标核定使用的商品属于相同或类似商品。其次,对于国内相关公众而言,涉案商标起主要识别和认读作用的部分是中文“米家”,被诉侵权标识与涉案商标主要识别部分在字形、含义、读音上完全相同,两者在构成要素上近似。再次,关于混淆的可能性, 小米通讯公司在相同或类似商品上使用了与联安公司涉案“MIKA米家”商标相近似的“米家”标识,容易引起相关公众的混淆,构成对联安公司涉案注册商标专用权的侵害。

      另外,被诉侵权商品及外包装上或销售页面同时使用了“MIJIA”商标,以上均为小米科技拥有的注册商标,据此可以认定该些商标指向的被诉侵权商品来源为小米科技,而小米通讯系被诉侵权商品的委托制造者,被诉侵权商品主要通过小米科技公司经营的网站、天猫网店以及线下专卖店等渠道对外销售,综合可以认定两上诉人具有共同侵权的意思联络,共同实施了制造、销售被诉侵权商品的行为,导致损害结果发生,小米科技公司与小米通讯公司构成共同侵权。

      综上所述,二审法院判令小米通讯、小米科技立即停止侵害杭州联安享有的第10054096号“MIKA米家”注册商标专用权的行为,并判决小米通讯赔偿杭州联安经济损失3,000,000元、为制止侵权行为所支付的合理开支103,767元,共计3,103,767元,小米科技对以上全部赔偿金额承担连带责任。

       

      Appeal Court Confirms Xiaomi’s infringement of MIKA Trademark

      The Zhejiang Higher People’s Court, upholding the decision of the Hangzhou Intermediate People’s Court, has held that Xiaomi Communications Co., Ltd (Xiaomi Communications) and Xiaomi Inc infringed Hangzhou Lian’an Security Engineering Co., Ltd’s (Hangzhou Lian’an) exclusive right to the ‘Mika米家’ trademark (No. 10054096).  (See here for a note on the Hangzhou Intermediate People’s Court decision)

      The Zhejiang Higher People's Court held: (1) the products in relation to which the Xiaomi companies used the allegedly infringing mark were identical or similar to the goods in respect of which Hangzhou Lian’an’s trademark was registered. (2) The relevant consumers would recognise the distinctive part of Xiaomi’s  trademark as the Chinese characters ‘米家’ (Mi Jia); in addition, the font, meaning, pronunciation and constituent elements of the mark were identical or similar to the main part of Hangzhou Lian’an’s registered trademark; and  (3) the mark being used by Xiaomi was, therefore, likely to cause confusion among the relevant public and constituted an infringement of Hangzhou Lian’an’s exclusive trademark rights.

      Further, the likelihood of confusion was compounded by the manner in which Xiaomi was using its ‘米家’ (Mi Jia) trademark i.e. on the products themselves and their outer packaging, and in sales materials: such use would lead consumers to believe that Xiaomi Inc was the source of the products, and Xiaomi Communications the manufacturer. The two Xiaomi companies had cooperated in their use of the trademark and were, therefore, jointly liable for trademark infringement.

      The Court ordered Xiaomi Communications and Xiaomi Inc. to cease the infringement, and ordered Xiaomi Communications to pay the Plaintiff CNY 3,000,000 (approx. US$ 463,000) as compensation for economic loss and CNY 103,767 (approx. US$16,000) for reasonable expenses, in total CNY 3,103,767 (approx. US$480,000).  The defendant Xiaomi Inc. was jointly and severally liable.

       

      西门子软件公司诉沃福公司著作权侵权二审案

      日期:2020-12-01

      西门子工业软件有限公司(下称西门子软件公司)认为广州沃福模具有限公司(下称沃福公司)为进行产品设计和制造而使用的涉案软件侵犯了其NX系列软件的著作权,故以著作权侵权为由,向法院提起诉讼,要求被告赔偿270万元。一审法院根据西门子软件公司的申请,对沃福公司做出保全裁定,但沃福公司采取抗拒措施,阻挠法院进行保全工作,导致保全工作被迫终断。一审法院经审理认定沃福公司侵权行为成立,判令沃福公司停止侵权并赔偿西门子软件公司经济损失50万元及其他合理费用10万元。双方当事人对该判决皆不服,遂向最高人民法院提起上诉。

      最高人民法院知识产权法庭经审理认为:在一审法院已经释明抗拒保全将承担不利后果的情况下,沃福公司仍然采取对抗措施,阻挠法院保全工作。在已经确认部分已保全电脑安装了涉案软件的情况下,根据相关司法解释的规定,可以推定未成功保全的电脑安装了涉案软件,并在确定侵权损害赔偿时对这一事实及沃福公司抗拒法院证据保全的行为一并予以考量。最终,法院根据查明的侵权软件数量、正版软件售价等案件事实,对西门子软件公司的损害赔偿请求予以全额支持,做出二审判决,改判沃福公司赔偿西门子软件公司经济损失2,612,827元及合理费用10万元。

       

      Siemens Industry Software (Shanghai) Co, Ltd Succeeds on Appeal in Copyright Infringement Action against Guangzhou Wofu Mold Co.,Ltd. Damages Increased for Failure to Comply with Preservation Order

      Siemens Industrial Software (Shanghai) Co., Ltd. (Siemens) brought a copyright infringement action against Guangzhou Wofu Mold Co., Ltd. (Wofu) alleging that it was using software that infringed the copyright in the Siemens NX series software.  It sought compensation of CNY 2.7 million (approx. US$415,000) and applied for a preservation order. 

       The Court of First Instance ruled that Wofu had infringed Siemens’ copyright, and  granted a preservation order.  It ordered Wofu to cease the infringement immediately and pay compensation of CNY 500,000 (approx. US$76,500) for economic loss and CNY 100,000 (approx. US$15,300) for reasonable expenses. Both parties appealed to the Supreme People's Court. 

      On appeal, the IP Court of the Supreme People’s Court upheld the infringement decision.  Further, it noted that even after the Court of First Instance had explained that failure to abide by the preservation order would have adverse consequences, Wofu had gone ahead and taken steps to avoid the order. As some of the preserved computers had the relevant software installed, it could be presumed that the computers that had not been preserved would also have had the software installed.  This, together with Wofu’s obstructive behaviour, should be considered when making the decision on infringement compensation.

      The Court approved Siemens's claim for damages, calculated on the basis of the price of genuine software and the number of copies of infringing software and ordered Wofu to pay compensation of CNY 2,612,827 (approx. US$400,000)for economic loss and CNY 100,000 (approx. US$15,300)for reasonable expenses.

       电子地图侵权纠纷案一审审结,法院判令百度赔偿6500余万元

      日期:2020-11-23

      北京四维图新科技股份有限公司(下称四维图新公司)发现北京百度网讯科技有限公司(下称百度网讯公司)、百度在线网络技术(北京)有限公司(下称百度在线公司)、百度云计算技术(北京)有限公司(下称百度云计算公司)在相关的地图项目合作结束后,仍然通过“百度地图”“百度Carlife”“百度导航”等手机终端、车载终端向公众提供其电子地图,四维图新公司认为该行为严重侵犯了其对相关电子地图依法享有的著作权,并构成不正当竞争,故以此为由,向北京知识产权法院提起诉讼。

      北京知识产权法院经审理认为:首先,四维图新公司主张的电子地图具有应受著作权保护的图形作品表达形式,满足地图作品创作空间范围内的独创性要求,构成著作权法规定的地图作品;其次,百度网讯公司等未经许可,在“百度地图”等软件上使用涉案地图的行为,侵犯了四维图新公司对其电子地图享有的著作权;再者,四维图新公司另主张的涉案不正当竞争行为与前述著作权侵权行为实质上属同一行为,相关权益已经适用著作权法进行保护,对此不再以反不正当竞争法进行评价。

      综上所述,北京知识产权法院做出一审判决,责令被告停止侵权,并连带赔偿原告经济损失及合理费用共计65,426,597.5元。

      Baidu Ordered to Pay Compensation of CNY 65 Million (approx. US$10,000,000) to Navinfo in First Electronic Map Infringement Case

      NavInfo Co.,Ltd. (NavInfo), a leading Chinese provider of electronic maps and related technology, discovered that several Baidu companies - Beijing Baidu Netcom Science and Technology Co.,Ltd. (Baidu Netcom), Baidu Online Network Technology (Beijing) Co.,Ltd. (Baidu online company) and Baidu Cloud Computing Technology (Beijing) Co.,Ltd. (Baidu cloud computing company) - were continuing to provide the Navinfo e-maps to the public via Baidu map, Baidu Carlife and Baidu navigation, even though a licence agreement between the parties had expired in 2017.  NavInfo commenced an action for copyright infringement and unfair competition in the Beijing Intellectual Property Court.

      The Court held that: (1), the electronic maps met the Copyright Law originality requirement and were capable of copyright protection; (2)  the Baidu companies use of the maps without permission infringed Navinfo’s copyright; and (3) because the alleged unfair competition involved the same behaviour as the copyright infringement, it was not necessary to consider the unfair competition claim.

      The Court ordered the Defendants to cease the infringement immediately and held them jointly liable to compensate NavInfo for economic loss and reasonable expenses, in the sum of CNY 65,426,597.5 (approx. US$10,000,000).

      The decision has not been appealed.

      “施耐德”商标侵权及不正当竞争纠纷一审案

      日期:2020-12-21

      施耐德电气欧洲公司(下称施耐德电气公司)发现施耐德电梯公司在日常经营中突出使用与“Schneider”“施耐德”(下称引证商标)相同或相近的标识,并使用含有“Schneider”字符的域名,施耐德电气公司认为上述行为容易使公众产生混淆,误认为施耐德电梯公司及产品与原告有关联,故以商标侵权及不正当竞争为由,向江苏省苏州市中级人民法院提起诉讼。

      法院经审理认为:首先,涉案商标“Schneider Electric文字及图” “施耐德”具备很高的市场知名度,为广大消费者所熟知,具有被认定为驰名商标的事实基础和认定驰名商标的必要性。被控侵权标识指定使用的电梯、扶梯等商品与涉案商标据以驰名的断路器、开关等商品在功能用途、销售渠道等方面存在较强关联和一定重合,容易让公众对商品的来源产生混淆或误认,因此有必要对原告商标进行跨类保护。其次,施耐德电梯公司将“施耐德”作为其企业名称中的字号并在经营中使用,同时使用与“Schneider Electric”近似的域名,属于擅自使用他人的企业名称和驰名商标,足以使相关公众产生混淆,扰乱了正常的社会经济秩序,损害了施耐德电气公司的合法权益,因此构成不正当竞争。最后,施耐德电梯公司侵权时间长达10年,侵权故意明显,侵权情节严重,应依法对其适用惩罚性赔偿。

      综上所述,法院判决责令施耐德电梯公司停止侵权及不正当竞争行为,并赔偿施耐德电气公司经济损失及合理开支共计4000万余元。

      双方皆不服该判决,故向江苏省高级人民法院提起上诉,目前,该案进入二审程序。

      Punitive damages awarded in trademark infringement and unfair competition action brought by Schneider Electric in the Jiangsu Suzhou Intermediate People's Court.  Both parties appeal

      Schneider Electric SA (Schneider Electric), a well-known European multinational company providing a range of energy and automation digital solutions, discovered that a Chinese company established in 2010, Suzhou Schneider Elevator CO.,LTD.( Schneider elevator company), was using a logo identical with or similar to its registered trademark, and the name ‘Schneider’ in its domain name.

      Schneider Electric’s registered trademark.

      Mark used by the Defendant, Schneider elevator company

      The Court held that: (1) the cited trademark ‘Schneider’ and the equivalent Chinese characters "施耐德"are well known by consumers.  The mark can and should be recognized as a well-known trademark and given cross-class protection. In any event, the Defendant’s goods, in relation to which it is using the logo, are closely related to Schneider Electric’s well-known circuit breakers and switches in terms of function, use, and distribution channels.  It is, therefore, likely that members of the relevant public will be confused as to the origin of the goods;  (2) Schneider elevator company adopted the Chinese characters ‘施耐德’ as its enterprise name and used it in its daily operation, as well as in its domain name.  This is likely to confuse the relevant public, disturb the normal social and economic order, and damage the legitimate rights and interests of Schneider Electric, and amounts to unfair competition; and (3) considering Schneider elevator company had been infringing for 10 years, its intention to infringe was obvious, and the infringement circumstances serious, an award of punitive damages was appropriate. 

      Accordingly, the Court ordered Schneider elevator company to cease the infringement and unfair competition immediately, and pay compensation of CNY 40 million (approx. US$6,000,000) for economic loss and reasonable expenses .

      Both parties have appealed to Jiangsu Higher People's Court.

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