News & Cases from China: June 2021

Published on 02 Aug 2021 | 5 min read

最高法发布《最高人民法院关于知识产权侵权诉讼中被告以原告滥用权利为由请求赔偿合理开支问题的批复》

上海高院向最高院请示,针对知识产权侵权诉讼中被告以原告滥用权利为由请求赔偿合理开支应如何处理。2021年6月3日,最高人民法院发布《最高人民法院关于知识产权侵权诉讼中被告以原告滥用权利为由请求赔偿合理开支问题的批复》。

《批复》明确,对于知识产权侵权诉讼,若有证据证明原告起诉构成法律规定的滥用权利的,被告可以损害其合法权益为由,依法请求原告赔偿其因该诉讼所支付的合理的律师费、交通费、食宿费等开支,人民法院依法予以支持。被告也可以另行起诉请求原告赔偿上述合理开支。

SPC Issues Instructions for Dealing with a Defendant's Claim for Reasonable Expenses that is based on the Plaintiff's Abuse of Rights

The Shanghai High People’s Court sought instructions from the Supreme People’s Court (SPC) as to how a Defendant’s claim for reasonable expenses should be treated, when the Plaintiff has abused its rights in commencing the litigation.

On 3 June 2021, the SPC issued its interpretation (SPC Reply) which took effect immediately: if there is sufficient evidence to prove that the action brought by the Plaintiff constitutes an abuse of rights, the Defendant may request the Plaintiff to compensate it for reasonable expenses, such as lawyer's fees, transportation expenses, accommodation expenses and other reasonable expenses, incurred in connection with the litigation. The request for compensation shall be supported by the People's Court according to law. The Defendant may also sue the Plaintiff separately for compensation for the above reasonable expenses.

 

北京海淀法院认定直播带货平台为电商平台

本案系中国首例认定直播带货场景下的直播平台为电商平台的案件,亦是《网络直播营销管理办法(试行)》施行以来对该类平台性质进行认定的首个司法案例。

赛饰公司发现弘宇公司在抖音平台售卖带有“AGATHA”字样和其特定图标的手提包,遂以侵害商标专用权为由,将弘宇公司、北京微播视界科技有限公司(微播公司)诉至法院。

海淀法院审理认为,弘宇公司销售涉案商品,,构成侵权。

综合本案中抖音平台用户可通过开通“商品橱窗”功能从事互联网营销活动,抖音平台的直播界面显示有涉案商品的名称、图片、价格等信息,用户点击抖音平台中“商品橱窗”后未跳转至其他平台即直接进入商品页面,抖音用户可在其抖音帐号中直接查询其购买涉案商品的订单信息,观看直播时需点击抖音平台界面中的购物车才可进入小店平台完成购物等事实,认定抖音平台属于电子商务平台;但抖音没有侵权因为其已尽到合理注意义务。

最终,法院一审判决弘宇公司赔偿赛饰公司经济损失30万元及合理开支10598元。

Beijing Haidian District People's Court treats Livestreaming Marketing Platform as E-commerce Platform in Trademark Infringement Action

 This is the first IP case in which a Chinese court has treated a livestreaming marketing platform as a traditional e-commerce platform; it is also the first case of its kind to be decided since implementation of the Administrative Measures for Online Live-Streaming Marketing (for Trial Implementation).

Saishi Trade (Shanghai) Co., Ltd. (Saishi), exclusive licensee of the AGATHA trademark, discovered that Laizhou Hongyu Handicraft Co., Ltd. (Hongyu) was selling AGATHA  branded handbags on Douyin (the local Chinese version of Bytedance’s international livestreaming video-sharing app, TikTok).  It brought a trademark infringement action in the Beijing Haidian District People’s Court against both Hongyu and Beijing Micro Broadcasting Vision Technology Co., Ltd. (Beijing Micro Broadcasting), the operator of Douyin. The Court held that Hongyu ’s behaviour violated Article 57 (3) of the Trademark Law and thus constituted trademark infringement. The Court recognised Douyin as an e-commerce platform because product information, including prices, was shown on the platform and, while watching livestreaming, users could click on a ‘goods window’ and complete purchases without leaving the platform.   Beijing Micro Broadcasting was not found liable because, in operating Douyin, it had exercised a reasonable duty of care.

The Court ordered Hongyu to compensate Saishi for economic loss of 300,000 yuan (approx. US$46,250.00) and reasonable expenses of 10,598 yuan (approx. US$1,650).

国家版权局发布《中国网络版权产业发展报告(2020)》

2021年5月17日,国家版权局发布《中国网络版权产业发展报告(2020)》(《报告》)。

《报告》显示,2020 年中国网络版权产业市场规模首次突破一万亿元,较 2019 年增长 23.6%。其中用户付费规模接近 5659.2 亿元,同比增长 27.3%。

2020 年,中国网络版权产业九大细分业态各具发展新亮点:

(1)网络文学用户规模达 4.6 亿,推动市场规模增长至 268.1 亿元。 (2)网络长视频用户规模达 8.72 亿,市场规模达 1197.2 亿元。

(3)网络动漫用户规模达 2.97 亿,国产动画高口碑作品涌现,市场规模增至 238.7 亿元。

(4)网络游戏产业用户规模达 5.18 亿,同比略有下降。市场规模达 2401.9 亿元。

(5)网络音乐用户规模持续扩大至 6.58 亿,用户付费意愿持续增长,助推市场规模达 333 亿元。

(6)网络新闻用户规模稳步增长至 7.43 亿,网络新闻市场规模达 645.7 亿元。

(7)网络直播广泛链接社会各行业,推动产业用户规模增至 6.17 亿,市场规模增至 865.3 亿元,后者相比 2016 年接近翻两番。

(8)短视频用户规模达 8.73 亿人, 直播带货成为短视频平台的普遍功能,推动短视频市场规模增至 1506 亿元,同比增长近 50%。

(9)借助现象级 VR 游戏作品的拉动,中国 VR/AR 产业消费级内容市场规模 达 128.4 亿元,同比增长 154%。

NCAC Releases Report on Development of Internet Copyright Industry in China (2020)

On 17 May 2021, the National Copyright Administration of China released a Report on the Development of the Internet Copyright Industry in China (2020). According to the Report, the value of China's online copyright industry in 2020 exceeded 1 trillion yuan (approx. US$ 154,000,000,000) for the first time, an increase of 23.6% over 2019. User payments were close to 565.92 billion yuan, up 27.3% year on last year.

Each of the industry’s nine major segments had particular development highlights:

  • the number of online literature users reached 460 million with a market value of 26.81 billion yuan( US$ 4,137,728,802.05;
  • the number of online long video users reached 872 million, with a market value of 72 billion yuan approx. US $ 18,477,019,477.11;
  • high level locally produced animation works emerged and the number of online animation users reached 297 million, with a market value of87 billion yuan;
  • the number of online game users reached 518 million, a slight decrease over last year’s figure, with a market value of19 billion yuan (approx. US $ 37,060,066,963.94;
  • the number of online music users grew to 658 million, and their willingness to pay continued to increase, boosting market value to 33.3 billion yuan (approx. US $ 37,069,790,412.69;
  • the number of online news users steadily increased to 743 million, with a market value of57 billion yuan(approx. US $ 9965428897.74;
  • the number of livestream users increased to 617 million, with a market value of53 billion yuan(approx. US $ 13,354,631,601.69), a four-fold increase over 2016;
  • the number of short video users reached 873 million. Livestream marketing has become a common function of the short video platform, increasing the value of the short video market to 150.6 billion yuan( US $ 23,242,892,860.45), a year-on-year growth of nearly 50%; and
  • as a result of the development of high-quality VR games, the value of China's VR/AR industry's consumer content (as opposed to business content and hardware) reached 12.84 billion yuan, up 154% year on year.

 

上海知产法院首例涉图形用户界面(GUI)外观设计专利侵权纠纷案一审宣判

尽管GIU设计已经被纳入专利保护范围内,但是涉及此类专利侵权的案件很少,此案是上海知识产权法院审判的第一个GIU外观设计专利的侵权案件。

原告达家迎公司认为被告未经原告同意,在其拥APP及微信公众号中,大量使用与原告所申请的外观设计专利相同或者相似的图形用户界面,侵害了原告的外观设计专利权,并给原告造成重大损失。

达家迎公司于2019年1月25日向国家知识产权局申请了名称为“用于手机的图形用户界面” (GUI)的外观设计专利,2019年10月25日获得公告授权,目前处于有效状态。该外观设计产品用于运行软件的操作界面,主视图界面是为手机上网打工者提供招聘信息的显示界面,由搜索栏、招聘信息介绍栏、功能选项和不同招聘信息列表组成。

本案的争议焦点在于被控侵权界面与涉案专利设计是整体视觉效果是否近似的比对。上海知识产权法院经审理认为:按照整体观察,综合判断的比对方法,将被控侵权界面与涉案专利设计相比较,二者布局以及设计差异均较大。被控侵权界面与涉案专利的整体视觉效果不同亦不近似,二者不构成相同,也不构成近似。最终,上海知识产权法院驳回了原告的全部诉讼请求。

Shanghai Intellectual Property Court Issues its First GUI Design Patent Infringement Judgment

 Although design patents for GIUs have been registrable in China for several years, there have, so far, been very few infringement cases.  This is the first one to be heard by the Shanghai Intellectual Property Court. 

The action, commenced by Dajiaying Company (Dajiaying), involved a claim that the Defendant had, in its APP and WeChat account, used GUIs that infringed Dajiaying’s design patent rights, thereby causing the company substantial economic loss.

Dajiaying had applied for registration of a design patent in respect of the design of a "graphical user interface for mobile phones" (GUI), on 25 January 2019, and a design patent had been granted on 25 October 2019. The protected GUI is used in connection with software aimed at providing recruitment information for job seekers. The main view interface is a display comprising a search bar, a recruitment information introduction bar, function options, and different recruitment information lists.

The Shanghai Intellectual Property Court identified the focus of the dispute in this case as the degree of similarity between the Plaintiff’s protected design and the Defendant’s GUI. Employing the “overall observation and comparison” method, the Court held that the Defendant’s interface was not similar to the overall visual effect of the protected design. It, therefore, rejected all the Plaintiff's claims.

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