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      News & Cases from China: March 2021

      Published on 29 Apr 2021 | 5 min read

      最高法知识产权法庭发布2020年度报告

      最高人民法院知识产权法庭召开了成立两周年新闻发布会,并在会上发布了2020年度报告。报告显示,2020年,知识产权法庭共新收技术类知识产权案件3176件,审结2787件(含2019年旧存512件)。与2019年同期相比,收案数量增加1231件,同比增长63%;结案数量增加1354件,同比增长近95%。2020年,法官人均结案82.5件,同比增长110%。民事二审实体案件平均审理周期为121.5天,行政二审案件平均审理周期为130.7天。

      新收的1948件民事二审实体案件中,侵害发明专利权纠纷435件,侵害实用新型专利权纠纷754件,专利申请权及专利权权属纠纷163件,计算机软件纠纷360件,技术合同纠纷67件,技术秘密纠纷44件,植物新品种权纠纷40件,垄断纠纷30件,集成电路布图设计纠纷5件,其他类型纠纷50件。

      2020年,法庭共审结案件2787件。其中,以维持原审裁判方式结案1667件,以撤诉方式结案539件,以调解方式结案158件,调撤率为25%,以发回重审或改判方式结案405件,发改率为15%,以其他方式结案18件。

      IP Court of SPC Issued 2020 Annual Report

      The IP Court of the Supreme People's Court released its 2020 annual report at a recent press conference. According to the report, in 2020, the Court received a total of 3,176 technical IP cases and concluded 2,787 cases (including 512 cases from 2019). Compared with the same period in 2019, the number of cases received increased by 1,231, a year-on-year increase of 63%; the number of cases concluded increased by 1,354, a year-on-year increase of nearly 95%. In 2020, each judge concluded, on average, 82.5 cases, an increase of 110% over the same period last year. The average trial period for civil cases was 121.5 days, and that for administrative cases, 130.7 days.

      Of the technical IP cases received in 2020, 1,948 were civil appeal cases, made up as follows: 435 were invention patent infringement cases, 754 were utility model infringement cases, 163 dealt with patent application and ownership rights, 360 involved computer software disputes, 67 technical contract disputes, 44 technical secret disputes, 40 new plant variety right disputes, 30 monopoly disputes, 5 integrated circuit layout design disputes and 50 other types of dispute.

      Of the 2787 cases concluded in 2020, 1667 affirmed the original judgment (60%); 539 were withdrawn and 158 concluded by mediation (25%), 405 cases were concluded by remand for retrial or change of judgment (15%); and 18 cases were concluded by other means.

       

      2020年全国著作权登记总量超503万件,同比增长20.37%

      3月18日,国家版权局发布关于2020年全国著作权登记情况的通报显示,全国著作权登记总量达503.9543万件,同比增长20.37%。

      在作品著作权登记方面,根据对各省、自治区、直辖市版权局和中国版权保护中心的作品登记信息统计,2020年全国共完成作品著作权登记331.6255万件,同比增长22.75%。

      从作品类型看,登记量最多的是摄影作品,达到151.0914万件,占登记总量的45.56%;第二是美术作品,达到129.5415万件,占登记总量的39.06%;第三是文字作品,为21.2797万件,占登记总量的6.42%;第四是影视作品,为19.1332万件,占登记总量的5.77%。以上类型的作品著作权登记量占登记总量的96.81%。

      在计算机软件著作权登记方面,根据中国版权保护中心计算机软件著作权登记信息统计,2020年全国共完成计算机软件著作权登记172.2904万件,同比增长16.06%。

      Copyright Registrations 2020 Exceed 5.03 Million, with A Year-on-year Growth of 20.37%

      On 18 March, the National Copyright Administration issued a circular on the national copyright registration in 2020, which showed that the total number of copyright registrations nationwide had reached 5,039,543, an increase of 20.37% over the same period last year.

      There were 3,316,255 registrations for copyright works, representing a year-on-year increase of 22.75%.  The highest number of registrations was for photographic works: 1,510,914, or 45.56% of the total number of registered works; the second highest was for works of art: 1,295,415, or 39.06% of the total number of registered works; the third highest was for written works:  212,797, or 6.42% of the total number of registered works; and the fourth highest was for film and television works: 191,332, or 5.77% of the total number of registered works. The above types of copyright work accounted for 96.81% of the total number of registrations.

      There was a total of 1,722,904 computer software copyright registrations nationwide, representing a year-on-year increase of 16.06.

       

      史上最高赔偿额技术秘密侵权案被判赔1.59亿元

      最高人民法院对嘉兴市中华化工有限责任公司(以下简称“嘉兴中华化工”)等与王龙集团有限公司(以下简称“王龙集团公司”)等侵害技术秘密纠纷上诉案进行宣判,判决被诉侵权人王龙集团公司等赔偿技术秘密权利人1.59亿元。本案涉及的技术秘密是生产香兰素的工艺。香兰素是全球广泛使用的香料,本案原告嘉兴中华化工与上海欣晨新技术有限公司共同研发出生产香兰素的新工艺,并作为技术秘密加以保护。

      嘉兴中华化工前员工傅祥根从王龙集团公司获得报酬后,将嘉兴中华化工对其香兰素生产工艺所享有的技术秘密披露给王龙集团公司监事、宁波王龙科技股份有限公司(以下简称“王龙科技公司”)董事长,并进入王龙科技公司的香兰素车间工作。此后,王龙科技公司开始生产香兰素,并在短时间内即成为全球第三大香兰素制造商。该行为致使嘉兴中华化工市场份额大量削减,给嘉兴中华化工造成严重经济损失,嘉兴中华化工遂向浙江省高级人民法院提起诉讼。一审判决责令被告停止侵权,并向原告赔偿经济损失300万元及合理维权费用50万元。除被告王国军外,本案各方当事人均不服一审判决,故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:首先,本案侵权人有严重的侵权情节、侵权手段比较恶劣,主观故意较明显,且恶性比较强、时间长。其次,本案部分侵权人例如王龙科技公司的成立目的和成立后的经营行为主要是利用他人技术秘密生产香兰素。另外,本案权利人和侵权人两方企业是国内生产香兰素的主要企业。由于侵权人非法获取和使用权利人的技术秘密进入市场,导致权利人产品价格急剧下滑,市场份额也大幅缩减,给权利人造成损失巨大。综上所述,二审法院选择将侵权人侵权行为产生的销售利润做出赔偿数据的计算依据,根据侵权人在2011-2017年期间实际每年销售至少2000吨作为销售量,乘以权利人销售香兰素的价格和利润率,从而得出侵权人侵权行为所产生的销售利润。最终,最高人民法院知识产权法庭判决撤销一审判决,改判上述各侵权人连带赔偿技术秘密权利人1.59亿元(含合理维权费用349万元)。

      China’s Highest Damages Award for Trade Secret Infringement (159 Million Yuan – approx. US$24.3 million)

      The Supreme People's Court (SPC) has ruled in the trade secret action brought by Jiaxing Zhonghua Chemical Co., Ltd. (Jiaxing Zhonghua) and Shanghai Xinchen New Technology Co., Ltd (Xinchen) against Wanglong Group Co., Ltd. (Wanglong Group) and a former Ziaxing Zhonghua employee.  The Court ordered Wanglong Group to pay compensation of 159 million yuan (approx. USD 24.3 million) for trade secret infringement. The trade secret involved related to a process for the production of vanillin, a widely used food additive.  Prior to the infringement, Jiaxing Zhonghua had been the world’s largest vanillin manufacturer.

      Jiaxing Zhonghua and Shanghai Xinchen New Technology Co., Ltd., jointly developed a new process for the production of vanillin and protected it as a trade secret.  A former employee of Jiaxing Zhonghua, Fu Xianggen, subsequently received payment to disclose the trade secret to Wanglong Group and joined a Wanglong company as an employee.  The Wanglong company began to produce vanillin, and in a short time became the world's third largest vanillin manufacturer, reducing Jiaxing Zhonghua’s market share and causing it serious economic loss. Jiaxing Zhonghua filed a lawsuit with the Zhejiang Higher People's Court, which found in its favour and ordered the Defendant to cease the infringement and compensate the Plaintiff for economic loss of RMB 3 million (approx. US$ 458,575) and reasonable costs of RMB 500,000 (approx. USD 76,429). All parties, other than an individual Wanglong director, appealed to the Supreme People's court.

      The IP Court of the Supreme People's Court held: (1) the infringement was serious, the subjective intention of the infringer obvious, the period of infringement long; (2) the purpose of the establishment and operation of the Wanglong company concerned was, essentially, to use other people's trade secrets to produce vanillin; (3) as a result of the infringement, the price of the Plaintiff’s products has declined sharply, and the company’s market share has been greatly reduced, resulting in huge loss. Because the Defendants had refused to submit account books, the Court chose to determine the amount of compensation on the basis of the profits that would have been derived by the Plaintiff, using its pricing and profit margins, on 2,000 tons i.e. the Defendants’ sales volume from 2011 to 2017.

      On this basis, the IP Court of the Supreme People's Court ordered the infringers to pay compensation of RMB 159million (approx. US$ 24.3 million), including reasonable costs of RMB 3.49 million (approx. US$ 533,476).

       

      HTC诉魅族专利侵权 一审判赔354万元

      宏达国际电子股份有限公司(下称宏达公司)发现珠海市魅族科技有限公司(下称魅族公司)、北京市合丰智讯数码科技有限公司(下称北京合丰公司)制造、销售、许诺销售的魅蓝Note5(型号:M621Q)手机中的相关技术落入其第201310032515.5号,名称为“移动装置”的发明专利权,故以专利侵权为由向北京知识产权法院提起诉讼。

      法院经审理认为,涉案产品包含了涉案专利权利要求1的全部技术特征,涉案产品落入了涉案专利权利要求1的保护范围。

      此外,对于赔偿损失的认定,法院综合全案的证据情况,在法定赔偿限额以上合理确定赔偿额,主要考虑了下列因素:1.涉案专利系发明专利,需要投入较大的研发成本,且该专利已实际进入专利实施转化环节,具有较高市场价值;2.涉案魅蓝Note5手机属于魅族公司的热销机型,即使按照魅族公司的实际激活量也超过350万个,销售量大,销售范围广,侵权持续时间长;3.根据魅族公司官网上标注的魅蓝Note5手机售价,计算出其平均售价为人民币1199元;4.涉案产品包含的专利技术非常多,涉案专利仅是涉案产品中的一小部分,确定经济损失数额应当考虑涉案专利的合理技术贡献比例。

      综上所述,法院最终做出一审判决,责令被告立即停止侵权行为,并向原告支付经济损失及其他合理费用共计354万元。

      Meizu Ordered to Compensate HTC 3.54 Million Yuan (approx. US$ 541,119) in First Instance Patent Infringement Judgment 

      HTC Corporation, owner of patent No. 201310032515.5, for a "mobile device”, found that Zhuhai Meizu Technology Co., Ltd. (Meizu) and Beijing Hefeng Zhixun Digital Technology Co., Ltd. (Beijing Hefeng) were manufacturing, offering for sale and selling a mobile phone, the the Meilan note5 (model: m621q), that fell within the scope of its patent.  It brought patent infringement proceedings in the Beijing Intellectual Property Court.

      The Court held that the Defendant’s product contained all the technical features claimed in Claim 1 of the patent and thus fell within the scope of the patent.

      In determining compensation, the Court took account of all the evidence and circumstances of the case: (1). The patent involved is an invention patent.  The invention was the result of a large R&D investment, and had acquired a high market value; (2). The Meilan note5 mobile phone is a popular product. According to Meizu’s actual activation records, more than 3.5 million mobile phones have been sold over a considerable period of time; (3). The average selling price of the Meilan note5 mobile phone is RMB 1199 (approx. US$ 183) according to the price marked on Meizu’s official website.; (4.) HTC Corporation’s patented technology is only one of many patented technologies used in the Meilan note 5 mobile phones.  In determining the amount of economic loss, it is, therefore, necessary to assess the proportion attributable to the HTC technology

      The Court ordered the Defendant to immediately stop the infringement and compensate the Plaintiff for economic loss and other reasonable expenses, totalling RMB 3.54 million (approx. US$ 541,119).

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