CNIPA has issued draft Administrative Measures for the Establishment of Permanent Representative Offices of Foreign Patent Agencies in China (for public comment)
CNIPA, the Chinese National Intellectual Property Administration, has issued draft Administrative Measures for the Establishment of Resident Representative Offices of Foreign Patent Agencies in China, for public comment, setting out the requirements that must be met. These include the following:
(1) the Agency must be legally established abroad；
(2) the Agency must have been in the patent agency business for more than five years, and not breached any relevant law or regulation;
(3) the chief representative of the resident office shall have full capacity for civil conduct and a patent agent qualification. He shall have practiced as a patent agent for no less than two years, and not breached any relevant law or regulation, or any criminal law; and
(4) the Agency must have more than 10 patent attorneys practicing in its own country.
CNIPA Replies to Local IP Administration on Criteria for determining "Intentional Infringement of Intellectual Property Rights"
The Heilongjiang Intellectual Property Administration sought guidance from the CNIPA in relation to the criteria for determining "Intentional Infringement of Intellectual Property Rights”. The main contents of CNIPA’s response are as follows:
The provisions in Intellectual Property legislation introducing punitive, or aggravated, damages refer to “intentional” infringement, which involves a subjective element. They also refer to "aggravating circumstances", which generally concerns the means by which the infringement was carried out and the consequences of the infringement, and does not involve an evaluation of the state of mind of the infringer. In determining "intentional infringement of intellectual property rights", attention should be paid to distinguishing "intentional infringement" and "aggravating circumstances” and avoiding inappropriate overlapping of the two elements.
The Administrative Measure of the State Administration for Market Regulation that establishes this List (the Measure) clearly states, in Article 9, that entities which commit intentional infringement of intellectual property rights and other illegal acts that amount to unfair competition and disrupt the market, shall be included in the list of entities that have engaged in seriously illegal and dishonest acts, provided they have been subject to a heavier administrative penalty.
Unfair Competition Action between Food Delivery Giants - Meituan ordered to pay Ele.me 1 million Yuan (approx. US$156.000) Compensation
Meituan’s “choose one from two” policy is, essentially, an exclusivity arrangement, imposing restrictions on users that also offer take out delivery on other platforms. If it finds that a merchant on its platform is offering services on another platform, it reduces the merchant’s exposure in customer search results and imposes certain penalties. Ele.me considered that Meituan’s behavior was limiting consumers’ choices, harming their interests, and causing substantial damage to Eleme’s operations. It brought an unfair competition action in the Qingdao Intermediate People's Court, seeking orders that the Defendant immediately stop its unfair competition and compensate the Plaintiff for loss and reasonable costs totalling 5 million yuan (approx. US$782,000).
The Court found that Ele.me and Meituan were both operating similar food delivery platforms. The Plaintiff was, therefore, in a direct competitive relationship with the Defendant. Meituan has a dominant position in China’s food delivery industry, with a market share well over 50%; it took advantage of its dominant position to impose restrictions on merchants offering services on another site. That had an adverse effect on both the merchants’ activities and Ele.me’s business. Moreover, it infringed the consumers' right to know, and freely choose, the service they were getting. The Defendant’s actions harmed the rights and interests of the Plaintiff, the merchants, and the consumers, and sabotaged the fair market. It violated the provisions of Article 12, paragraph 2 (4) of the Anti-Unfair Competition Law, and, therefore, constituted unfair competition.
The Court ordered Meituan to compensate Ele.me for economic loss and reasonable costs totaling 1 million yuan (approx. US$156,000). Both parties stated that they would not appeal, and Meituan said it would comply with the court judgment.
Eight People Imprisoned for Infringement of Movie Copyrights
A group of eight people, including Chen, Lin, and Lai, operated various film websites such as "Fastest Resource Network", downloading without authority and distributing a large number of films and television works, including "Wandering Earth" and other popular films that were aired during the Chinese Spring Festival. Foreign gambling advertisements were also displayed on the websites, generating profits as high as 12.5 million yuan (approx. US$2,500,000).
In a first instance judgment, the Shanghai Third Intermediate Court found the eight defendants guilty of the crime of copyright infringement. The principal offender, Chen, was sentenced to four years and six months’ imprisonment and fined RMB 550,000 (approx. US$85,000). The other defendants were sentenced to terms of imprisonment ranging from ten months to two years and ten months.