News & Cases from China: September 2021

Published on 28 Oct 2021 | 5 min read

SPC Releases Details of Anti-monopoly and Anti-unfair Competition Cases Dealt with by Courts

The Supreme People's Court has held a news conference to release details of the anti-monopoly and anti-unfair competition cases dealt with by the people's courts in recent years.

From 2018 to 2020, the national courts received a total of 14,736 unfair competition civil cases (including both first and second instance), of which 13,946 were concluded, an average annual increase of 18%; and a total of 158 anti-monopoly civil cases (including both first and second instance), of which 189 were concluded, i.e. on average, more than 60 concluded cases annually.

From 2008 to 2020, the national courts received a total of 897 anti-monopoly civil cases, of which 844 were concluded. The number of concluded cases rose from six in 2008 to 107 in 2020.

The Court listed ten typical anti-monopoly and anti-unfair competition cases:

  1. Dispute over infringement of technical secrets by "preferred saw"
  2. Dispute over "Biwo" technology secret licensing contract
  3. Unfair competition dispute of "Iqiyi account"
  4. Unfair competition dispute of "Lujinsuo financial service platform"
  5. Unfair competition dispute of "720 browser"
  6. Unfair competition dispute of "Wechat group control"
  7. Unfair competition dispute between Shutui company and Tencent
  8. Dispute over abuse of market dominant position by "water supply company"
  9. Monopoly dispute of "Brick and Tile Association"
  10. Dispute over abuse of market dominant position by Sisvel

 

最高院发布反垄断和反不正当竞争典型案例

日期:2021-09-27

最高人民法院举行新闻发布会,介绍了2018年以来人民法院反垄断和反不正当竞争审判工作情况。 

2018年至2020年,全国法院共新收一、二审不正当竞争民事案件14736件,审结13946件,年均增幅达18%;新收一、二审垄断民事案件158件,审结189件(含旧存),年均审结超60件。

2008年至2020年,全国各级法院受理各类垄断民事案件共计897件,审结844件,年结案量从2008年的6件上升到2020年的107件,12年间增幅达到16.8倍。 

反垄断和反不正当竞争典型案例目录

  1. “优选锯”侵害技术秘密纠纷案

  2.“必沃”技术秘密许可使用合同纠纷案

  3. “爱奇艺账号”不正当竞争纠纷案

  4. “陆金所金融服务平台”不正当竞争纠纷案

  5.“720浏览器”不正当竞争纠纷

  6. “微信群控”不正当竞争纠纷案

  7. 数推公司、谭某不正当竞争纠纷案

  8.“供水公司”滥用市场支配地位纠纷案

  9.“砖瓦协会”垄断纠纷案

  10. 西斯威尔滥用市场支配地位纠纷案

 

 

SAMR Released Proposed Amendments to National E-commerce Law (Draft for Comment)

On 31 August, the State Administration for Market Regulation, SAMR, issued draft amendments to the E-Commerce Law of the People's Republic of China for public comment. The amendments are aimed at strengthening e-commerce laws. The deadline for comment was 14 October 2021.

The proposed amendments relate to only two Articles, 43 and 84, and deal with the following four issues:

The time within which an IP owner must take action after a seller has filed a successful counter-notification has been extended from 15 days to 20 days.  

The second issue relates to the possible losses that may be suffered by the platform operator and adds a mitigation provision: if the business operator using the platform provides a guarantee to compensate it for any loss caused by potential intellectual property infringement, the e-commerce platform operator may temporarily suspend the measures it has taken.

The following provision has been added: if a business operator using the platform falsely declares that it has not infringed, causing the rights-holder’s losses to increase, the liability for compensation is to be doubled.

In Article 84, the legal liability for an e-commerce platform operator’s failure to take necessary measures in relation to IP infringement has been increased:  "if the circumstances are particularly serious, it may be prevented from carrying out relevant e-commerce business activities until its operating license is revoked.”

 

市场监管总局发布《关于修改〈中华人民共和国电子商务法〉的决定(征求意见稿)》

8月31日,市场监管总局发布公告,就《中华人民共和国电子商务法》第四十三条、第八十四条向社会公开征求修改意见,征求意见截止日期为2021年10月14日。 

此次修改主要涵盖以下四个方面: 

一是延长反通知后等待期。将“电子商务平台经营者在转送声明到达知识产权权利人后十五日内,未收到权利人已经投诉或者起诉通知的,应当及时终止所采取的措施”修改为“电子商务平台经营者在转送声明到达知识产权权利人后二十个工作日内,未收到权利人已经投诉或者起诉通知的,应当及时终止所采取的措施。” 

二是考虑到因反通知等待期过长可能造成的交易损失问题,增加一款缓和性规定:平台内经营者提出担保,用于赔偿潜在的知识产权侵权所造成的损失的,则电子商务平台经营者可以暂时中止所采取的措施。 

三是增加一款规定:平台内经营者提交虚假的不存在侵权行为的声明、导致权利人损失扩大的,加倍承担赔偿责任。 

四是在第八十四条电子商务平台经营者对平台内经营者实施侵犯知识产权行为未依法采取必要措施的法律责任中增加“情节特别严重的,有关部门可以限制其开展相关网络经营活动,直至吊销网络经营相关许可证。” 

 

 

BOLON Protected as Well-Known Trademark

In 2014, Shenzhen Huashang United Investment Co., LTD. (Huashang) registered the trademark BOLON (disputed trademark registration) in respect of mobile phones and other goods in Class 9. Xiamen Yarui Optics Co., LTD. (Yarui) filed an application for invalidation of Huashang’s registration on the basis of its pre-existing registration of the mark BOLON in respect of sunglasses and other goods.  The Trademark Review and Appraisal Board found in favour of Yarui and declared the disputed trademark registration invalid. Huashang filed an administrative lawsuit to the Court.

The Beijing Intellectual Property Court held that Huashang’s  BOLON trademark was virtually identical to Yarui’s prior registered trademark in terms of text, pronunciation, and overall appearance.  Further, Yarui’s trademark was well-known in relation to "sunglasses”. The "mobile phones" and other goods in relation to which Huashang’s  trademark had been registered are goods in daily use by the same  consumer groups that use sunglasses and other goods in respect of which Yarui’s mark was registered. The registration of Huashang’s trademark would, therefore, be likely to cause confusion to the relevant public and damage the interests of the trademark owner.  Huashang’s claim was dismissed.

 

“暴龙Bolon”作为驰名商标获得保护

2014年,深圳市华商联合投资有限公司(下称 “华商公司” )申请注册 “BOLON”商标(诉争商标)。厦门雅瑞光学有限公司(以下简称“雅瑞公司”)对该商标提出无效宣告申请,原国家工商行政管理总局商标评审委员会认定雅瑞公司该项主张成立,对诉争商标予以无效宣告。华商公司向法院提起行政诉讼。 

北京知识产权法院认为,诉争商标“Bolon”显著识别性较高,诉争商标与引证商标在文字构成、读音呼叫、整体外观等方面基本相同,已构成对引证商标的复制。同时引证商标在“太阳镜”商品上已构成驰名商标。诉争商标核定使用的“手提电话;电视机;头戴式耳机”等商品属于大众日常消费品,所涉及消费群体与引证商标核定使用的“太阳镜”等商品的消费者重合程度较高。在相关公众熟知引证商标及其“太阳镜”商品,且诉争商标与引证商标标识基本相同的情况下,诉争商标的注册使用足以使相关公众认为其商品的来源或提供者与第三人存在特定联系,从而产生混淆误认导致引证商标的商标权人利益可能受到损害。最终驳回了华商公司诉讼请求。 

 

 

First Patent Infringement case involving protection of a Microorganism:  Shanghai Finc Bio Tech Inc. Wins on Appeal

Shanghai Finc Bio Tech Inc. (Finc company), a research and development, production and marketing enterprise, was the owner of an invention patent (No. 201310030601.2) for a specific strain of edible fungi:  "new pure white hypsizigus marmoreus strain, Finc-W-247". The strain had the advantages of a short cultivation and culture period, a high single yield, a long preservation period, and a high degree of edibility.  It was also suitable for large-area planting.

Finc company found that Tianjin Lvshengpengyuan Agricultural Science and Technology Development Co., Ltd. (Lvshengpengyuan) and Tianjin Hongbin Hesheng Agricultural Technology Development Co., Ltd. (Hongbin Hesheng) were, without authority, producing and selling allegedly infringing products in the Beijing Xinfadii Agricultural products wholesale market.  It brought a patent infringement action in the Beijing Intellectual Property Court.

The Beijing Intellectual Property Court held, on the basis of expert evidence provided by relevant professional institutions, that the allegedly infringing products fell within the scope of the patent involved. The products were identified as those of the Defendants as the outer packaging was marked with the Defendants’ trademarks. The Court ordered Lvshengpengyuan and Hongbinhesheng to pay compensation to Finc company for economic loss in the sum of 1 million yuan for economic loss (approx. US$155,000) and 84,175 yuan (approx. US$13,000) for reasonable expenses. The Defendants appealed to the Supreme People's Court, which upheld the first instance ruling.

 

上海丰科公司诉天津绿圣蓬源侵害发明专利权案获终审判决

上海丰科生物科技股份有限公司(丰科公司)是珍稀食用菌研发、生产及营销企业,其选育出的纯白色真姬菇Finc-W-247具有栽培周期短、单产高、口感好、营养丰富、保鲜期长等优点。丰科公司就此获得专利号为201310030601.2、名称为“纯白色真姬菇菌株”的发明专利权(涉案专利)。丰科公司发现天津绿圣蓬源农业科技开发有限公司(绿圣蓬源公司)、天津鸿滨禾盛农业技术开发有限公司(鸿滨禾盛公司)未经许可生产并在北京新发地农产品批发市场销售涉案专利产品,严重侵犯了涉案专利权,故向北京知识产权法院提起诉讼。 

北京知识产权法院认为,根据专业机构鉴定,被诉侵权产品与涉案专利保藏的样本属于同一种菌株,故被诉侵权产品已经落入涉案专利的保护范围。此外,本案中,在北京风韵来康蔬菜商行购买的被诉侵权产品的外包装箱标有鸿滨禾盛公司的鸿滨商标,贴有绿圣蓬源公司封条,产品内袋包装标有鸿滨商标和绿圣蓬源公司名称。鸿滨禾盛公司虽称被诉侵权产品并非其制造、销售,但并未提交任何证据予以佐证,也未对其商标出现在被控侵权产品上做出合理解释。因此,在案证据可以证明绿圣蓬源公司、鸿滨禾盛公司未经专利权人许可,以经营为目的,实施了制造、销售被诉侵权产品的行为,构成对涉案专利权的侵害,法院最终判令绿圣蓬源公司、鸿滨禾盛各向丰科公司赔偿损失一百万元及合理开支八万四千一百七十五元。 被告不服一审判决,向最高人民法院提出上诉。最高人民法院最终判决驳回上诉,维持原判。

30% Complete
Rouse Editor
Editor
+44 20 7536 4100
Rouse Editor
Editor
+44 20 7536 4100