News & Cases from China: April 2022

Published on 31 May 2022 | 9 minute read

The Supreme People's Court Issues Report on the Protection of Intellectual Property by Chinese Courts in 2021

Publication Date:21 April 2022

On 21 April, the SPC held a press conference during the 2022 intellectual property publicity week and issued a report on the status of the protection of Intellectual Property Rights by Chinese Courts in 2021.  The report set out the achievements in judicial protection of IP rights in the past year, focusing in particular on the following.

During the year, the SPC issued several judicial interpretations, including the Interpretation on the Application of Punitive Damages in the Trial of Intellectual Property Infringement Civil Cases; the Provisions on Several Issues concerning the Application of the Law in Civil Cases relating to applications for Patent Rights in respect of Pharmaceutical Products; and the Several Provisions on the Application of Law in the Trial of Cases relating to Plant Variety Rights Infringement (II), etc., The Interpretations seek to unify adjudication standards, which will help the Courts deal effectively with new problems and challenges that may arise in the field of Intellectual Property.

A total of 642,968 IP-related cases were accepted by the courts, including first and second instance cases as well as retrial cases, and 601,544 cases were concluded (including carried-over cases from last year), representing a year-on-year increase of 22.33% and 14.7% respectively.

The SPC collaborated actively in the work being done to crack down on IP infringement and counterfeiting. It established communication and liaison mechanisms with the CNIPA and the National Anti-monopoly Bureau to facilitate an effective interface between administrative enforcement and the judiciary. In addition, it gave full play to the online litigation and mediation facility jointly established with the CNIPA. Over 20,000 IP cases were assigned to this platform by local courts for pre-litigation mediation.

The SPC also formulated and issued the Plan for Judicial Protection of Intellectual Property by People’s Courts (2021-2025), which defines the goals, tasks, and measures of judicial protection of Intellectual Property Rights for the next five years in China.

Source: https://www.court.gov.cn/upload/file/2022/04/21/16/19/20220421161909_81490.pdf

最高法发布《中国法院知识产权司法保护状况(2021年》

发文日期:2022-04-21

4月21日,最高人民法院举行2022年知识产权宣传周新闻发布会,发布《中国法院知识产权司法保护状况(2021年)》,介绍了过去一年中国法院知识产权司法保护成果,主要体现在以下几方面:

立法方面, 最高人民法院2021年先后发布:《最高人民法院关于审理侵害知识产权民事案件适用惩罚性赔偿的解释》、《最高人民法院关于审理申请注册的药品相关的专利权纠纷民事案件适用法律若干问题的规定》、《最高人民法院关于审理侵害植物新品种权纠纷案件具体应用法律问题的若干规定(二)》等司法解释,以统一裁判标准,应对知识产权领域新问题、新挑战。

案件数据方面, 全国法院2021年新收一审、二审、申请再审等各类知识产权案件642968件,审结601544件(含旧存),比2020年分别上升22.33%和14.71%,均创下历史新高。­­­

协同保护方面,最高人民法院积极参与打击侵权假冒行动,与国家知识产权局、国家反垄断局建立沟通联络机制,推动行政执法和司法审判有效衔接。此外,还充分发挥与国家知识产权局联合建立的在线诉调对接工作机制,各地法院委派诉前调解涉知识产权纠纷案件超过2万件。

最高人民法院2021年还制定出台了《人民法院知识产权司法保护规划(2021-2025年)》,明确了中国知识产权司法保护未来五年的目标、任务和举措。­­

资料来源:最高法  2022-04-21

链接:https://www.court.gov.cn/upload/file/2022/04/21/16/19/20220421161909_81490.pdf

 

China National IP Administration (CNIPA) issues Notice on Continuing to Severely Crack Down on Malicious Trademark Registration

Issued Number: Guo zhi fa ban han zi (2022) No. 54

Publication Date:12 April 2022

Effective Date:12 April 2022

The Notice of the CNIPA on Continuing to Severely Crack Down on the Malicious Registration of Trademarks” (the Notice) states that corresponding agencies and departments will strengthen their actions against malicious trademark hoarding and squatting, the imitation of famous brands, free riding and ‘clout-chasing’ i.e. attempting to earn undeserved fame in various ways. There will be a general crack down on illegal acts that violate good faith and public order or customs or seek to obtain illegitimate rights and disrupt orderly trademark registration.

The Notice lists various types of typical illegal acts that will be focused on:

  1. Malicious squatting i.e., applications for registration of marks that are the same as, or similar to, those used by, or in connection with:

-  important CCP meetings, important theories, scientific assertions, political discourses, etc.

    • national strategies, national policies, major works, major scientific and technological projects, important events with high popularity, important exhibitions, and major archaeological discoveries.

-  major sensitive events or emergencies such as major public health events; or

-  political, economic, cultural, ethnic, religious, and other public figures with high reputation.

  1. The filing of trademark applications that obviously exceed the needs of normal business activities, or where there is no real intention to use.
  2. Copying, imitating, or plagiarizing a large number of trademarks or other commercial marks that are owned by a variety of brand owners and have a certain reputation or strong distinctiveness.
  3. Filing a large number of applications for the registration of marks that are the same as or similar to public cultural resources, administrative division names, common names of goods or services, industrial terms, etc.
  4. Transferring a large number of trademarks to multiple assignees, disrupting orderly trademark registration.
  5. Situations where the trademark agency knows or should know that the client is engaged in the above-mentioned acts, but still accepts the assignment or otherwise acts improperly as a trademark agent.
  6. Other acts that have a significant negative impact on China’s trademark registration management, social public interest, or public order.

国家知识产权局关于持续严厉打击商标恶意注册行为的通知

发文字号:国知发办函字〔2022〕54号

发文日期:2022-04-12

生效日期:2022-04-12

《关于持续严厉打击商标恶意注册行为的通知》(以下简称《通知》)要求强化整治以“囤商标”“傍名牌”“搭便车”“蹭热点”为突出表现的商标恶意囤积和商标恶意抢注行为,重点打击违反诚实信用原则,违背公序良俗,谋取不正当利益,扰乱商标注册秩序的典型违法行为。

《通知》列出十类典型违法行为予重点打击:

(一)恶意抢注与党的重要会议、重要理论、科学论断、政治论述等相同或者近似标志的;

(二)恶意抢注与国家战略、国家政策、重大工程、重大科技项目,具有较高知名度的重要赛事、重要展会、重大考古发现等相同或者近似标志的;

(三)恶意抢注重大公共卫生事件等重大敏感事件、突发事件特有词汇的;

(四)恶意抢注具有较高知名度的政治、经济、文化、民族、宗教等公众人物的姓名的;

(五)商标注册申请数量明显超出正常经营活动需求,缺乏真实使用意图的;

(六)大量复制、摹仿、抄袭多个主体具有一定知名度或者较强显著性的商标或者其他商业标识的;

(七)大量申请注册与公共文化资源、行政区划名称、商品或者服务通用名称、行业术语等相同或者近似标志的;

(八)大量转让商标且受让人较为分散,扰乱商标注册秩序的;

(九)商标代理机构知道或者应当知道委托人从事上述行为,仍接受其委托或者以其他不正当手段扰乱商标代理秩序的;

(十)其他对我国商标注册管理秩序、社会公共利益和公共秩序造成重大消极、负面影响的。

资料来源:国家知识产权局  2022-04-12 https://www.cnipa.gov.cn/art/2022/4/12/art_75_174557.html

 

WYETH LLC and Wyeth (Shanghai) Trading LLC v. Guangzhou Wyeth Maternal and Child Supplies Co, Ltd and Others Trademark Rights and Unfair Competition action Selected as one of the SPC’s Typical IP Cases in 2021

Date:21 April 2022

The SPC has issued the top 10 intellectual property cases and 50 typical intellectual property cases in Chinese courts in 2021.  Of particular note was the selection of the Wyeth LLC trademark infringement case in which the Court made a significant award of punitive damages in favour of a foreign entity.

The American company, Wyeth LLC (‘Wyeth’), a global producer of infant-milk powder, entered the Chinese market in the 1980s and registered the trademarks "惠氏"(Wyeth in Chinese) and the English word ‘Wyeth’. Wyeth (Shanghai) Trading LLC (‘Wyeth Shanghai’) was licensed to use these trademarks, and obliged to protect them, in China. When an unrelated company, The Guangzhou Wyeth Maternal and Child Supplies Co, Ltd.  (‘Guangzhou Wyeth’),  registered the ‘惠氏’ and ‘Wyeth’ trademarks in relation to washing and baby products, Wyeth and its affiliates took legal action against them and succeeded in invalidating the registrations.  Despite that, Guangzhou Wyeth continued to use the marks, deriving huge profits from online stores jointly operated with others.

Wyeth and Wyeth Shanghai then filed a further lawsuit against Guangzhou Wyeth and others. The first-instance court ruled for the Plaintiffs, fully supporting their monetary claims. The Defendants all appealed. The Zhejiang Higher People's Court upheld the previous decision, noting that the Plaintiffs had clearly requested the application of punitive damages.  It held that because of Guangzhou Wyeth’s behavior and the illegal profits that had been proven, and applying the ‘three-time compensation standard’, the sum of 30 million yuan (approx. US$ 4.5 million) proposed by Wyeth and Wyeth Shanghai was appropriate. The appeal was dismissed and the original judgment upheld.

Source: SPC https://www.court.gov.cn/zixun-xiangqing-355881.html

惠氏有限责任公司、惠氏(上海)贸易有限公司与原广州惠氏宝贝母婴用品有限公司等侵害商标权及不正当竞争纠纷案入选最高院典型案例

日期:2022-04-21

最高人民法院发布了2021年中国法院10大知识产权案件和50件典型知识产权案例,惠氏有限责任公司商标权纠纷案入选10大知识产权案例。

惠氏有限责任公司(以下简称惠氏公司)是“惠氏”“Wyeth”等注册商标的权利人,惠氏(上海)贸易有限公司(以下简称惠氏上海公司)经许可在中国使用上述商标并进行维权。原广州惠氏宝贝母婴用品有限公司(以下简称原广州惠氏公司)长期大规模生产、销售带有“惠氏”“Wyeth”“惠氏小狮子”标识的母婴洗护产品等商品,并通过抢注、受让等方式在洗护用品等类别上获得“惠氏”“Wyeth”等商标,在宣传推广中明示或暗示与惠氏公司具有关联关系,并与其他被告以共同经营网上店铺等方式,实施线上线下侵权行为,获利巨大。惠氏公司、惠氏上海公司以原广州惠氏公司等为被告,诉至法院。一审法院认定侵权成立,判决全额支持了惠氏公司、惠氏上海公司的诉讼请求。各被告均不服,提起上诉。浙江省高级人民法院二审认为,惠氏公司、惠氏上海公司明确请求适用惩罚性赔偿,根据在案证据可证明的原广州惠氏公司侵权获利情况,按照赔偿基数的3倍计算,惠氏公司、惠氏上海公司提出的3000万元的诉讼请求应予全额支持。二审法院当庭宣判驳回上诉、维持原判。

案件来源:最高人民法院https://www.court.gov.cn/zixun-xiangqing-355881.html

 

Beijing IP Court Hears China's First Patent Linkage Case

Date:15 April 2022

In the first drug patent linkage litigation case in China since the implementation of the new Patent Law, Chugai Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd (‘Chugai Pharma’) v. Wenzhou Haihe Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd (‘Haihe Pharma’), the Beijing Intellectual Property Court held that the generic drug involved did not fall within the scope of protection of the Plaintiff’s patent. (Patent linkage refers to the relationship between the market approval for a generic drug and the patent status of its branded equivalent.)

The Plaintiff, Chugai Pharma, was the owner of a patent (No. 200580009877.6 ) for the ED-71 preparation, a pharmaceutical preparation that inhibits certain activity in the Vitamin D analogue, E-71.  It was also the holder of a marketing authorization for "Eldecalcitol Soft Capsules", approved for the treatment of Osteoporosis.

When it registered the above-mentioned patent and pharmaceutical product on the Chinese Marketed Drug Patent Information Record Platform, it found that the Defendant, Haihe Pharma, had applied to the national medical products administration for a marketing authorization in relation to a generic drug: "Eldecalcitol Soft Capsules" and made a Category 4.2 statement on the Chinese Marketed Drug Patent Information Record Platform to the effect that its generic drug did not fall within the protection scope of any relevant patent right. Chugai Pharma commenced proceedings in the Beijing Intellectual Property Court, requesting confirmation that the Defendant’s generic drug "Eldecalcitol Soft Capsules" fell within the scope of its patent.

After trial, the Court held that the technical solution used in the generic drug involved in this case was neither the same as nor equivalent to the technical solution in Claim 1 of the Plaintiff’s patent; therefore, the generic drug did not fall within the scope of Claim 1 of the patent.  As Claims 2-6 are subordinate claims to Claim 1, it could not fall within the scope of those claims either. Accordingly, the Court did not support the Plaintiff's claim.

Source: https://www.zhichanli.com/newsflashes/307571397

北京知识产权法院审理全国首例药品专利链接诉讼案件

日期:2022-04-15

近日,中外制药株式会社(以下简称“中外制药”)诉温州海鹤药业有限公司(以下简称“海鹤药业”)专利权保护范围纠纷案一审宣判,北京知识产权法院经审理认为,涉案仿制药并未落入涉案专利权的保护范围,判决驳回原告的诉讼请求。该案为新《专利法》实施以来全国首例药品专利链接诉讼案件。

该案中,原告中外制药系第200580009877.6号,名为“ED-71制剂的专利权人,也是相关上市专利药品“艾地骨化醇软胶囊”的上市许可持有人,原告就上述药品和涉案专利登记在中国上市药品专利信息登记平台。原告发现,被告海鹤药业向国家药监部门申请注册了名称为“艾地骨化醇软胶囊”的仿制药上市许可申请,还在中国上市药品专利信息登记平台就上述仿制药作出了第4.2类声明,声明其仿制药未落入相关专利权保护范围。原告向北京知识产权法院提起诉讼,请求确认被告申请注册的仿制药“艾地骨化醇软胶囊”落入涉案专利的保护范围。

法院经审理认为,涉案仿制药使用的技术方案与涉案专利权利要求1的技术方案既不相同,亦不等同,故该技术方案未落入涉案专利权利要求1的保护范围;权利要求2-6为权利要求1的从属权利要求,在涉案仿制药的技术方案未落入权利要求1的保护范围的情况下,其亦不落入权利要求2-6的保护范围。据此,法院对原告的主张不予支持。

案件来源:知产力  https://www.zhichanli.com/newsflashes/307571397

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