CNIPA releases Evaluation Report on China's Intellectual Property Development in 2019
According to the Evaluation Report on China's Intellectual Property Development in 2019, recently released by the Intellectual Property Development Research Department of CNIPA, China's domestic intellectual property has developed significantly since implementation of the national intellectual property strategy. From the perspective of regional development, the top six regions listed in the 2019 comprehensive intellectual property development index are: Guangdong, Shanghai, Jiangsu, Beijing, Zhejiang and Shandong. From an international perspective, among the forty sample countries, China's Index for Intellectual Property Development jumped from 20th in 2014 to 8th in 2018.
The rapid growth of the various indexes in the report actually reflects the remarkable achievements China has made in these areas. In 2019, the number of domestic invention patents granted in China was 4.8 times greater than it had been in 2010; and the number of trademark registrations 5.2 times greater. The number of domestic copyright registrations granted in 2019 was 4.186 million, 9.5 greater than it had been in 2010; the number of PCT international patent applications accepted by China, 4.8 times greater than it had been in 2010; and the number of Madrid trademark international registration applications 3.4 times greater than it had been in 2010.
The IP creation index in the report shows that creativity has developed significantly, while other indexes note the increased ability of domestic market entities to make use of intellectual property rights, and the increases in the general level of IP utilisation and commercialisation. In 2018, the added value of national patent-intensive industries reached CNY 10.7 trillion yuan (approx. US$ 1.6trillion), accounting for 11.6% of GDP, and the added value of the copyright industry accounted for 7.37% of GDP, an increase of 0.8% compared to 2010.
Although the report shows a favourable development trend in terms of national intellectual property protection, it also reveals the need for further improvement. Strengthening the intellectual property system and improving the market environment will remain a focus for the future development of national intellectual property.
Heifei Administrative Authority Fines Entertainment Company 20 million Yuan for Infringing "Shanghai Beach" Registered Trade Mark
Last year, Hefei Huibin Entertainment Management Co., Ltd. (Huibin), which operated the 'Shanghai Beach' nightclub in Yaohai District, Hefei, was fined CNY 20 million (approx. US$ 3million) by the Yaohai district market regulation administration for illegal use of the trademark 'Shanghai Beach'. Recently, the administration issued a "Reminder for the Implementation of Administrative Penalty Decisions" requesting the company to pay the fine within the deadline.
Pursuant to Article 60(2) of the China Trademark law, a trademark owner can commence infringement proceedings or request the relevant administrative department for industry and commerce to address an alleged infringement. Where an administrative department holds that there is infringement, it orders the infringing party to cease the infringement and imposes a fine, calculated on the basis of illegal revenue as set out in the article. In this case, the owner of the 'Shanghai Beach' trademark made an appropriate request to the Yaohai district market regulation administration.
Huibin opened its 'Shanghai Beach' entertainment nightclub on 6 June 2016. In addition to using the 'Shanghai Beach Entertainment Club' plaque on the south side of the third floor of the hotel's podium and the 'Shanghai Beach' text and graphics at the front of the hotel's podium and at the reception on the third floor, Huibin made use of a large number of Shanghai Beach Consumption Details Cards throughout the whole company. On 3 May 2019, the officers of the administrative authority found that Huibin had infringed the trade mark and they imposed a fine of CNY 20 million (approx. US$ 3million, based on the company's declaration that its value-added tax income for the period 1 October 2017 to 20 March 2019 was CNY 6,578,156.76 (approx. US$987,904.06). Huibin had, however, failed to provide the administration with income schedules and other relevant materials for the period 1 April 2016 to 30 September 2017, and had not paid the relevant fine within the deadline set by the authority.
腾讯诉挂机刷量平台不 正当竞争案一审获赔 2000万
Tencent Awarded CNY 20 Million Compensation (approx. US$ 3 million) in Unfair Competition Action against Click Farming Platforms
Tencent Technology (Shenzhen) Co., Ltd. (Tencent) brought an unfair competition action against a click farming company Shenzhen Weishikong Information Technology Co., Ltd. (Weishikong) and its legal representative, for inflating viewing figures on WeChat official accounts. Tencent claimed that such behaviour seriously damaged the WeChat ecosystem, and constituted unfair competition.
The Shenzhen Intermediate People's Court held that both the Plaintiff and the Defendants are engaged in software development and services around WeChat, and are in a competitive relationship under the Anti-unfair Competition Law. Weishikong had engaged in false propaganda such as " You can easily earn 100 yuan a day with a WeChat alternative account (Alt) " and "1 yuan withdraws to the account in seconds". It paid WeChat users to record 'likes' and favourable comments etc. in order to boost traffic to these particular WeChat accounts. This constituted unfair competition by "engaging in false commercial promotion" and " hindering and disrupting the normal operation of Tencent's cyber products and services".
The Court ordered the Defendants to compensate Tencent for economic loss in the sum of CNY 20 million yuan (approx. US$ 3million) and other reasonable expenses amounting to CNY 500,000 yuan (approx. US$ 64,515.80).
Baidu Wins Unfair Competition Dispute Relating to Online Document Download Services
Beijing Baidu Netcom Science and Technology Co., Ltd. (Baidu) operates Baidu Wenku, a portal for users to upload and share files and books, some of which can only be downloaded by paying download vouchers or fees. Suzhou Mengxiyou Network Technology Co., Ltd. (Mengxiyou) enabled users to download the material, without payment, by means of plug-in units or other technical measures. Baidu claimed that this amounted to unfair competition resulting in serious economic loss. It brought an unfair competition action against Mengxiyou in the Beijing Haidian District Court.
The Court held that Baidu's operating resources, which included both Baidu Wenku users and the documents available for downloading, as well as its operating income, market share and competitive advantage which had been accumulated through legal operations, should be protected under the Anti-unfair Competition Law.
Mengxiyou's behaviour damaged the normal operation of Baidu Wenku. Mengxiyou had knowingly used illegal covert technical means to derive profits at Baidu's expense, thereby weakening Baidu's competitive advantage and reducing its value-added income. Mengxiyou's behaviour damaged Baidu Wenku's normal operation and constituted unfair competition.
As there was no evidence to establish Baidu's actual loss or the illegal profit gained by Mengxiyou, the Court considered various factors and ordered Mengxiyou to pay economic compensation of CNY 2 million yuan (approx. US$ 300,000) and reasonable expenses of CNY 30,000 yuan (approx. US$ 4,507.89) to Baidu company.
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