News & Cases from China: January 2018

SIPO issues Catalogue of Industries to be given IP Support

The Catalogue, issued on 23 January, identifies 10 key sectors (modern agriculture, new-generation information technology, smart manufacturing, new materials, clean energy & eco-environment protection, modern transport & equipment, advanced marine & space technologies, advanced biotechnology, healthcare and culture) that are being prioritized by the government in terms of IP development and support. Assistance is to be given to departments and local governments in relation to the identification of key factors for IP development and the efficient allocation of IP resources for the purpose of promoting industrial restructuring, upgrading and innovation.

 

国知局:《知识产权重点支持产业目录(2018年本)》

文号:国知发协函字〔2018〕9号

《目录》确定了10个重点产业(现代农业、新一代信息技术产业、智能创造产业、新材料产业、清洁能源和生态环保产业、现代交通技术与装备产业、海洋和空间先进适用技术、先进生物产业、健康产业、文化产业),并细化为62项细分领域,明确了国家重点发展和亟需知识产权支持的重点产业,有利于各部门、地区找准知识产权支撑产业发展中的发力点、高效配置知识产权资源、协同推进产业转型升级和创新发展。

 

First Infringement Case on GUI Design Patents

On 25 December 2017, the Beijing Intellectual Property Court handed down the country’s first decision on a GUI (Graphical User Interface) Design patent.

The design patent concerned was granted for "a computer with a graphical user interface".  Because of the lack of specific rules relating to the infringement of new types of design, the Court applied the current design patent infringement rules and held that what was protected here was the computer with the particular GUI, not the GUI itself.

The Defendant had provided computer optimizing software enabling a graphical interface identical to the Plaintiff’s. The Court, however, considered that software alone does not fall into the scope of protection: the design was for a computer with a particular GUI, not the software alone.  Infringement had not, therefore, been established. 

 

首例图形用户界面外观设计专利侵权案

2017年12月25日,北京知产法院就一例图型用户界面外观设计专利做出判决。

涉案专利为”带图形用户介面的电脑”,属于图型用户界面的产品外观设计。在针对该新类型外观设计并无专门侵权认定规则的情形下,本案仍适用现有的外观设计侵权归责。

被告向用户提供被诉侵权软件, 该软件外化出的界面图像与原告外观设计相同。法院认为因被诉侵权软件并不属于外观设计产品范畴,相应的,其与涉案专利的电脑产品不可能够成相同或相近种类的产品,因此被诉侵权行为不构成对其专利权的直接侵犯。

 

Samsung Ordered to Pay Huawei RMB 80 Million (approx. US$ 12.7 million)

In May 2016, Huawei brought a patent infringement action against Samsung in the Shenzhen Intermediate People's Court, after the two parties had failed to enter into a cross-licensing agreement.

On 11 January 2018, the IP Tribunal of the Shenzhen Intermediate People's Court (the Tribunal) found that Huawei’s two invention patents in dispute were SEP patents i.e. patents a manufacturer needs to produce a standard compliant product. Cross-licensing negotiations had gone on for more than six years between the parties, and the Court found that Samsung had maliciously delayed negotiations, thereby violating the FRAND principle. It, therefore, held that the alleged infringement had been established and ordered Samsung to pay RMB 80 million (approx. US$ 12.7 million) compensation and to stop infringing immediately. Continued manufacture and sales or the promise of sales, was also prohibited.

Samsung has said it will scrutinize the judgment to determine an appropriate response. It has also said that the judgement will not affect its mobile phone sales in China.

Huawei and Samsung have a long history of IP disputes. In 2016, Huawei sued Samsung for invention patent infringement in both US and China (Quanzhou and Shenzhen). Samsung also filed a case against Huawei before the Beijing IP court. In the course of the various actions, Samsung has lost five of its eight disputed patents; only two have been maintained as granted.   So far, Huawei has won both cases in Quanzhou and Shenzhen.

           

华为诉三星侵权一审胜诉

华为、三星拥有很多4G相关的专利,但双方对于交叉许可没能达成书面合作协议。2016年5月,华为向深圳市中级人民法院起诉三星公司。2018年1月11日,深圳中院知识产权法庭认定,涉案的两项发明专利权均为华为所有的标准必要专利。华为与三星进行标准必要专利交叉许可谈判已6年多,期间华为无明显过错。法院组织双方进行调解,三星一直恶意拖延谈判,违反FRAND原则。因此,深圳中院作出一审判决,认定三星构成专利权侵权,向中国华为赔偿8,000万元人民币,并判定三星立即停止侵权,禁止以制造、销售、允诺销售等方式继续销售侵权产品。三星发表声明称,将仔细审查法院的判决,并确定采取何种适当的回应。三星同时表示,该一审判决将不会影响其在中国的手机销售。

华为与三星的知识产权纠纷由来已久,自2016年其华为分别在美国、中国深圳、泉州起诉三星侵犯发明专利。三星亦在北京知识产权法院起诉华为。在相关的专利复审程序中,三星的8件专利大部分被无效,仅两件被全部维持。截至目前,除本案外,华为在泉州法院的案子也获得胜诉。

 

DISCOVERY EXPEDITION -  Trademark Infringement Case

The Plaintiff, Discovery Communications, Inc. (DCI), a famous American documentary media company, launched an outdoor wear and equipment brand: DISCOVERY EXPEDITION. The Defendant, Zhongshan Tansuo (which means ‘exploration’ in Chinese) Company, used the words DISCOVERY ACTIVE on and in relation to similar products.   The Plaintiff sued Tansuo for trade mark infringement and an internet service provider, JD Com, for contributory infringement.

The Court found that Tansuo had infringed the trade mark and that because JD.Com had failed to take reasonable steps to prevent the IP infringements occurring, it was liable for contributory infringement. 

Tansuo was held liable for compensation of RMB 3 million (approx. US$480 000) and JD.Com jointly and severally liable for compensation of RMB 110, 000 (approx. US$17 500)

 

“探索” DISCOVERY EXPEDITION商标案

原告探索传播公司是全球著名的纪实媒体公司,依托于探索频道与户外运动之间的联系,推出了其户外品牌“DISCOVERY EXPEDITION”。被告中山探索公司在其生产的背包、服装等商品上使用了 “DISCOVERY ACTIVE”等标识,构成对原告探索传播公司在第18类和第25类商品上的“DISCOVERY EXPEDITION”商标专用权的侵害,被判赔偿原告300万元。

关于电商平台京东公司的责任承担,合议庭认为,电商平台允许用户开设“旗舰店”类的店铺时,应当尽到合理的注意义务。京东公司设置的品牌旗舰店入驻商家资格的审查规则中,仅要求提交商标申请受理通知,不能视为其尽到了合理注意义务,应当承担帮助侵权责任。