News and Cases from China: May 2018

全国首例杂技作品著作权纠纷案

20184月,全国首例杂技作品著作权纠纷案在北京市西城法院开庭。中国杂技团享有《俏花旦——集体空竹》作品编导著作权,音乐著作权等。被告张硕杂技团的《俏花旦》节目在背景音乐、演员服装、表演动作等方面与原告的《俏花旦-集体空竹》节目相似度90%以上。原告诉称被告行为构成著作权侵权,故将腾讯公司、许昌县广播电视台以及表演单位吴桥县桑园镇张硕杂技团诉至法院,要求赔偿侵权损害赔偿金10万元。

鉴于双方当庭无法达成一致意见,法院未组织调解。该案当庭未宣判。

 

China’s First Copyright Dispute in Relation to a musical work forming part of an acrobatic performance

In April 2018, a copyright infringement dispute brought by The China National Acrobatic Troupe was heard in the Beijing People’s Court.  The Troupe enjoys  copyright in a musical work forming part of its ‘Qiao Hua Dan - Group Diabolo’ performance. The Defendant, Zhang Shuo, created a work that used similar in terms of background music, and in actor costumes and performance details. The Plaintiff claimed that the Defendant had infringed its copyright in the musical work and brought infringement proceedings against Zhang Shuo and the internet service provider Tencent and radio and TV station, Xuchang County Radio and TV Station, which had published the work.  It sought compensation RMB 100,000 (approx. $US 15,311 U.S.).

As the parties were unable to reach an agreement in court, the Court did not organize mediation. A decision is awaited.

 

格力空调诉奥克斯专利侵权 格力一审胜诉

格力于2008年向国家知识产权局申请“一种空调机的室内机”实用新型专利权,并于2009年获得专利授权。格力电器诉称被告宁波奥克斯空调有限公司(下称“奥克斯”)及广州某东贸易有限公司未经许可,生产、销售、许诺销售使用格力电器专利技术的八个型号空调产品,侵犯了格力电器的专利权。2017年广州知识产权法院开庭审理。

20184月底,广州知识产权法院作出一审判决:被诉侵权产品落入原告专利权的保护范围,被告奥克斯侵犯格力的空调技术实用新型专利。法院判令需立刻停售侵权的八个型号空调产品及制造侵权产品的专用模具,并赔偿格力经济损失及维权合理费用4000万元。

 

Gree Electrical Appliances Win Utility Model Patent Infringement action

In 2008, Gree Electrical Appliances Inc. a leading Chinese manufacturer of air conditioners, applied for a utility model patent for an indoor air conditioning unit . The patent was granted by SIPO in 2009. The Defendants, Ningbo AUX IMP.& EXP. Co.,Ltd. (Aux), also a leading Chinese manufacturer of air conditioners,  together with another Guangzhou trading company    produced, sold, and offered for sale eight types of air-conditioner product that Gree claimed made use of its protected technology without permission. Gree commenced patent infringement proceedings in the Guangzhou Intellectual Property Court in 2017.

In April 2018, in a first-instance judgment, the Court held that the Defendant’s products fell within the scope of the Plaintiff’s patent and that the Defendants had, therefore,  infringed Gree's utility model patent. The Court ordered the immediate suspension of sale of the infringing products and use of special moulds for their manufacture.  It also ordered the Defendants to pay compensation and costs of 40 million yuan (approx. $US 6.1 million).

 

把“老子头像”注册为商标 法院驳回:需敬畏传统文化

张某将中国古代思想家老子的形象申请注册商标,后被人提出无效宣告请求。商评委认为将老子的形象注册在烧酒等商品上,有损宗教感情,构成《商标法》规定的不良影响之情形, 故商评委对该商标予以无效宣告。张某不服,诉至法院。日前,北京知识产权法院对该案进行判决,驳回原告的诉讼请求。

法院认为:第一,出于对文化传统、社会公共利益的维护,华夏后世之人应当给予老子以足够尊重和敬畏。第二,在诉争商标图样与大量书籍中的老子画像相同的情况下,即便有部分图书中采用的“老子画像”与诉争商标图样不同,仍可以得出相当数量的消费者足以将诉争商标与老子相对应的结论。因此,将诉争商标注册在酒等商品上,已损害了社会主义道德风尚、具有不良影响,判决驳回原告的诉讼请求。

 

Court Rejects Application to Register Lao Zi Portrait as Trademark

An individual. filed an application to register a portrait of Lao Zi, the ancient Chinese philosopher and writer, as a trademark in relation to alcoholic beverages and was later asked to issue an invalid declaration.  The application was opposed by a third party.

The Trademark Review Board concluded that use of the Lao Zi portrait in relation to alcoholic beverages, including Soju,  would be detrimental to religious feeling;  thus, the mark was unregistrable.  The applicant appealed unsuccessfully to the Beijing Intellectual Property Court, arguing, among other things, that the portrait was not recognizable as a portrait of Lao Zi.

The Court upheld the decision of the Trademark Review Board.  Maintenance of cultural tradition demanded that respect be given to figures such as Lao Zi and the image being used here would be recognized by consumers as a portrait of Lao Zi.

 

浙江首例涉嫌侵犯源代码商业秘密案引关注!

针对宁波驾A网络科技有限公司(驾A公司)举报金某及浙江驾B网络科技有限公司(下称驾B公司)涉嫌侵犯数据库(源代码)商业秘密案件,浙江省宁波市镇海区市场监督管理局进行调查并且发函协调驾B公司在阿里云的情况。该案是浙江省首例涉嫌侵犯数据库(源代码)商业秘密案件。

A公司调查发现:第一,驾A公司法定代表人金某参与组建经营范围相同的驾B公司的行为涉嫌违反商业秘密保护要求,违反保密与竞业禁止协议及反不正当竞争法第九条规定。且驾B公司的“快点学车”平台微信公众号与驾A公司的“驾给我”平台接近相同,同时对其进行了计算机软件著作权登记,并以恶意的低价进行销售。第二,驾B公司使用的微信公众平台内容及数据库(源代码)显示的百度密匙均与驾A公司开发的平台相同。

据此,驾A公司认为驾B公司一方面涉嫌侵犯其数据库(源代码)商业秘密,另一方面,抄袭驾A公司“驾给我”平台微信公众号的著作权,其行为违背诚实信用并存在主观恶意。

 

Zhejiang Province First Database  Source Code Trade Secret Case

In the database (source code) trade secret infringement case between Ningbo Driving A Network Technology Company (company A) and Kim and Zhejiang Driving B Network Technology Company (Company B), the Zhejiang province Zhenhai District Administration for Market Regulation is investigating company B’s activity in the Alibaba Cloud on the basis of evidence produced by Company A. This is the first source code trade secret case in Zhejiang Province.

Company A’s investigation had found: (a) that both the content and a secret key in Company B’s source code were the same as those used by Company A; and (b) Company A’s  legal representative, Kim, had participated in the formation of the company B, which was operating in the same field. It suspected that Kim had disclosed  trade secrets, and breached both a Confidentiality and Non-competition Agreement and Article 9 of the Anti-unfair Competition Law. Further, Company B’s WeChat official accounts platform was almost identical to that of Company A and Company B had registered copyright in computer software similar to that used by Company A and sold the software at a significantly lower price.