News & Cases from China: April 2019

 

百度与今日头条双方互诉侵权索赔9000万元巨额赔偿

4月26日,百度公司与今日头条分别以不正当竞争为由,将对方诉至法院,索赔额均为9000万元。百度公司认为,“今日头条”客户端提供搜索服务应当依靠自己的搜索软件系统进行网页搜集,建立自己的网页索引数据库,其大量盗用百度的搜索结果并直接展示,构成对百度“TOP1产品”的实质性替代,其行为已经构成不正当竞争。据此请求法院判令字节跳动公司立即停止涉案侵权行为,赔偿经济损失及合理支出9000万元,并在今日头条手机客户端及其网站首页连续道歉30天。

Tech giants Baidu and Bytedance in Unfair Competition battle

On 26 April, Baidu, China’s leading search engine, brought an unfair competition action against Bytedance, one of its major competitors, claiming damages of 90 million yuan (approx. US$13 million) and a published apology. Baidu claimed that Bytedance’s news feed app, Jinri Toutiao, had stolen search results produced by its Top1 search product.   

A few hours later, Bytedance filed a counter-lawsuit against Baidu, claiming that Baidu had stolen videos from its Douyin app (the Chinese market equivalent of TikTok), and seeking remedies similar to those being sought by Baidu. 

 

全国首例广告使用短视频侵害著作权案在海淀法院审结

刘先生因认为自己创作的2分钟短视频被擅用进行广告宣传,以侵害著作权为由将微信公众号及微博账号“一条”的运营商上海一条网络科技有限公司诉至法院,要求其赔偿经济损失100万元及合理开支3.8万元。4月26日,海淀法院审结了此案。法院判决一条公司赔礼道歉并赔偿经济损失及合理开支50万余元。据悉,该案系全国首例广告使用短视频侵害著作权案,也是迄今为止单个短视频判赔金额最高的著作权维权案。

法院经审理后认为,涉案视频是由拍摄者使用专业摄像设备拍摄,并将多个拍摄素材剪辑组合而成。视频的拍摄和剪辑体现了创作者的智力成果,涉案视频虽时长较短,但属于具有独创性的类电作品。刘先生提交的相关证据,可以认定其系涉案视频的作者,享有涉案视频的著作权。此外,在案证据不足以证明一条公司使用涉案视频获得了刘先生的授权,刘先生要求一条公司赔礼道歉、赔偿经济损失及合理开支的诉讼请求,法院予以支持。

Beijing Haidian District Court Rules in Copyright Infringement case involving Short Advertising Video

Mr. Liu, claiming to be the owner of copyright in a short advertising video, sued Shanghai Yitiao Network Technology Co. Ltd, (Yitiao) for copyright infringement, claiming compensation for economic loss in the sum of 1 million yuan (approx. US$145,000) and reasonable expenses of 38,000 yuan (approx. 5,520 USD).  Yitiao is a video-focused content producer and one of the top WeChat Official Accounts.

On 26 April, the Beijing Haidian District Court concluded the case, ruling that Yitiao publish an apology and compensate Liu for economic loss and reasonable expenses of more than 500,000 yuan (approx. US$72,632). It has been reported that the case is the first case relating to the infringement of copyright in a short video used in an advertisement, and the highest level of compensation awarded in relation to a single short video. 

The Court held that the alleged video was produced by a photographer with a professional camera device and combined multiple shooting clips. The filming and editing of the video embodied the intellectual achievements of the creator. Although the video was short, it constituted an original work created using methods similar to film making. The relevant evidence submitted by Mr. Liu established that he was the author of the video and entitled to copyright protection. There was insufficient evidence to establish that Yitiao had obtained Mr. Liu's authorization. Therefore, the Court ruled in the Plaintiff’s favour and ordered Yitiao to apologise and compensate the Plaintiff for economic loss and reasonable expenses.

 

最高法知识产权法庭第一案当庭宣判

2019年3月27日上午,最高人民法院知识产权法庭公开开庭审理上诉人厦门卢卡斯汽车配件有限公司、厦门富可汽车配件有限公司与被上诉人瓦莱奥清洗系统公司、原审被告陈少强侵害发明专利权纠纷一案。这是最高人民法院知识产权法庭于2019年1月1日正式成立以来公开开庭审理的第一起案件。

原告法国瓦莱奥公司系名称为“机动车辆的刮水器的连接器及相应的连接装置”的专利权人。其向上海知识产权法院起诉称,被告公司未经许可制造、销售、许诺销售的雨刮器产品落入其专利权保护范围,请求判令被告停止侵权,赔偿损失及制止侵权的合理开支暂计600万元。被告不服原审败诉,向最高人民法院提起上诉,请求改判驳回原告关于停止侵权的诉讼请求。最高人民法院知识产权法院合议庭经审理认为,被诉侵权产品具备涉案专利权利要求1的全部技术特征,落入涉案专利权的保护范围,被告的行为构成侵权,应当承担停止侵害的法律责任。此案件涉及到外国当事人,这个判决向全世界彰显了中国的知识产权司法保护制度对于所有知识产权权利人一视同仁,体现了中国司法知识产权保护相关规定充分贯彻国际条约所要求的国民待遇原则。

Intellectual Property Court of China’s Supreme People’s Court Concludes its first case

China's first national-level Intellectual Property Court, established on 1 January 2019, has heard its first case: a patent infringement action between Valeo Systemes d’Essuyage (Valeo Systemes), one of the world’s leading auto component providers, and three Chinese companies.  Valeo Systemes claimed infringement of its patent for ‘motor vehicle windscreen wiper and corresponding connecting devices’

Valeo Systemes had succeeded at first instance before the Shanghai IP Court; the Defendants had appealed to the IP Court of the Supreme Court.

The IP Court held that the Defendants’ products fell within the scope of claim 1, and, therefore, infringed.

The verdict shows a willingness on the part of the Chinese intellectual property judicial protection system to treat all intellectual property rights holders equally, and reflects the intention of Chinese intellectual property laws to fully implement the national treatment principle required by International Treaties.

 

以”反法”认定汽车外观侵权首例 捷豹路虎告江铃抄袭侵权案胜诉

2019年3月13日,北京市朝阳区人民法院对原告捷豹路虎有限公司诉被告江铃控股有限公司、北京达畅陆风汽车销售有限公司不正当竞争纠纷案及侵害著作权纠纷案两案作出一审判决。

在不正当竞争纠纷案中,朝阳法院判决江铃公司立即停止涉案不正当竞争行为,包括生产、展示、预售和销售产品名称为“陆风X7”的汽车的行为,消除影响并赔偿捷豹路虎公司经济损失及合理费用合计150万元;达畅陆风公司立即停止涉案不正当竞争行为,包括停止展示、预售和销售侵权产品的行为。朝阳法院审理认为,路虎品牌的“揽胜极光”实车与江铃品牌的“陆风X7”汽车实车对比,两者在车身比例、车身上半部分侧面外轮廓、侧面线条及主要特征线,以及前、后面外轮廓等方面均基本相同。江铃公司的涉案行为已违反2017年反不正当竞争法第六条第(一)项规定,构成了擅自使用与他人有一定影响的商品装潢相同或近似的标识的不正当竞争行为,引起了市场混淆,损害了捷豹路虎公司的合法利益和商业信誉。

在侵害著作权纠纷案中,朝阳法院未支持捷豹路虎公司认为江铃公司和达畅陆风公司涉案行为侵害其作品著作权的主张,驳回了捷豹路虎公司的诉讼请求。

First Court Win in Unfair Competition Action for Car Design in China

On 13 March 2019, in an action brought by Jaguar Land Rover (‘JLR’), the Beijing Chaoyang District Court determined that Jiangling Motors (“JM”) had engaged in unfair competition.

The Court held that the design of JLR’s Land Rover Evoque had acquired a reputation and that the design of JM’s Land Wind X7 was sufficiently similar to potentially confuse the relevant public. The Defendant was ordered to stop manufacturing, marketing and selling i vehicles to this design, and to pay damages of RMB 1.5 million (approx. US$ 220,588).

JLR had simultaneously filed a copyright lawsuit in relation to the same design, but the court dismissed that claim.

This is a landmark case in that it is the first successful unfair competition claim relating to a car design in China. Up till now, there have only been successful unfair competition cases in relation to other products, such as luxury goods, wine bottles and industrial machines. This case may be particularly significant for car makers whose design patent is  no longer valid or at risk of invalidation.  More generally, it may be helpful in suggesting an alternative means of protecting car designs..