News & Cases from China: August 2019

“九粮液”“九粮春”侵犯五粮液商标专用权 判赔900万元

近日,经最高人民法院再审判决,滨河集团生产、销售“九粮液”“九粮春”等产品的行为被认定侵犯了五粮液对“五粮液”“五粮春”所享有的商标专用权,滨河集团须向五粮液赔偿经济损失900万元。

20027月起,滨河集团就开始在第33类白酒等商品上申请注册了“九粮液”“九粮春”“九粮醇”“九粮王”等商标,与五粮液旗下的“五粮液”“五粮春”“五粮醇”“五粮王”系列商标形式相同。五粮液提起诉讼后,20141月,北京一中院一审判决,认定滨河集团生产、销售“九粮液”“九粮春”酒产品的行为不侵害“五粮液”“五粮春”商标权。五粮液上诉后,被北京高院驳回,维持原判。今年5月底,最高人民法院作出再审判决,认定“九粮液”“九粮春”侵权。

法院认为,滨河集团在产品瓶体及外包装上突出使用“九粮液”“九粮春”等商标字样,特别是“液”“春”等字的书写方式与五粮液公司的产品较为相似。这反映出,滨河集团比较明显地借用他人商标商誉的主观意图。因此,滨河集团生产、销售被诉侵权商品的行为构成对五粮液注册商标专用权的侵害。同时也侵害了五粮醇注册商标专用权。

Wuliangye Group finally succeeds in trademark infringement action against Binhe Group – damages award of 9 Million Yuan (approx. US$1,250,000).

The Wuliangye Group manufactures a well-known Chinese liquor, sold under the trademark ‘Wuliangye’. In 2013, it brought action against the Binhe Group, alleging that its use of the marks ‘Jiulangye’ and ‘Jiuliangchun’ infringed the registered trademarks ‘Wuliangye and Wuliangchun. After being unsuccessful in Beijing’s First Intermediate Court and again on appeal to the Beijing High Court, it applied to the Supreme Court for a re-trial.  The Supreme Court has found in its favour and awarded damages of 9 million Yuna (approx. US$ 1,250,000).   

The Supreme Court held that the Binhe Group’s marks were deceptively similar to those of the Plaintiff.  The similarity had been highlighted by the Group’s method of using the marks, which revealed an intention to take advantage of the Plaintiff’s goodwill.  Given the popularity of the Wuliangye liquor, members of the public were likely to be misled.

 

因不正当竞争 天眼查向企查查索赔500万元

因认为苏州朗动网络科技有限公司运营的“企查查”使用其运营的“天眼查”广告语即“查公司,查老板,查关系”进行宣传,“天眼查”运营商北京金堤科技有限公司将“企查查”运营商苏州朗动网络科技有限公司诉至法院,要求其立即停止侵权并赔偿经济损失520.45万元。

原告北京金堤公司调查发现,苏州朗动在通过媒体发文、电梯间商业广告等途径为自己的产品做宣传时,采用了与“天眼查”整体相似的广告装潢设计,包括同样使用蓝色作为背景色、白色作为广告字体色,广告主画面都是一名自然人配以夸张、迷茫等表情,更重要的是将“查公司,查老板,查关系”这句广告语用在自己的广告宣传中,给其造成了严重的经济损失。原告北京金堤公司认为,苏州朗动直接使用原告巨资宣传投入和长时间使用的广告语,采用相似的广告宣传页面,在广告装潢上整体向其靠拢,本身就违背诚信原则和商业道德,也造成了相关消费者的误认与混淆,获得了本来不应该属于其的竞争优势,是不正当竞争行为,故诉至法院,要求其立即停止侵权,并赔偿经济损失520.45万元。

目前,此案正在进一步审理中。

Tianyancha bring unfair competition action against Qichacha, claiming compensation of 5 Million Yuan (approx. US$ 735.000)

Both Tianyancha (Beijing Jindi Technology Co., Ltd) and Qichacha (Suzhou Langdong Network Technology Co., Ltd) are large business data service companies.  Tianyancha has brought an unfair competition action against Qichacha, claiming that it has used the widely publicized Tianyancha advertising slogan: ‘search the company, search the boss, search the relationship’, together with an advertising design similar to that used by Tianyancha.  It is claiming damages of 5,204 million Yuan (approx. US$ 735,000)

Judgment is awaited.

 

音著协诉斗鱼著作权侵权

因认为斗鱼直播平台的主播冯提莫在直播中未经许可播放歌曲《恋人心》,中国音乐著作权协会(下称音著协)以侵犯著作权为由将平台经营者武汉斗鱼网络科技有限公司(下称斗鱼公司)诉至法院。

北京互联网法院经审理后认为,虽然主播是视频的制作者和上传者,但因为主播并不享有对这些视频的知识产权等,所以根据权利义务相一致的原则,其不应对视频中存在的侵权内容承担侵权责任。而相应的,既然斗鱼公司是这些成果的权利人,享有相关权益,其自然应对因该成果产生的法律后果承担相应责任。在这种情况下,虽然其在获悉涉案视频存在侵权内容后及时删除了相关视频,但也不能就此免责。综上,法院认定,斗鱼公司运营的斗鱼直播平台上载播的涉案直播回看视频中,存在着未经权利人许可播放其音乐作品的内容,构成对著作权人信息网络传播权的侵犯。最终,法院判令斗鱼公司赔偿音著协经济损失2000元及合理支出3200元。

斗鱼公司不服一审判决,向北京知识产权法院提起上诉。北京知识产权法院经审理后认为,斗鱼公司直接提供了包含涉案歌曲《恋人心》的涉案视频,侵犯了音著协享有的信息网络传播权,一审法院对此案认定正确,予以确认并维持原判。

Music Copyright Society of China sues Douyu for Copyright Infringement

Feng Timo, the anchor, or presenter, on the Douyu live streaming platform, played the song ’Lover's Heart’ without the permission of the copyright owner.  The Music Copyright Society of China brought a copyright infringement action against the platform operator Wuhan Douyu Network Technology Co., Ltd. in the Beijing Internet Court.  

The Beijing Internet Court held that, even though Douyu had deleted the relevant video when it was made aware that it contained infringing content, the music had been played without permission and there had, therefore, been an infringement of copyright. It ordered the Douyu Company to compensate the Society for economic loss in the sum of 2,000 yuan (approx. US$ 281) and reasonable costs amounting to 3,200 yuan (approx. US$ 451).

Douyu Company refused to accept the first-instance verdict and appealed to the Beijing Intellectual Property Court. The Beijing Intellectual Property Court upheld the original decision.  The Douyu Company had infringed the information network communication right held by the Music Copyright Society.

 

腾讯诉乐网“拦截视频广告”不正当竞争纠纷

因被告公司运营的一款名为“乐网” 的软件以“拦截视频广告、APP内置广告”、“能拦截恶意烦人的视频广告和弹窗广告”等宣传口号吸引用户。而用户安装该软件后,可以在安卓端完全跳过深圳市腾讯计算机系统有限公司(下称“腾讯”)视频App中节目播放前向用户播放的广告,导致腾讯视频会员和广告收费受损。腾讯以不正当竞争为由将其诉至法院,要求被告公司停止侵权并赔偿500万元。820日,杭州互联网法院通报称已受理该案。

该案并非因拦截广告引发的首个纠纷,国内多家视频网站都曾发起类似诉讼。2018年,乐视就曾以“VIP看电影”软件屏蔽其网站视频广告、提供付费视频作品播放服务的行为构成不正当竞争为由,将软件经营者淮安显承信息技术有限公司诉至法院,并获赔20万元。

Technology giant Tencent brings Unfair Competition action for use of Le Net software to intercept advertisements

The Defendant uses slogans such as ‘blocking video ads, APP built-in ads’; ‘block malicious and annoying video ads and pop-up ads’ to encourage users to use Le Net software. Once the software is installed, it effectively blocks advertisements played on Tencent Video and, as a result, Tencent misses out on revenue from those advertisements.  Tencent has brought an unfair competition action, seeking compensation of 5 million yuan (approx. US$ 700,000). On 20 August, Hangzhou Internet Court accepted the case.

This is not the first dispute that has arisen as a result of the interception of advertisements. Many domestic video websites have initiated similar lawsuits. In 2018, LeTV sued the software operator Huai'an Xiancheng Information Technology Co., Ltd. on the ground that its ’VIP Watching Movies‘ software was blocking video advertisements on its websites.   This was held to constitute unfair competition, and the Court awarded compensation of 200,000 yuan (approx. US$ 28,229.05).