News & Cases from China: January 2020

 

腾讯机器人Dreamwriter撰写文章获著作权保护

近日,深圳市南山区人民法院率先判决认定AI生成作品属于著作权法保护范围。这一由腾讯公司状告“网贷之家”未经授权许可,抄袭腾讯机器人Dreamwriter撰写文章的案件,为人工智能写作领域第一案,以腾讯公司胜诉告终。

Dreamwrite是腾讯公司自主开发的一套基于数据和算法的智能写作辅助系统,是满足规模化和个性化内容业务需求的高效助手。涉案作品为2018年8月20日,由Dreamwriter智能写作助手创作完成的《午评:沪指小幅上涨0.11%报2671.93点通信运营、石油开采等板块领涨》财经报道文章,Dreamwriter软件在大量采集并分析股市财经类文章的文字结构,不同类型股民读者的需求的基础上,根据主创人员独特的表达意愿形成文章结构,并利用收集的股市历史数据和实时收集的当日上午的股市数据,于股市结束的2分钟内完成写作并发表,文章末尾注明“本文由腾讯机器人Dreamwriter自动撰写”。

法院审理认为,从涉案文章的外在表现形式与生成过程来分析,此文的特定表现形式及其源于创作者个性化的选择与安排,并由Dreamwriter软件在技术上“生成”的创作过程均满足著作权法对文字作品的保护条件,属于我国著作权法所保护的文字作品。

法院同时认为,涉案文章是由原告主持的多团队、多人分工形成的整体智力创作完成了作品,整体体现原告对于发布股评综述类文章的需求和意图,是原告主持创作的法人作品。法院最终认定,被告未经许可,在其经营的网贷之家网站上向公众提供被诉侵权文章内容,供公众在选定的时间、选定的地点获得的行为,侵害了原告享有的信息网络传播权,应承担相应的民事责任。鉴于被告已经删除侵权作品,法院判定被告赔偿原告经济损失及合理的维权费用人民币1500元。

Tencent Wins Copyright Infringement Action in relation to AI-Generated Work

Recently, a judgment issued by the People’s Court of Nanshan District of Shenzhen took the lead in the debate in relation to copyright protection and AI generated works, when it held that Tencent’s AI generated work was capable of protection.   Tencent Technology Company Ltd had sued the ‘Internet Loan House’ for having copied, without authorization, articles written by Tencent’s robot Dreamwriter. 

Dreamwriter was a data and algorithm-based intelligent writing assistant system, independently developed by Tencent, that produced articles and reports that enabled Tencent to meet the demand for customized business and financial content. The work in question was a financial report entitled ‘Midday Review: Shanghai Index Rose slightly by 0.11% to 2691.93 Points, led by Telecommunications Operations, Oil Extraction and other Sectors’ that had been produced by Dreamwriter on 20 August 2018. The work was created on the basis of a large quantity of collected data and analysis of both the stock market and shareholder readers’ demands. The report also relied on both historical stock market data and real-time data.  It was finished and published within two minutes of the stock market closing. The following notice appeared at the end of the report:   "This article was automatically written by Tencent robot Dreamwriter".

After analysing the external expression and generation process of the works involved, the Court held that technically the report had been ‘generated’ by the Dreamwriter software, which constituted an original written work for the purposes of the Copyright Law, and was entitled to copyright protection.  The software had been created bymultiple teams organized and directed by Tencent and was, thus, the work of legal persons.

In making the report available on its website, the Defendant had infringed Tencent’s  right of information network dissemination, but because the infringing material had been deleted immediately the economic loss was minimal.   The Defendant was ordered to delete the infringing works and compensate Tencent for economic loss in the sum of RMB 1,500 (approx. US$ 213) in reasonable enforcement costs.

 

《全民枪战》被判侵犯《穿越火线》游戏地图著作权,腾讯一审获赔4500万余元

《穿越火线》是韩国笑门公司开发的一款第一人称射击的网络游戏,腾讯拥有中国大陆独家代理运营权。《全民枪战》是畅游云端(北京)科技有限公司(下称畅游云端公司)开发的一款手机网络游戏。英雄互娱科技股份有限公司(下称英雄互娱公司)等为《全民枪战》提供推广、下载、收款等服务。

腾讯公司起诉称,《全民枪战》中的多个游戏地图、小地图及多个道具枪械的美术形象与《穿越火线》在运行结构、布局设置、色彩搭配、造型设计等方面相同或实质性相似;名称相同或高度相似,并且其承载的玩法设计也相同,涉嫌侵犯其享有的《穿越火线》游戏著作权,遂将开发、运营《全民枪战》的7家公司诉诸法院,要求停止侵权,赔礼道歉。

深圳中院审理认为,游戏场景地图的整体构图、内部组合结构和布局安排,不仅属于游戏地图的基本表达,更是核心表达。法院分三步确认被控侵权游戏地图的“核心表达”与权利人作品的“核心表达”是否构成实质性相似:

1、确定两部作品的相似部分;2、遴选出相似部分的独创性表达;3、相似的独创性表达能否构成作品的基本表达。

深圳中院在比对过程中,关注作品相应元素的位置关系,以玩家的视角识别和比对作品;综合考虑了游戏地图对FPS游戏的贡献率问题、涉案的6幅侵权地图对总的游戏地图贡献率,以及《全民枪战》充值收入、财务报告等中披露的净利润数等相关数据,最终判定赔偿4524.79万余元。据此,深圳中院判决七被告立即停止侵害腾讯公司享有独占许可使用权的《穿越火线》游戏6幅游戏地图的行为;被告畅游云端公司、英雄互娱公司赔偿4524.79万余元;天津英雄互娱公司、奇乐公司承担其中500万的连带赔偿责任;北京卓越晨星公司、天津卓越星辰公司承担其中300万的连带赔偿责任。

Tencent Awarded RMB 45 Million (approx. US$ 6,5 million) for Infringement of Copyright Infringement in its CROSSFIRE Game Map

CROSSFIRE is an online FPS (First Person Shooter) game developed by the Korean company named Smilegate. FPS games are video games based on gun, or other weapon-based, combat where the player experiences the action through the eyes of the shooter. Tencent had the exclusive licence in mainland China.   

NATIONAL SHOOTOUT is a mobile online game developed by Gwebtop (Beijing) Technology Co., Ltd. (Gwebtop) and Hero Entertainment Co. Ltd. (Hero Entertainment) provides certain services in relation to the game. 

Tencent alleged that NATIONAL SHOOTOUT contains various game map and other images identical with or substantially similar to images in CROSSFIRE and that it reproduces other aspects including the operating structure, layout settings, and color matching, and makes use of the same or highly similar names, The gameplay design is also the same. It sued seven companies involved in the development and operation of NATIONAL SHOOTOUT, seeking remedies for copyright infringement, including  an apology and compensation for economic loss.

The Shenzhen Intermediate People's Court held that the overall composition, internal structure, and layout of the game scene maps were not only the ‘core expression’ of the game maps, but also of the game itself. Whether the ‘core expression’ of the allegedly infringing game maps and the ‘core expression’ of the rights holder's work are substantially similar, was determined by the Court through the ‘three-step methodology’. The first step was to identify similar content in the two works. The second step was to determine the originality of that conten.. The third step was to determine whether the similar content constituted the ‘core expression’ of the work.  

During the comparison process, the Shenzhen Intermediate People's Court paid attention to the positioning of corresponding elements of the works, and identified and compared the works from the perspective of the game players. It considered in detail the problem of the contribution the game maps made to the overall CROSSFIRE game, the contribution made by the six allegedly infringing maps to all the game maps, the recharge income of the NATIONAL SHOOTOUT and the net profit disclosed by financial reports, etc. On this basis, the amount of compensation was fixed at CNY 45,247,900 (approx. US$ 6,451,727). The seven defendants were ordered to immediately cease the infringement; Gwebtop and Hero Entertainment  were ordered to pay compensation of  CNY 45,249,000 (approx. US$ 6,451,884); Tianjin Hero Entertainment and Shenzhen Qile were ordered to pay jointly compensation of CNY 5,000,000 (approx. US$ 712,931); and Beijing Zhuoyue Xingchen and Tianjin Zhuoyue Xingchen were ordered to pay jointly and severally compensation of CNY 3,000,000 (approx. US$ 427,758).

 

小米适用惩罚性赔偿获赔5000万元

中山奔腾电器有限公司(中山奔腾)在2011年提交注册申请的第10224020号“小米生活”商标(涉案商标)成为小米科技有限责任公司(小米)进行商标布局的权利障碍,其多件“小米”商标因被认定与该商标构成近似被驳回了注册申请。中山奔腾注册了“小米生活电器。com”与“xiaomi668.com”域名,中山独领风骚生活电器有限公司(原名中山米家生活电器有限公司,下称独领风骚公司)获得授权将该域名用于其电子商务网站经营。

中山奔腾申请注册了近百件商标,其中既包括以“生活小米”“小米生活”“MILIFE“智米米家”“智米生活”等标志在不同类别上提出的注册申请,也有以“盖乐世”“百事可乐PAPSIPAPNE”“威猛先生WEIMENG”等标志提出的商标注册申请。

小米将中山奔腾、独领风骚公司等被告起诉至南京市中级人民法院,法院认为涉案商标在中山奔腾申请注册时已构成驰名商标,被告未经原告许可在电磁炉等产品上使用与涉案商标近似的标识,构成商标侵权,被告使用“小米生活一—为品质而生”“我们只做生活电器中的艺术品”宣传语及橙白配色,是引人误解的虚假宣传行为,构成不正当竞争。被告侵权行为具有极为明显的恶意,情节极为恶劣,所造成的后果亦十分严重,适用惩罚性赔偿,对原告主张的经济损失5000万元及为制止被告的侵权行为的合理支出费用41.4198万元的诉讼请求予以全额支持。江苏省高级人民法院二审认为本案符合惩罚性赔偿的适用条件,确定以侵权获利额为赔偿基数,按照3倍酌定该案损害赔偿额,对原告的赔偿5000万元及41.4198万元合理支出的诉讼请求予以全额支持。

Xiaomi Awarded Punitive Damages and Compensated 500 Million Yuan

In 2011, Zhongshan Povos Appliances Co., Ltd ( ‘Zhongshan Povos’) applied to register the trademark ‘Xiaomi Life’ (Application No. 10224020).  Xiaomi is a well-known Chinese electronics company, fourth after Apple, Samsung and Huawei, and the Xiaomi mark is well-known.  Prior to 2011, Xiaomi had registered a series of "小米"trademarks and ‘Xiaomi’ constituted a well-known mark. 

A number of Xiaomi's later trademark applications were rejected for registration on the basis that they were too similar to Zhongshan Povos’s trademark. .

As well as applying to register ‘Xiaomi Life’, Zhongshan Povos had filed nearly a hundred applications for the registration of well-known trademarks, among which were registration applications filed in different categories with signs such as “生活小米”, “MILIFE”, “智米米家”, “智米生活” ,and trademark registration applications such as "盖乐世", "百事可乐PAPSIPAPNE "and” 威猛先生WEIMENG”. 

Xiaomi brought a trademark infringement action against Zhongshan Povos and Zhongshan Duling Fengshao Life Electric Co., Ltd. and other defendants in the People's Court of Nanjing City, Jiangsu Province. The Court held that, at the time Zhongshan Povos filed its application, ‘Xiaomi’ constituted a well-known trademark. The two Defendants had used, without permission, a label similar to the Plaintiff’s trademark in relation to induction cookers and other products, thereby infringing Xiaomi’s trademark.

The Defendants also used the slogan "Xiaomi Life is born for quality", "We only do art in living appliances" and orange and white color schemes, similar to the color scheme used by Xiaomi, which constituted misleading and false publicity and constituted unfair competition. As the Defendants’ infringement had been undertaken with obvious malice and had very serious consequences, the punitive damages system was applicable to this case. The Court fully supported the Plaintiff's claim for economic loss in the amount of CNY 500,000,000 (approx. US$ 71,307,348) and  reasonable expenses of CNY 414,198 (approx. US$ 59,058)  

The Defendants appealed to the Higher People's Court of Jiangsu province, which held that the case met the requirements for the award of punitive damages.  The profit made as a result of the infringement was the appropriate basis of compensation, and punitive damages was three times the compensation base. The Court fully supported the Plaintiff's claim for compensation of CNY 500,000,000 (approx. US$ 71,307,348) and reasonable expenses of CNY 414,198 (approx. US$ 59,070).

 

小米构成反向混淆被判赔偿1200万元

联安公司享有第10054096号“MIKA米家”注册商标专用权,核定使用在第9类网络通讯设备、摄像机、录像机等商品上。联安公司认为小米通讯技术有限公司、小米科技有限责任公司(以下合称小米公司)陆续将“米家”商标使用在小白摄像机、智能摄像机云台版、行车记录仪等商品上,并通过京东电子商务公司等多家公司进行销售,侵权获利达数亿元。联安公司认为,小米公司的行为侵犯了其商标权并诉至杭州中院。

杭州中院经审理认为,联安公司注册涉案商标的时间是在2012年,而小米方面宣布推出“米家”品牌的时间是在2016年,联安公司并非恶意抢注人,如果注册在后的经济实力较强者未经商标权人许可对商标加以宣传使用,并使相关公众对注册商标与使用人之间形成联系,就会使相关公众产生“反向混淆”,在本案中,小米公司对“米家”标识的大量宣传和使用势必会使得相关公众将“米家”标识与小米公司形成联系,认为联安公司的商品来源于小米,产生反向混淆。法院认定小米公司侵权成立,在确定赔偿数额时,法院首先认定小米的利润率不低于30%,然后确定了涉案侵权行为对小米方面利润的贡献率,最终判定小米公司应承担1200万元的赔偿金额。

Xiaomi’s trademark use resulted in Reverse Confusion – damages award of 12 Million Yuan (approx. US$1,700,000) 

Hangzhou Lian'an Security Engineering Co., Ltd. is the proprietor of the trademark “MIKA米家” (No. 10054096), registered in relation to various products, including network communications equipment, cameras, and video recorders in Class 9. It  brought a trademark infringement action against Xiaomi Communications Co., Ltd. and Xiaomi Technology Co., Ltd. (collectively referred to as Xiaomi) for use of the "米家" trademark on their Mi Home Security Camera, smart camera PTZ version, driving recorder and other products.

The Intermediate People's Court of Hangzhou City, Zhejiang Province found that Xiaomi had launched their ‘米家’ products in 2016, while Lian'an Company's trademark had been registered in 2012. Lian'an Company’s registration did not, therefore, constitute trademark squatting in bad faith. If the trademark used by an  economically stronger company is registered after the weaker company’s registration, use of the mark by the stronger company would be likely to lead the relevant public to believe that the original trademark owner’s products had originated from the economically stronger company. i.e. . there would be ‘reverse confusion’. In this case, Xiaomi Company, the economically more powerful company, had vigorously promoted and used the "米家" logo and it would, therefore, be easy for the relevant public to associate that logo with Xiaomi Company, and believe that the products of Lian'an Company originated from Xiaomi.. The Court found that Xiaomi Company had infringed Lian’an’s trademark. When determining the amount of compensation, it first determined that Xiaomi's profit margin was not less than 30%, and then determined its profit from the infringing acts.  It determined that Xiaomi Company should pay compensation of CNY 12,000.000 (approx. US$ 1,711,376).