News & Cases from China: June 2020

 

浙江省首例涉及微信数据权益认定不正当竞争纠纷宣判

杭州互联网法院(杭州铁路运输法院)就原告深圳市腾讯计算机系统有限公司、腾讯科技公司诉被告浙江某网络公司、杭州某科技公司不正当竞争纠纷一案进行一审宣判,判令两被告停止涉案不正当竞争行为,赔偿两原告经济损失及合理费用260万元,并为其消除影响。

该案由涉案微信群控软件引发,系首例涉及微信数据权益认定的不正当竞争案。该案判决明确了网络平台对于其所控制的用户信息享有不同性质的数据权益,同时厘清了网络平台不同数据权益间的权利边界。

原告腾讯计算机公司、腾讯科技公司分别是微信软件的著作权人和微信产品的经营者。两被告开发、运营的聚客通群控软件,利用Xposed框架技术将该软件中的个人号功能模块嵌套于个人微信产品中运行,为购买该软件服务的微信用户在微信平台中开展商业营销、管理活动提供帮助。该群控软件主要功能为:自动化、批量化操作微信的行为,包括朋友圈内容自动点赞、群发微信消息、微信被添加自动通过并回复、清理僵尸粉;监测、抓取微信用户账号信息、好友关系链信息以及用户操作信息(含朋友圈点赞评论、支付等)存储于其服务器,攫取数据信息。

就微信平台单一数据个体而言,单一用户数据权益的归属并非谁控制谁享有,使用他人控制的用户数据只要不违反合法、正当、必要、不过度、征得用户同意的原则,一般不应被认定为侵权行为。本案中,两原告所主张其享有数据权益的数据是指微信用户账号数据等微信平台的原始数据,并非微信产品所产生的衍生数据。对于原始数据,数据控制主体只能依其与用户的约定享有有限使用权,并不享有专有权。因此,两被告擅自收集、存储单一微信用户数据仅涉嫌侵犯该微信用户个人信息权益,两原告不能因此而主张损失赔偿。但是,两原告对于微信用户数据负有提供安全保护的法定义务,其对于两被告侵害微信产品用户个人数据安全的行为应当有权请求予以禁止。两被告的行为已危及微信产品用户信息安全,势必导致微信用户对微信产品丧失应有的安全感及基本信任,减损微信产品对于用户数据流量的吸引力,进而会恶化两原告既有数据资源的经营生态,损害两原告的商业利益与市场竞争优势,实质性损害两原告对于微信产品数据资源享有的竞争权益。

该院审理后认为,微信平台数据可以分为两种数据形态:一是数据资源整体,二是单一数据个体。网络平台方对于数据资源整体与单一数据个体所享有的是不同的数据权益。就微信平台数据资源整体而言,微信产品数据资源系两原告投入了大量人力、物力,经过长期经营积累聚集而成的,该数据资源能够给两原告带来商业利益与竞争优势,两原告对于微信平台数据资源应当享有竞争权益。如果两被告破坏性使用该数据资源,则构成不正当竞争,两原告有权要求获得赔偿。就微信平台单一数据个体而言,单一用户数据权益的归属并非谁控制谁享有,使用他人控制的用户数据只要不违反合法、正当、必要、不过度、征得用户同意的原则,一般不应被认定为侵权行为。

本案中,两原告所主张其享有数据权益的数据是指微信用户账号数据等微信平台的原始数据,并非微信产品所产生的衍生数据。对于原始数据,数据控制主体只能依其与用户的约定享有有限使用权,并不享有专有权。因此,两被告擅自收集、存储单一微信用户数据仅涉嫌侵犯该微信用户个人信息权益,两原告不能因此而主张损失赔偿。但是,两原告对于微信用户数据负有提供安全保护的法定义务,其对于两被告侵害微信产品用户个人数据安全的行为应当有权请求予以禁止。两被告的行为已危及微信产品用户信息安全,势必导致微信用户对微信产品丧失应有的安全感及基本信任,减损微信产品对于用户数据流量的吸引力,进而损害两原告的商业利益与市场竞争优势,实质性损害两原告对于微信产品数据资源享有的竞争权益。两原告的个人微信产品作为社交平台,其主要功能是帮助用户与其他用户相互交换信息、交流情感进行交际。本案中,被控侵权软件批量化操作微信、发布商业活动信息异化了个人微信产品的作为社交平台的服务功能,给用户使用微信产品造成了明显干扰,同时危及到微信平台的安全、稳定、效率,已妨碍、破坏了两原告合法提供的网络产品与服务的正常运行,构成不正当竞争。

China’s First Unfair Competition Case Involving Internet Platform Data Rights – Hangzhou Internet Court decides in favour of WeChat owner, Tencent,

Shenzhen Tencent Computer System Co., Ltd. (Tencent Company) and Tencent Technology (Shenzhen) Co., Ltd. (Tencent Technology), owner and operator respectively of the popular WeChat multi-purpose messaging, social media and mobile payment platform, brought an unfair competition action against an internet company in Zhejiang and a technology company in Hangzhou, on the ground that they had developed and were operating social media management software that interacted with WeChat. In a first instance judgment in favour of Tencent, the Hangzhou Internet Court ordered the two Defendants to immediately cease the acts of unfair competition involved, compensate the Plaintiffs in the sum of CNY 2.6 million (approx. US$ 372,845) for economic loss and reasonable expenses, and take steps to eliminate the effect of the unfair competition.  In the course of the judgment, the Court clarified the nature and extent of Tencent’s data rights in WeChat.

The Defendants’ Group Control Software enabled users to automate and batch-operate WeChat functions, including automatically ‘liking’ the content of the WeChat sharing function, ‘Moments’; sending WeChat Group Messages; automatically passing on and replying to WeChat friend requests; and cleaning up zombie, i.e. fake, fans.   Other functions of the software were the monitoring and capturing of WeChat user account information, friend relationship chain information, and user operation information (including likes and comments in WeChat Moments, payment, etc.) and storing the information on the Defendant’s server.

The Hangzhou Internet Court determined that there are two types of WeChat platform data: one is the overall data resource, and the other is a single data entity. The platform owner has different data rights and interests in relation to each type. The WeChat overall data resource is the result of the Plaintiffs’ large-scale investment of manpower and material resources over time. This resource belongs to the Plaintiffs.  It brings commercial benefits and competitive advantage and misuse by a competitor will amount to unfair competition.  The single data entity, on the other hand, is owned by the creator, not the platform operator.  The platform operator has the right to use the data provided such use does not violate the principle of "lawful, proper, necessary, not excessive, and user consent".

In this case, the two Plaintiffs claimed that they had data rights in the WeChat user account data i.e the raw data on the WeChat platform.  In relation to that data, however , they enjoyed only limited rights of use in accordance with the agreement with the WeChat user.  They did not have any exclusive right to the data. The unauthorized collection and storage of a single data entity may infringe a WeChat user’s rights, but not the rights of the Plaintiffs.  The two Plaintiffs, however, had a statutory obligation to provide protection for WeChat data, and they had the right to request the prohibition of acts that would infringe the single data entity rights of WeChat users. The acts of the two Defendants had jeopardized the WeChat users’ information, which would inevitably cause them to lose their sense of security and basic trust in WeChat.  As, a result, the attractiveness of WeChat would be reduced and the commercial interests and competitive advantage of the two Plaintiffs materially damaged. In short, the infringing software changed the function of WeChat and endangered the security, stability, and efficiency of the WeChat platform, thereby hindering and disrupting the normal operation of network products and services legally provided by the two Plaintiffs. The acts of the two Defendants, therefore, constituted unfair competition.

 

美高梅商标被侵权,获赔300万元

广东省深圳市中级人民法院(下称深圳中院)对钓鱼台美高梅酒店管理有限公司(下称钓鱼台美高梅公司)与深圳美高梅酒店管理有限公司(下称深圳美高梅公司)、三亚明日大酒店有限公司悦信美高美分公司(下称悦信美高美分公司)、三亚明日大酒店有限公司(下称明日公司)之间的美高梅商标侵权及不正当竞争案作出终审判决,认定深圳美高梅公司等三被告构成商标侵权及不正当竞争,判令三被告立即停止侵权并赔偿原告经济损失及合理开支315万元。

原告钓鱼台美高梅公司成立于200712月,取得美高梅”“MGM”8件商标使用权及维权权利,核定使用在第4335类商品及服务上。20101月,被告深圳美高梅公司成立,经营范围为提供酒店管理服务。1995年,被告明日公司成立,2017年被告悦信美高美分公司成立,系隶属于明日公司的分公司。

原告发现被告深圳美高梅公司虚构了美高梅梦幻酒店管理咨询服务公司,并且伪造了美高梅梦幻酒店管理咨询服务公司的授权书。虚假的授权书用于对外证明:深圳美高梅公司和明日公司获得了来自第三方的美高梅梦幻酒店管理咨询服务公司授权,可合法使用美高梅商标。进而,深圳美高梅公司和明日公司联合推出三亚悦信美高美国际酒店项目进行虚假宣传。因此,钓鱼台美高梅公司遂诉至广东省深圳市罗湖区人民法院,请求法院判令三被告立即停止侵权并赔偿原告经济损失及合理开支315万元。

一审法院经审理认为,深圳美高梅公司在经营场所中使用“MGM”“美高梅及狮子标识;悦信美高美分公司在微信公众号中使用SanYa MGM、在企业介绍中使用美高梅品牌”“MGM”的行为分别侵犯了原告涉案8件注册商标专用权。此外,深圳美高梅公司、悦信美高美分公司将美高梅”“美高美作为企业名称字号使用的行为造成了相关公众的混淆,主观上具有攀附原告知名度的故意,侵犯了原告企业名称权,属于不正当竞争行为。深圳美高梅公司与悦信美高美分公司不服一审判决,上诉至深圳中院。

深圳中院经审理认为,一审判决认定事实清楚,但赔偿部分适用法律有误。原告未能证明因被告造成实际损失的金额,以及该损失系被告侵权行为所致,一审法院直接参照三亚美高梅度假酒店2012年的管理费认定经济损失不当。二审法院综合涉案商标知名度、侵权人主观故意等因素酌情确定赔偿数额为300万元。

Diaoyutal MGM Awarded CNY 3 Million (Approx. US$ 429,000) damages in Trade Mark Infringement and Unfair Competition Case

This trademark infringement and unfair competition case was brought by Diaoyutal MGM Hospitality Management Co., Ltd (Diaoyutal MGM) against three Defendants on the basis of their alleged misuse of the trademarks 美高梅 and MGM, registered in Classes 35 (advertising and business services) and Class 43 (hotel services), On appeal, the Intermediate People’s Court of Shenzhen City upheld Diaoyutal MGM’s claims and ordered the Defendants to cease the unlawful conduct and pay compensation of CNY 3.25 million (approx. US$429.000).

Diaoyutal MGM, formed in 2007 as a joint venture between Dioaoyutal State Guesthouses and MGM Resorts International, is a well-known high-end hotel management company focusing on the development internationally of luxury hotels and resorts, residences, retail facilities and entertainment complexes.  The three Defendants were: Shenzhen MGM Hotel Management Co., Ltd. (Shenzhen MGM), established in January 2010, Sanya Ming Ri Hotel Co., Ltd, Yuexin MGM Branch (Yuexin MGM Branch), established in 2017,  and the Sanya Ming Ri Hotel Co., Ltd. (Ming Ri Hotel), established in 1995

Diaoyutal MGM discovered that the Defendants Shenzhen MGM and Ming Ri Hotel had launched the Sanya Uuexin MGM International Hotel and were using, in promotional activities, what purported to be a letter of authorization from MGM Dream Hotel Management Consulting Service Company, which gave them the right to use the MGM trademark.  The MGM Dream Hotel Management Consulting Service Company did not exist.

Diaoyutai MGM brought an action for trade mark infringement and unfair completion and succeeded at first instance in the People's Court of Luohu District, Shenzhen, Guangdong Province.  The Court held that, without authority, Shenzhen MGM had used the marks  美高梅 and MGM, and the lion logo,  at its business premises and Yuexin MGM Branch had used SanYa MGM in its WeChat official account and 美高梅 and MGM in company introductions.  This infringed the Plaintiff's exclusive trademark rights. In addition, Shenzhen MGM and Yuexin MGM Branch had used 美高梅, which is the same as the Plaintiff’s name and 美高美, which sounds similar, in their enterprise names.  This was sufficient to cause confusion and misunderstanding among members of the relevant public. The Defendants had an obviously malicious intention to take advantage of the Plaintiff’s goodwill and had engaged in unfair competition. Shenzhen MGM and Yuexin MGM Branch appealed to the Intermediate People's Court of Shenzhen City.

The Intermediate People's Court of Shenzhen City upheld the judgment of first instance, but varied the compensation award. The Court of first instance had based the damages award on the management fees of the Plaintiff’s MGM Grand Sanya resort hotel. That was not appropriate. The Court of second instance determined that the Defendants should pay compensation of CNY 3 million (approx. US$ 429,000) based on factors such as the popularity of the trademark involved and the subjective intention of the infringer.

 

峰米科技诉极米科技等专利侵权 索赔4,600万元人民币

峰米(北京)科技有限公司(下称峰米科技)是全球领先的ALPD激光显示技术标准示范企业,成立于2016年,是深圳光峰科技股份有限公司(下称光峰科技)和小米科技联合成立的小米生态链公司。 光峰科技发布公告称,控股子公司峰米科技起诉成都极米科技股份有限公司(以下简称极米科技)与成都极米视界电子商务有限公司天津第二分公司(以下简称极米视界)专利侵权,并要求赔偿4600万元。

根据公告,本次涉案专利号为ZL201110086731.9,发明名称为高亮度激发方法及基于光波长转换的发光装置。峰米科技经调查发现,被诉侵权产品Z6系列型号投影仪包括Z6Z6X被诉侵权产品所采用的技术方案完全落入涉案专利权利要求的保护范围,构成侵权。因此,峰米科技已就与极米科技、成都极米视界电子商务有限公司天津第二分公司(系极米科技的子公司)之间的上述专利侵权纠纷向天津市第三中级人民法院提起诉讼。

峰米公司要求,极米科技应停止制造、销售、许诺销售侵害涉案专利权的Z6系列型号投影仪,并立即销毁专用于制造被诉侵权产品的模具和设备,销毁库存侵权产品;极米视界立即停止销售、许诺销售被诉侵权产品;两被告共同承担原告经济损失与合理开支合计4,600万元人民币。

该案件已立案暂未开庭审理。

FENGMI Files Patent Infringement Action Against XGIMI Claiming CNY 46 Million (approx. US$ 6,578,000)

Fengmi (Beijing) Technology Co., Ltd.  (Fengmi Technology), the world's leading ALPD laser display technology company, was founded in 2016 by Appotronics Corporation Ltd. and Xiaomi Technology Co., Ltd (Xiaomi). Appotronics recently announced that Fengmi Technology has sued Chengdu XGIMI Technology Co., Ltd (XGIMI Technology) and Chengdu XGIMI Vision E-commerce Co., Ltd. Tianjin Second Branch (XGIMI Vision) for patent infringement seeking compensation of CNY 46 million (approx. US$ 6,578,000).

According to the announcement, the patent involved is ZL 201110086731.9, for a  "High-brightness excitation method and light-emitting device based on optical wavelength conversion". Fengmi Technology claims that the technical solutions adopted by XGIMI’s Z6 series projectors, including the Z6 and Z6X, fall completely within the protection scope of the patent involved.  It has filed a patent infringement action with the No. 3 Intermediate People's Court of Tianjin Municipality.

Fengmi Company is seeking orders that XGIMI Technology cease manufacturing, selling, and promising to sell the infringing Z6 series projectors; immediately destroy the molds and equipment dedicated to the manufacture of the infringing products; and destroy infringing products in stock or being offered for sale; that XGIMI Vision immediately cease selling , and promising to sell infringing projectors; and that the two Defendants jointly compensate the Plaintiff for its economic loss and reasonable costs in the sum of CNY 46 million (approx. US$ 6,578,000 ).

At this stage, the case has been filed, but not yet heard..


最高院驳回广药集团与加多宝、乐润百货不正当竞争纠纷一案再审申请

2013年,广州医药集团有限公司及王老吉大健康公司因广东加多宝饮料食品有限公司使用怕上火喝加多宝的广告语侵犯了两原告的特定权益,构成不正当竞争,将广东加多宝饮料食品有限公司(下称:广东加多宝)以及零售商广东乐润百货有限公司诉至广州市中级人民法院。

广州市中级人民法院一审判决,被告广东加多宝立即停止使用广告语怕上火喝加多宝等相关广告语,并赔偿王老吉大健康公司、广药集团经济损失共计500万元。加多宝不服,上诉至广东省高级人民法院。

2016年,广东高院二审判决认为:在怕上火喝王老吉怕上火喝加多宝广告语指向的商品均非常明确、王老吉凉茶系知名商品、怕上火喝系功能性描述的前提下,消费者能够明确区分王老吉凉茶加多宝凉茶,在选购凉茶产品时具有充分的自主选择权,不会发生混淆或误认,不会对王老吉公司、广药集团的合法权益造成损害。加多宝公司的被诉广告行为未侵害王老吉公司、广药集团的合法权益或不正当获得竞争优势,不构成不正当竞争。广东省高级人民法院判决撤销广东省广州市中级人民法院的一审判决书,驳回广州王老吉大健康产业有限公司、广药集团有限公司的全部诉讼请求。

广药集团向最高人民法院申请再审。2020618日,最高院作出民事裁定书,驳回广药集团的再审申请。

The Supreme People’s Court Rejects Application for Retrial of Unfair Competition Case brought by Guangzhou Pharmaceutical Group against Guangdong JDB and Lerun Department Store

In 2013, Guangzhou Wanglaoji Great Health Industry Co., Ltd. (Guangzhou Wanglaoji) -, and Guangzhou Pharmaceutical Holdings Ltd. (Guangzhou Pharmaceutical), owners of the traditional Chinese herbal tea brand ‘Wanglaoji’, also know as ‘Wong Lo Kat, brought an unfair competition action against Guangdong JDB Drink & Food (Guangdong JDB) and its retailer, Guangdon Lerun Department Store Co., Ltd (Lerun).  The two Plaintiffs used an advertising slogan “A can of Wong Lo Kat a day keeps heat away”.  The action was based on Guangdong JDB’s use of slogans such as “A can of JDB a day keeps heat away” 

At first instance, the Guangzhou Intermediate People's Court of Guangdong Province ruled in favor of the two Plaintiffs and ordered Guangdong JDB to immediately cease use of slogans such as “A can of JDB a day keeps heat away” and pay compensation of CNY 5,000,000 (approx. US$ 715,000) . Guangdong JDB appealed successfully to the Higher People's Court of Guangdong Province.

The Guangdong Higher People's Court held that the slogans “A can of JDB a day keeps heat away” and "A can of Wong Lo Kat a day keeps heat away " clearly distinguish the products being referred to. " Wong Lo Kat herbal tea" is a well-known product and the slogan "A can of XX a day keeps heat away " is a functional description. Thus, consumers can clearly distinguish between "Wong Lo Kat Herbal Tea" and " JDB Herbal Tea", and would not be confused or misled by the slogan. Guandong JDB’s advertising slogans did not, therefore, infringe upon the legitimate rights and interests of Guangzhou Wanglaoji and Guangzhou Pharmaceutical, or allow Guandong JDB to obtain an unfair competitive advantage. The Higher People's Court of Guangdong Province overturned the first-instance judgment and dismissed all the claims of Guangzhou Wanglaoji and Guangzhou Pharmaceutical.

Guangzhou Pharmaceutical applied to the Supreme People's Court for a retrial. On 18 June 2020, the Supreme People's Court rejected the retrial request.