Is Integrated Circuit Layout Design Protected by China Judicial Judgment?

(By You Yunting) Introduction to the case:

Appellant (plaintiff at first instance): Hi-Trend Technology (Shanghai) Co., Ltd (the “HTT”)

Appellant (defendant at first instance): Shenzhen Rui Micro-Technology Inc. (the “RMT”)

Respondent (defendant at first instance): Shanghai Yachuang Electronic Component Co., Ltd. (the “YEC”)

Court of first instance: Shanghai No.1 Intermediate People’s Court  No.: (2010)沪一中民五(知)初字第51号

Court of second instance: Shanghai Higher People’s Court  No.: (2014)沪高民三(知)终字第12号

In May 2006, the HTT signed a Technology Transfer Contract and supplementary agreement with Zhuhai Actions Semiconductor Co., Ltd. (the “Action Semi”) that the Action Semi transferred its proprietary technology of a chip to the HTT at the price of RMB 12 million. After then, the HTT made a subsequent research and gained an exclusive right in 2008 at the registration of layout design numbered ATT7021AU (the “disputed design”) with the State Intellectual Property Office. However, the HTT found that, the RMT who developed a chip Read More...

Is It Illegal for WeChat to Block Sharing Link of Alipay?

WeChat vs Alipay_副本(By You Yunting) Recently, China Internet giant enterprises generated an intense competition during their hand-to-hand combat, but this time the main character is the Tencent which successively block sharing link with Alipay, Xiami Music App and NetEase Cloud Music App on its WeChat platform. It means that WeChat users could not use the mobile applications to link the contents of Alipay Red Envelope Gifting, Xiami App and NetEase Cloud Music App on its WeChat platform.

Afterwards, Tencent implied externally that the act of sharing link with Alipay Red Envelope Gifting is a malicious marketing and promotion on its WeChat platform, even a shattering experience, and its blocking should have something done with the uninstallation of WeChat Payment on Alipay platform (Chinese Link: http://tech.techweb.com.cn/thread-642700-1-1.html) For cutting off link with Xiami App and NetEase Cloud Music App, Tencent implied to have relationship with its content piracy (Chinese Link: http://tech.sina.com.cn/i/2015-02-05/doc-ichmifpx7018268.shtml).

Therefore, in a legal WeChat group’s discussion, I thought that Tencent’s block had little Read More...

Does Story Plot Plagiarism Constitute Copyright Infringement in China?

(By You Yunting) Introduction to the Case:

In the first half of 2014, Palace 3: the Lost Daughter is a 2014 Chinese historical television series written and produced by Yu Zheng. In April 2014, a Taiwanese writer Chiung Yao made a letter claimed that Palace 3: the Lost Daughter (the “disputed show) was based on her novel Plum Blossom Scar (the “reference novel”), but Yu Zheng delayed. On May 28, 2014, Chiung Yao filed a lawsuit, claiming that Yu Zheng was unauthorized to copy her original core plot, recompose the disputed drama and produce and broadcast the disputed show with another 4 defendants. Chiung Yao thought that Yu Zheng had seriously violated her right of adaptation and cinematization, causing great mental damage, and requested Yu Zheng to immediate stop infringement, eliminate influences, make an apology and compensation of RMB 20 million for economic loss.

Upon the trial, the court held the following:

1   In terms of literary works, it is hard to draw a direct conclusion over some plots and source material that are not similar to each other or belongs to public areas if compared with each other independently. But if making a comparison integrally, it will be conducive to find out the similarity on the structures of two works. Character design, plot structure, and internal logic rearrangement that is specific enough are protected by Read More...

Will China New Foreign Investment Law Wipe Out VIE Structure?

(By You Yunting) Abstract: The Foreign Investment Law (Draft for Comments) has shifted the standard of a company based upon the actual controller, instead of the shareholder of the company, and regulated that the domestic company must not engage in any industries where operation by foreign investors is prohibited. In case the Draft becomes law, it will cut off the survival basis of VIE structure, so that the VIE company controlled by foreign investors cannot be operated, that the overseas listed company controlled through the VIE structure by Chinese will lose its survival basis of oversea listing, and that the startup companies of VIE structure controlled by Chinese will be forced to abandon the VIE structure.

China Ministry of Commence issued the Foreign Investment Law (Drafts for Comments) (hereinafter the “Draft”) and began its revolution on the approval and management of foreign investment companies. However, the Draft regulated that a domestic company controlled by foreign investors must not engage in any industries where operation by foreign investors is prohibited, which will probably have some serious influence on industries such as internet companies that have already used variable interest entities (hereinafter the “VIE”) structure in gray zone, and might even wipe out the existence space for VIE structure. I am wondering Read More...

China Laws and Regulations Update in December 2014

  1. The State Council Releases the Catalogue of Investment Projects Subject to Government Verification and Approval (2014 Edition)

On 31st of October 2014, the State Council released the Notice of the State Council on Promulgating the Catalogue of Investment Projects Subject to Government Verification and Approval (2014 Edition), which became effective on the same date.

Enterprises that intend to invest in and construct the fixed-asset investment projects listed in the Catalogue shall apply to relevant project verification and approval authorities for verification and approval in accordance with pertinent provisions. Enterprises that intend to invest in and construct projects other than those listed in the Catalogue shall be subject to record-filing administration. Projects invested and constructed by public institutions, social organizations, etc. shall be governed by the Catalogue.

Sourced from http://www.gov.cn/zhengce/content/2014-11/18/content_9219.htm

 

  1. The Supreme People’s Court Promulgates Provisions on the Jurisdictions over Cases by Intellectual Property Courts in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou      

On 27th of October 2014, the Supreme Read More...

China Supreme Court Approved Passive Use as the Use of Trademark

(By Luo Yanjie) Trademark is to distinguish the goods and services from different trademark owners. However, if the public voluntarily called it another name and made use of it, then does such use still constituted the use of trademark as regulated in the Trademark Law. If you want to know more, please read the next posts.

Introduction to the Case:

Re-appellant (third party at first instance and appellant at second instance): Gui Pufang

Re-respondent (plaintiff at first instance and respondent at second instance): Guangdong Tea Imp. & Exp. Co. Ltd (the “GDT”)

Defendant at first instance: Trademark Review and Adjudication Board (the “TRAB”)

Court of final appeal: Beijing Higher People’s Court  No.: (2013)高行终字第298号

Gui Pufang filed a trademark application of “广云贡饼” sign (the “disputed trademark”) under Class 30 for tea in 2005. The GDT, a company which Gui Pufang once worked, opposed that the disputed trademark was already in use and enjoyed substantial influence against Gui Pufang’s application. Through the trademark review, first instance and second instance, the GDT Read More...

What is the Procedure When It Comes to the Registration of Imported Software in China?

(By Wang Ting and You Yunting) Today we will discuss the legal restrictions and application procedures in regard to the introduction of foreign software into China.

  1. Copyright Protection of Imported Software

The Protection of Computer Software Regulations dividends the protection of imported foreign software into two types:

  • Software first distributed within the territory of China shall have copyright;
  • Software concluded with China by the countries to which the creators belong or in which the creators reside habitually or under the international conventions to which China is a member state shall enjoy its copyright.

China has concluded the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works with more than Read More...

Why Did Using a Literal Meaning of “智慧背囊” be Judged Trademark Infringement?

送给青少年的智慧背囊(By You Yunting) Introduction to the Case:

Appellant (1st defendant at first instance): Qingdao Publishing House

Respondent (plaintiff at first instance): Shandong Shiji Tianhong Education Technology Co., Ltd (the “Tianhong Education”)

2nd Defendant at first instance: Beijing Readbuy Tianxia Information and Technology Co., Ltd (the “Readbuy”)

Court of first instance: Beijing Fengtai District People’s Court No.: (2014)丰民初字第03829号

Court of second instance: Beijing No.2 Intermediate People’s Court No.: (2014)二中民(知)终字第10356号

On November 14, 2008, the Tianhong Education received the exclusive rights of the “智慧背囊” trademark numbered 4697993 (the “disputed trademark”, has a literal meaning Read More...

Youku Steals the Originality, How Can the Student Fight Against Plagiarism?

追气球的熊孩子(By You Yunting) A post named the Teenagers Cannot Be Bullied was made by a 19-year-old student to complain that Youku.com ripped off his idea, causing a big stir online. The 19-year-old student and his fellows succeeded in taking photos of the earth from flying a hot-air balloon and then published their experience named the Kids Who Chase the Balloon and photos online. Afterwards, staffs from Youku.com contacted him, saying that they would like to address a short video to write down their behaviors. Then they reached an agreement through emails that the 19-year-old student and his fellows would cooperate with Youku.com in making a creative short video from the post the Kids Who Chase the Balloon.

Unexpectedly, staffs from Youku.com later began to find various excuses for denying making the video and finally used lack of funds to terminate the video-making. However, Youku.com published their own commercial video named the Kids Who Chase the Balloon with embedded ads such as Momo and Lexus. The student accused Youku.com of ripping off his ideas and Read More...

China Laws and Regulations Update in November 2014

  1. The State Intellectual Property Bureau of the P.R.China Publishes the Opinions on Investment Administration Regulations Concerning Intellectual Property to Foster Growth of Small and Micro Enterprises.      

On 11th of October 2014, the State Intellectual Property Bureau of P.R.China published the Opinions on Investment Administration Regulations Concerning Intellectual Property to Foster Growth of Small and Micro Enterprises. The Opinions involve fifteen specific measures to help small and micro enterprises obtain rights to their innovative achievements, improve patent sponsorship policies for small and micro enterprises and support small and micro enterprises by properly tackling intellectual property related issues, in order to foster innovation and growth of small and micro enterprises, perfect intellectual property services for small and micro enterprises, improve the ability of small and micro enterprises to use intellectual property and optimize the intellectual property development environment for small and micro enterprises.

Sourced from the official website of the State Intellectual Property Office of the PRC:

http://www.sipo.gov.cn/tz/gz/201410/t20141011_1020001.html

  1. Twenty-one Provinces and Cities across P.R.China Witness Publication of the 2014 Salary Rise Read More...

Bruce Lee’s Daughter Won Trademark Opposition for the Chinese Name of the late Bruce Lee

(By Luo Yanjie) The most common trademark squatting is to register celebrity names as trademarks in China. In following post, we will introduce a case regarding where the court rejected the rush-registered trademark via the use of late celebrity names. Bruce Lee, with his Chinese name 李小龍, was a late Hong Kong American martial artist, Hong Kong action film actor, martial instructor, filmmaker and the founder of Jeet Kune Do. The descendants of the late Bruce Lee set up a Bruce Lee Enterprise, LLC in the operation of related matters to the late Bruce Lee.

Introduction to the Case:

Plaintiff: Zhang Chaoqin

Defendant: Trademark Review and Adjudication Board (the “TRAB”)

Third Party: Shannon Emery Lee, Bruce Lee Enterprise, LLC (the “Bruce Lee Enterprise”)

Court of first Instance: Beijing No.1 Intermediate People’s Court

Court of second Instance: Beijing Higher People’s Court

On October 14th, Zhang Chaoqin filed an application of the “李小龍”(the “disputed trademark”) trademark numbered 4309490 under the Class 12 for Read More...

Are Enterprises Entitled to the Rights for Its Prior Enterprise Name?

(By Wang Ting and You Yunting) In enterprise name registration, if an enterprise changed its enterprise name at once, generally the new enterprise name is under protection. This means, the enterprise is no longer entitled to the rights and interests of its prior enterprise name. Such being the case, does another’s registration on the prior enterprise name cause its prior rights, or violate the Article 32 of the Trademark Law on the stipulation that the trademark application shall not infringe upon another party’s prior existing rights? Is the enterprise with a new enterprise name entitled to the prior right for its prior rights? In today’s post, with regard to those questions, the Trademark Office, the Trademark Review and Adjudication Board, Beijing No.1 Intermediate People’s Court and Beijing Higher Peoples Court were divided in their attitude.

Introduction to the Case:

Appellant (defendant at first instance): Trademark Review and Adjunction Board (the “TRAB”)

Appellant (the third party at first instance): Luxin Venture Capital Group Co., Ltd (the “LUXIN”)

Respondent (plaintiff at first instance): Qingdao SISA (GROUP) Abrasives Co., Ltd (THE Read More...

Could JD.com Make the Alibaba’s Registered “双十一” Trademark Invalid?

京东(By You Yunting) According to the news, Alibaba Group, an Chinese e-commerce that provides consumer-to-consumer business-to-consumer and business-to-business sales services via web portals, has already obtained the registration of the trademark “双十一” (meaning “double 11”, actually the date of November 11th) (the “disputed trademark”) and authorized its affiliated Tmall.com to the  exclusive use of the disputed trademark. Moreover, Alibaba delivered letters to various news media arguing that the JD.com’s use of “双十一” infringed the rights of its trademark. However, JD.com, one of the largest B2C online retailers in China by transaction volume, replied that the date of “November 11th” has already became a shopping day for all retailers and Alibaba’s registration on the “双十一” is accused of having the monopoly. Actually, Sunning Appliance, Gome and Amazon have suffered such impacts as well as JD.com.

Alibaba attempted using trademarks to protect its brands, which convinced me for its intellectual property consciousness from the bottom of my heart. Furthermore, Alibaba used its trademark as an effective weapon at the height of its campaign against JD.com before November 11th, Read More...

China Laws and Regulations Update in Octorber 2014

  1. Intellectual Property Tribunals to Be Established in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou

On 1 September 2014, the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress approved the Decision to Establish Intellectual Property Tribunals in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. The Decision stipulates that the Supreme People’s Court should be entitled to set up intellectual property tribunals in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou by taking into account types and numbers of intellectual property cases. Such tribunals govern first-instance civil and administrative intellectual property litigation cases relating to such technically demanding issues as patents, new species of plants, layout designs of integrated circuits, confidential know-hows, etc. and have the right to decide on any appeal against first-instance judgment or verdict by a local lower-level people’s court on civil and administrative intellectual property cases relating to copyrights, trademarks, etc.

Sourced from the NPC News Website:

http://npc.people.com.cn/n/2014/0901/c14576-25574846.html

  1. The Shanghai Municipal Government Publishes the Priority Work Arrangements in 2014 through 2015 for Establishment of the International Trade Center

On 27 August 2014, the Shanghai Read More...