Pursuant to the Anti-Monopoly Law, the Civil Procedure Law and the Arbitration Law, there is no limitation of applying arbitration clause as a settlement to monopoly disputes in China. The Arbitration is well acknowledged for its confidentiality, flexible legal or commercial basis of arbitrating and its finality of one award, which are perfectly adapted to the requirements of confidentiality, efficiency and reliance on customs in business operation. Therefore, the practice of arbitration clause can bring about significant values and meanings to commercial subjects, and furthermore help indicate various risks and opportunities of different timing in relevant market. In this essay, we will introduce relevant cases and investigate whether the judicial opinions on arbitration clauses applied in monopoly disputes are appropriate.
(By Ning Tinggang) Beijing Intellectual Property Court recently introduced some movie, TV series, music, animation and game related cases it heard in 2015 and 2016 via its public WeChat platform, including the trademark “Kuroko Basketball” invalidity case which inspired me. The way that the court dealt with this case shows a new trend of protecting merchandizing interests which we legal professionals should pay attention to.
Kuroko Basketball is a popular comic work about basketball created by ふじまき ただとし, a Japanese comics artist. The work was serialized on the magazine SHONEN JUMP published by Shueisha since the second issue in 2009, and then was adapted for an animation and first broadcast on 7th April 2012. The plaintiff, SL Sport Ltd. in Kaiping (“SL Company”), filed a trademark-register application to the trademark office on 19th July 2012. As approved, this trademark (“Disputed Trademark”) should be used under Class 25. In addition, SL Company registered tens of trademarks closely connected with popular comics works such as Kuroko Basketball and SLAM DUNK that Shueisha had published, including trademarks used under Class 18, 24, 25, 35 and other types of commodities or services. Thus, Shueisha filed a request for declaration of invalidity of the Disputed Trademark.
- The State Council Issues Policies on the Promotion of Imports and Exports On 22nd July 2015, the General Office of the State Council of the P.R.C. issued the Policies on the Promotion of Imports and Exports.
(For more details, please refer to your lawyer.)
Sourced from the official website of the National Government of the P.R.C.: http://www.gov.cn/zhengce/content/2015-07/24/content_10031.htm
- The Supreme People’s Court Issues New Judicial Interpretation, Conditionally Recognizing the Validity of Private Lending Between Enterprises
On 6th August 2015, the Supreme People’s Court issued the judicial interpretation on Private Lending, which will take into effect on 1st September 2015.
The new judicial interpretation specifies the conditions of the effectiveness of private lending agreements and notably validates private lending between private enterprises which meets the requirements thereof.
- The People’s Bank of China and the Other Nine Authorities Jointly Issue Policies on Boosting the Internet Finance Industry
On 18th July 2015, the People’s Bank of China, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the Ministry of Public Security, the Ministry of Finance, the State Administration for Industry and Commerce, the Legislative Affairs Office, the China Banking Regulatory Commission, the China Securities Regulatory Commission, the China Insurance Regulatory Commission and the State Internet Information Office jointly issued the Policies on Boosting the Internet Finance Industry (“Policies”).
Such Policies provide a range of instructions on supporting and encouraging internet finance activities and specify duties of administration and control over major internet finance activities such as payment over the internet, network lending, equity crowd-funding, sale of funds via the internet, internet insurance, internet trust, doing and closing transactions through the internet.
(By Dr. Wenbao Qiao) For foreign companies doing business in China, dispute and litigation may sometimes be inevitable. Once a dispute cannot be resolved out of court, there is a long and rocky road to the final success, with several important points to be considered for planning and handling of litigation in China:
Documents and Evidence
The first step of each procedure is to collect and prepare all necessary documents and evidence. According to Chinese law, documents and evidence from another country (such as excerpts from the commercial register or powers of attorney) have to be first notarized in their country of origin and then certified by the Chinese Embassy or Consulate in the respective country. Only notarized and certified documents and evidence will be accepted by Chinese courts. While preparing the documents and evidence, attention should be paid to the timeline required for the notarization and certification. There are several important statutory deadlines shown below. Failure to meet these deadlines can lead to the loss of a case. Notarization and certification in Germany usually takes two to three weeks, which in turn may play a critical role for the time schedule of trial preparation.
(By You Yunting) Recently, Uber Shanghai carries out a marketing activity called Call for one hundred million by one button of Uber cooperated with 1qiaobao, an App owned by PINGAN INSURANCE GRP. According to the Uber’s official Weibo, users can use the Uber App to call the securicar provided by both Uber and 1qianbao, and anyone who is the winner of the caller can obtain all the financing earnings of one hundred million yuan, which is about ten thousand yuan. I think this activity has huge legal risks, therefore hereunder are the risks and its reason.
- The National Development and Reform Commission and the Ministry of Commerce Publish the Catalogue of Industries for Foreign Investment (2015 Revised Edition)
On the 10th March 2015, the National Development and Reform Commission and the Ministry of Commerce of the PRC published the Catalogue of Industries for Guiding Foreign Investment (2015 Revised Edition) (“Catalogue”) under the approval by the State Council of the PRC. The Catalogue will become effective on the 10th of April 2015.
The Catalogue totally contains 432 items, from which 48 items of the 471 items totally contained in the 2011 Edition, have been eliminated. Among those eliminated items, 41 ones are under the restricted class, 5 under the priority class and 2 under the prohibited class. In addition, the number of items “limited to joint investment and cooperation” in the Catalogue is 15, decreased from 43 in the 2011 Edition and the number of items applicable only to “Chinese controlled businesses” in the Catalogue is 35, decreased from 44 in the 2011 Edition.
(By You Yunting) As we have already posted Judgment Abstract on NDRC’s Administrative Decision of Qualcomm Incorporated (Part 1) on April 17 2015, today we would like to introduce more.
III What’re the legitimate basis and the final decision?
Pursuant to Article 47 and Article 49 of the Anti-Monopoly Law, the NDRC made the following decisiosn against Qualcomm’s abuse of dominant market position in the SEPs markets and the baseband chip markets:
- Order Qualcomm a halt to illegal activities upon abuse of dominant market position as follows:
a Qualcomm shall provide patent lists to its licensees in China and not charge licensees for expired patents.
(By You Yunting) As from October 2013, the National Development and Reform Commission (the “NDRC”) starts the anti-monopoly probe into the world’s biggest cellphone chip maker, Qualcomm (NASDAQ: QCOM) , and makes in-depth investigations and discussion with tens of cellphone manufacturers and baseband chip manufacturers at home and abroad. Recently, the NDRC determined that Qualcomm holds a dominant position in the markets of standard essential patents (“SEPs”) licensing in relation to CDMA, WCDMA and LTE wireless communication and the baseband chip market, and that Qualcomm be fined 6.088 billion yuan in the violation of the Anti-Monopoly Law. Today we will introduce the punishment decision and make comments.
(By You Yunting) China’s two largest Taxi apps Didi Dache (“Didi”) and Kuaidi Dache (“Kuaidi”) confirmed merger on the Western Valentine’s Day, triggering the whole industry, which also lead to the suspicion of a monopoly. Afterwards, the Taxi apps Didi and Kuaidi responded this with much larger travel markets, and told that their merger does not lead to a monopoly, because mobile taxis only count a small proportion with lots of participators. As for whether their merger is accused of monopoly, there are hot discussions among legal professions. At present, third parties were tending to make anti-monopoly investigation from the Ministry of Commerce, and I am no exception. But after full consideration, I fell into confusion.
(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).
- 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.
(By You Yunting) By reports, recently, National Development and Reform Commission (the “NDRC”) investigated the industry group the Zhejiang Insurance Association and its membership insurers, originated from that the Zhejiang Insurance Association in violation of the Anti-Monopoly Law organized its 23 membership insurers to agree on unified commissions from auto insurance premiums through meetings. The NDRC fined 22 of the insurers a total of RMB 110 million. Today, we will introduce the NDRC’s Punishment Decision on Zhejiang Insurance Association and make some comments.
(By You Yunting) By reports, recently, National Development and Reform Commission (the “NDRC”) investigated the industry group the Zhejiang Insurance Association and its membership insurers, originated from that the Zhejiang Insurance Association in violation of the Anti-Monopoly Law organized its 23 membership insurers to agree on unified commissions from auto insurance premiums through meetings. The NDRC fined 22 of the insurers a total of RMB 110 million, with PICC Property and Casualty Company Limited Zhejiang Branch, an insurer, escaping punishment because of informing the authorities and providing key evidence. In today’s post, we will introduce the decision on PICC Property and Casualty Company Limited Zhejiang Branch escaping punishment and make comments.
(By Luo Yanjie) Generally, enterprises are always using the application of trademarks to protect their brands, but because of the strict trademark review and long review periods, sometimes enterprises could not obtain the approval of trademark registration. Even so, with regard to their famous goods, enterprises could rely on the Anti-Unfair Competition Law to protect their rights and interests. In today’s post, we will introduce and share a typical case with readers.
Introduction to the Case: