The Confusion of Affiliated Companies shall Assume Joint Liability for Their Debts

(By Luo Yanjie) Abstract: Company’s independent status as a legal person is a prerequisite for bearing liabilities independently incurred to the company. If a company loses its independent status as a legal person, shareholders shall bear several and joint liability for the debts of the company or the affiliated company, similarly for debts incurred in affiliated companies.

    In recent years, there are many disputes regarding abuse of company’s independent status as a legal person that many intelligent merchants attempted to evade the payments of debts by abusing the company’s independent status as a legal person or the limited liability of shareholders. In today’s post, we would like to introduce a typical case regarding the confusion of company’s independent status as a legal person on the Cases Guidance of the Supreme People’s Court in China as follows.


Who Has the Burden of Proving “Profit After Tax” When Calculating Remuneration for a Patented Invention?

(By Albert Chen) In the previous post, the author introduced how to determine the unit granted the patent right by looking at a case decided by a Shanghai court. Today, the author will use a case from a Guangdong court to introduce how the court there held on who must prove “the profit after tax” when a dispute breaks out on invention remuneration payable by the unit granted the patent right.

Summary of the case:

The employee inventor, Mr. Zhu, worked for Dongguan Wei Ba Cleaning Equipment Co., Ltd (the “Wei Ba Company”) from 1998 to 2006. During his employment, Mr. Zhu participated in the development of sixteen patents and was also registered as a joint inventor in the company’s patent applications. Afterwards, the Wei Ba Company exercised some of the patents but did not pay Mr. Zhu any remuneration. For this reason, Mr. Zhu filed a lawsuit against the Wei Ba Company, claiming that remuneration payable for his invention should be calculated based on the 2004 Annual Joint Inspection Report that the Wei Ba Company submitted to the Ministry of Commerce, which indicated the company’s total profit after tax. Moreover, Mr. Zhu claimed that the remuneration shall be calculated for the past two years.


Shall Parent Company Make the Payment for Subsidiary Employees’ Invention for Hire?

(By Albert Chen) In past essays, the author has introduced the legal issues related to the establishment of remuneration for inventions developed under work for hire schemes, and payment of said remuneration. Through a study of two recent cases, the author has found that the comments made by the judge in them is of reference value when deciding the “unit granted the patent right” and the “one liable to prove after tax profits”. In the meantime, the author would like to share his interpretation and analysis in these two posts.


Where Apple’s Confidence Comes from in iPad Trademark Dispute?

For the battle between Apple and Proview, we think the only way to guarantee the mutual benefit is the conciliation, in which Apple could continuously use the iPad trademark and Proview could gain the transfer fee thereby, otherwise it will leave nothing for the creditors of Proview while Apple still holds its leeway.(the image today is the showcase of a Apple retailer in Shanghai)

On the evening of 14th February, Apple pulled iPad from Amazon China and halted its stop. Also Apple stated that “We bought Proview’s worldwide rights to the iPad trademark in 10 different countries several years ago. Proview refuses to honor their agreement with Apple in China”. All these show that Apple determines to hold its hard line in the battle over the iPad name, and even may stop the sale of the device. Then why shall Apple be so hard? The reasons may be the follows: