China Laws and Regulations Update in April 2019

1.The Trademark Law of the People’s Republic of China

Co-promulgated by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress

Promulgation date: 23 April 2019

Implementation date: 1 November 2019

The main contents of this amendment are: 1. new regulations on bad faith registration: refusal of trademark registration applications for a purpose other than use of the trademark and including “trademark registration applications for a purpose other than use of the trademark” as a valid reason for claiming trademark opposition or invalidity; 2. giving more serious punishment for infringement of proprietary rights in the trademark by increasing the multiple used to calculate the amount of damages for a malicious infringement of proprietary rights in the trademark from larger than one but smaller than three to larger than one but smaller than five and increasing the upper limit on legal damages from RMB three million to RMB five million. (Source: Website of the National People’s Congress)

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Why Uber China Takes Legal Risks to Mega Millionaire Marketing Promotion?

uber

(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.

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Does Proposed Anti-Monopoly Investigation against the Merger of Didi and Kuaidi Affect Innovation?

(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.

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Could Qunar.com be Entitled to Cancel Competitor’s domain name of Quna.com?

去哪儿

(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:

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Is It Legitimate for Toutiao.com to Transcode News Websites for Mobile Users?

toutiao

(By You Yunting) According to news, Toutiao, a personalized news app, announced that Toutiao has secured 100 million dollar of Series C financing at a valuation of 500 million dollar. Afterwards, the Beijing News, a traditional paper news, soon posted a comment that Toutiao’s contents are suspected of copyright infringement. However, Toutiao instantly replied in denying infringement. In today’s post, we would like to analyze the infringement issues of Toutiao from the legal prospective.

First is to introduce the push approach of Toutiao. When visiting its official website on a computer, it is found to be relatively regulated, similar with the news channel of Baidu and Google, that every recommended news had an abstract linking to the original website which published the news.

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P&G vs. Vidal Sassoon Hairs School’s Judgment Abstract

p&g

(By Luo Yanjie) An enterprise name attempting to use a well-known trademark is quite the norm in China. In today’s post, we would like to introduce a typical case where the courts made a final judgment that the infringer constitutes infringement but does not change its enterprise name. However, the judgment is far from playing its role in the containment of this violation.

Introduction to the Case:

Appellant (Defendant at the first instance): Beijing Royal VIDAL SASSOON Beauty Hair School (the “Royal School”)

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Revision of the Anti-unfair Competition Law Shall Strengthen Striking with Internet Underground Economy in China

(By You Yunting) National People’s Congress, the China’s legislature, has authorized the State Administration of Industry and Commerce (the “SAIC”) to propose the revision draft of the  Anti-unfair Competition Law which has been implemented for more than twenty years in China. Recently, Shanghai Administration for Industry and Commerce held a meeting in making suggestions upon business operators and administrative authorities for the revision. In the meeting, I delivered a speech with the following presentation.

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Outcome of Unfair Competition Dispute between Tencent QQ and Qihoo 360

3Q BATTLE

(By Luo Yanjie) Recently, there has been a widely tracked case as to whether 360’s QQ Guard engaged in practices which constituted unfair-competition against Tencent (3Q battle for short). The Supreme People’s Court has made a judgment affirming the initial judgment, deciding that 360’s QQ Guard engaged in unfair competition against Tencent. We have already introduced the case and discussed the comment on the original judgment. Even though the Supreme Court upheld the original judgment, the statement in the judgment of second instance, backed by the Supreme Court, impressed us with its deepened understanding of unfair competition in the era of internet. We will combine the judgment with analysis for our readers in the following article to help you understand the implications.

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Why Couldn’t the “CASTEL” Trademark Prevent AnotherFrom Registering As Enterprise Name?

castel

(By Luo Yanjie ) Abstract: Generally, the trademark-right and the right of an enterprise-name are independent of each other. However, these rights, which also act as an enterprise-business-mark-right and are comprised of an intellectual property right, are likely to be so similar in their nature and characteristics that they may objectively cause disputes. To reach a judgment on whether there has been a breach of the principle of good faith and recognized commercial-morality as regulated in the anti-unfair Competition Law, the court would make a judgment based on the particular circumstances of a case.

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Is Evasi0n 7.0 Illegal to Install Software for iOS Jailbreak Device?

evad3rs

(By You Yunting) Recently, Evad3rs released a new jailbreak tool called Evasi0n7.0 for Apple’s iOS 7 with Chinese name “太极7”. Due to Evasi0n 7.0 forcing Chinese jailbreak users to the default installation of TaiG app store in China, all public opinions on domestic Internet websites are criticism-oriented and most reports stated that Evasi0n 7.0 was a counterfeit software tool.

The principal Pod2g of Evad3rs team today expressed his opinions on Twitter that Evad3rs have decided to remotely disable the default installation of TaiG app store in China for further investigations on the piracy issue. As an intellectual property lawyer, I paid great attention to this issue. I hope this post has broached several legal problems as follows.

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Why QQ Pinyin suffered due to Unfair Competition from Sogou Pinyin?

TM截图未命名

(By You Yunting) Abstract: Although the Advertising Law stipulates that advertisements may not make excessive use of superlatives in advertising products and services, a business operator using absolutist phrasing and imagery alone is insufficient to find one guilty of unfair competition. Although it is true that many methods of advertising on the Internet are not yet clearly defined in the laws, if a company’s methods would be considered to go beyond those of a normal business practice, it can be assured that those operators may face the possibility of lawsuits and possible criminal actions.

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Infringing Goods shall not be Determined as Well-Known Goods

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Abstract: Under the circumstances of prior trademark rights on the same goods, determining similar trade name used by another person as the special name belonging to a well-known commodity shall be limited. Furthermore, the courts shall necessarily review the ownership of prior trademark as the fact of a case.

(By Luo Yanjie) The special name belonging to a well-known commodity is a protective approach for an unregistered trademark. In particular, the special name shall have no severability itself; otherwise, it shall be limited. In today’s post, we will introduce a case with this element with the following analysis:

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Can a database be Protected by the Copyright Law in China?

Abstract: in order to be considered a compilation, such works should typically possess a number of characteristics, such as the selection or arrangement of the data, and the originality in the presentation of said data. In other words, compilations generally require a modicum of originality and ingenuity present in order to receive some form of protection as an original work.

(By Luo Yanjie) Generally, the copyright of a database protects the arrangement of the database rather than to the contents. The case in today’s post demonstrates this point, and at the same time, provides a bit of good for thought. The following is the introduction to the case.

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Is the Territorial Scope of a Famous Brand Limited to Chinese Territories?

(By Luo Yanjie) Abstract: The determination of a product reputation is usually limited to Chinese territories, while on the other hand the reputation of a mark may involve consideration of overseas reputation.

Freeriding among Chinese manufacturers is unfortunately a very common and severe issue, and for most well known foreign companies, there may be situations in which they have not paid adequate attention to the Chinese market, and ergo have provided insufficient attention to policing its marks within the realm of IPR protection. As a result, the vast majority of foreign brands are helpless in facing rampant infringement.

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Can Employees’ Nondisclosure Warranty Letter Be A Confidential Measure in China?

Abstract

(By Albert Chen) According to the Anti Unfair Competition Law, one of the conditions required for something to constitute a trade secret is whether sufficient measures have been taken for such information to remain confidential. In practice, apart from an NDA (Non Disclosure Agreement), other confidential articles that explicitly indicate the inclusion of remuneration for confidentiality in an employee’s pay, as well as written warranties issued by an employee can both be considered confidential measures in law sufficient to properly maintain a trade secret.

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