(By Lisa Li) In accordance with relevant laws of People’s Republic of China (“PRC), judicial interpretation by PRC Supreme People’s Court, judicial interpretation by local Superior People’s Courts and local regulations and based on the author’s research into and analysis of over two dozens of litigation cases from Shanghai and Beijing etc, the author elaborates on the application of laws on non-competition clauses from the perspective of Chinese employment law practice. The following is Part I of this topic on application of laws on non-competition clauses.
(By Xiong Leizhi) Some popular We Chat accounts recently received a lawyer letter about copyright infringement from a well-known picture library. Before that some We Media were sued for picture infringement. Content creators are in trouble since 2015 when capital flooded in and proceeds surged. In the circumstances where start-ups abound and the gross national attention remains constant, each start-up tries to attract customers quickly and keep their interest for a long time. However, it takes much time to create an original piece of content. As a result, increasingly more unauthorized copies of works appear. The above cases that recently happened arose out of infringement.
1.Catalogue of Industries for Guiding Foreign Investment (Revised Edition 2017)
Promulgated by the National Development and Reform Committee
File No. No.4 Order of the NDRC
Promulgation date: 28th June 2017
Effective date: 28th July 2017
The Catalogue of Industries for Guiding Foreign Investment (Revised Edition 2017) first introduced the negative list for foreign investment access, containing 63 articles about restrictions and prohibitions, decreased by 30 articles compared with the 2015 edition. The Catalogue shall be the basis on which the pre-establishment national treatment and negative list administration model is implemented. No measure should be taken to restrict foreign investment access to any area outside the scope of the negative list. The new Catalogue further relaxes the restrictions on foreign investment access to service, manufacturing and mining industries and especially abolishes the restrictions on foreign investment access to industries of oil and gas for special use, precious metals, lithium ores, etc. (Source: Website of the National Development and Reform Committee)
(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.
1.The State Council Issues the Notice on Active Measures to Expand Opening Up and Use Foreign Funds
On 17th January 2017 the State Council issued the Notice on Active Measures to Expand Opening Up and Use Foreign Funds in order to clarify opening up and foreign fund use policies and create a fair and favorable market environment.
(Source: Website of the Central Government)
2.The State Administration for Industry and Commerce Publishes the Opinions on Comprehensive Promotion of the Simplified Registration Cancellation Policy
(By You Yunting) Large number of business opportunities have arisen from the rapid development of wireless and mobile technologies. As a result, new startups appear one after another, scrambling for these opportunities. However, the faster a market grows, the fiercer competition it involves. The process of Entrepreneurship is a race with other outstanding entrepreneurs, in which they use reasonable efforts to gain competitive advantages and win their rivals. If properly used, intellectual property rights can be very helpful in creating advantages. Here, let’s talk about what advantages can startups create by using intellectual property.
(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
(By You Yunting)Introduction to the Case:
Appellant (Defendant at first instance): Jiangsu Xunong Seeds Science and Technology Co., Ltd (the “Xunong”)
Respondent (Plaintiff at first instance): Tianjin Tianlong Seeds Science and Technology Co., Ltd (the “Tianlong”)
Court of first instance: Nanjing City Intermediate People’s Court No.: (2009)宁民三初字第63号
Court of second instance: Jiangsu Province Higher People’s Court No.: (2011)苏知民终字第0194号
On November 10, 2000, a new three-crossbreed hybrid japonica rice named “9优418”, jointly cultivated by the Liaoning Rice Research Institute (the “LRRI”) and the Xuzhou Academy of Agricultural Sciences (the “AAS”), was approved by the National Crop Variety Approval Committee of China (the “NAVAC”).
- The Legislative Affairs Office of the State Council Releases the newly revised Copyright Law of the People’s Republic of China (under Review) and Solicits Public Opinions for It
On 6 June 2014, the Legislative Affairs Office of the State Council released the newly revised Copyright Law of the People’s Republic of China (under Review) and solicited public opinions for it. The deadline for opinion solicitation will be 5 July 2014.
What is most significantly revised according to the draft copyright law under review includes provisions on objects, contents, ownership and the validity period of rights within the scope of copyright. Also, it has stipulated more penalties that will be imposed on those who infringe others’ copyrights and has set forth means of enforcement by administrative authorities concerned, who have powers of seizure and confiscation, which was first stipulated by laws.
Is It Illegal for the SARFT to Prohibit Installing Youku and Iqiyi in Internet Cable Box?
–Analysis on the Prohibition of Installing Youku App and Iqiyi App on the Internet Cable Box
(By You Yunting) According to some media reports, the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (the ”SARFT”) issued a rule to local administrations requesting to delete Youku App, Iqiyi App, Sohu App and browsers from Wasu Box and Internet cable Set-top boxes (the “boxes”), which enables users to support TV, games, online video, music and photos. At first glance, i was astonished how it could be called boxes if without Youku App, Iqiyi App and browsers. However, Hangzhou Wasu Digital TV Media Group confirmed receiving the rule shortly after the reports came out. That being the condition, we would like to analyze the rule.
(By You Yunting)Abstract: The Yunnan Baiyao Group Co., Ltd had used its good historical reputation, its customer’s curiosity about its ingredients and the protection afforded to a state-secret recipe to make large profits. However, with the proliferation of awareness of an individual’s rights and the gradual strengthening of democratic consciousness, its enterprise institutions and culture are eroding consumer confidence in the brand and ruining its business reputation in the eyes of consumers.
(By You Yunting) Recently, we introduced that Zhejiang Xiyingmen Beer Company constituted trademark infringement through the use of recycled Budweiser’s beer bottle. In today’s post, we will introduce an unfair competition lawsuit where Zhejiang Xiyingmen Beer Company used the similar packaging and presentation with that of Budweiser-sponsored Harbin Beer.
Introduction to the Case:
Appellant (Defendant at the first instance): Xiyingmen Beer Company
Respondent (Plaintiff at the first instance): Anheuser-Busch and Harbin Brewery Group (the “Harbin Brewery”)
(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.
(By You Yunting) Malicious litigation refers to instituting a lawsuit through fictional facts and falsified evidences for the purpose of receiving unlawful benefits. In today’s post, we will introduce some provisions about malicious litigation in intellectual property laws and civil procedure law in China.
I. Provisions on wrongful litigation injunction can be applied into malicious litigation.
In litigations concerning patent, trademark and copyright, the right holder always applies for such litigation injunctions as termination of infringement, evidence preservation and property preservation. Where the court approved the application, if the litigation is proved to be malicious, the respondent may require the applicant to compensate for such losses. Article 13 of the Several Provisions of the Supreme People’s Court on the Issues Concerning the Application of Law to Terminating Infringement upon Patent Prior to Litigation stipulates that:
(By Yu ZhiYuan) On 28 December 2013, the decision on amending the previous company law was promulgated by the National People’s Congress. The amendment this time will concentrate solely on changing the corporate capital system dramatically in the following three ways. First, the registered capital to-be-paid-in system will be launched. Second, the minimum registered capital will no longer be required. Third, the maximum proportion of intangible assets to the total registered capital will no longer be required. Obviously the amendment was made as a response of legislative authorities to the resolutions approved at the Third Plenary Session of the Eighteenth Central Committee. This article provides an analysis and brief comments on the amendment.