How to Determine Joint Liabilities of shareholder for IPR Infringement in China?

(By Wang Ting and You Yunting)The limited liability of the shareholders means that the liability of the shareholder to the company are limited to its capital contribution, and the independent personality of corporation means that the Company shall fulfill its external liabilities by all of its properties. Therefore, the shareholders usually do not take personal responsibility in IPR infringement cases even when the long-term business of the company is infringement of the intellectual property rights (“IPR”) in most cases. However, today we will introduce a recent case, in which the shareholders were determined to take such joint liabilities for the IPR infringements.


A Case Showing the Legal Effectiveness of Property Transfer Signed on the Behalf of a Spouse

Case Summary:

(By Zhang Fan) A and B are married. After being married, the couple established a real estate company through joint investment, by which A holds eighty percent of the shares and the owns the remaining twenty percent. C and D wish to purchase all of the company’s shares, to which both A and B agree. Additionally, both participate in the preliminary negotiation with C. Afterwards, however, negotiation was only carried out between A and C, and A signed on behalf of B on the concluded Share Transfer Contract, Shareholders Decision, and the documents prepared for the change of administration. As provided in the Share Transfer Contract, A’s eighty percent share option would be transferred to C, and B’s twenty percent share option would be transferred to D. B did not sign her name on the contract. After the payment by C to A for the share transfer, both parties went to the Administration for Industry and Commerce to register the change. Now the share holding of the company is eighty percent for C and twenty for B (B never took care of the registration transferring ownership to D).


Risk and Its Prevention for Dormant Investment in China

By Luo Yanjie

Recently, Shanghai Huangpu People’s Court issued white paper about cases involved Non-State-Invested Units. The white paper disclosed that the dormant investment is ubiquitous in Non-State-Invested Units during the process of their establishment, and that not only makes investors’ rights and interests unguaranteed, but also cause a serious threat to the commercial good-faith. As introduced, some actual investor would not like to establish the company in their own names considering various factors, but registered the company in others’ name. It results lots of disputes. Now we would like to discuss the risk of “dormant investment” and introduce how to reduce the risk as follows: