When handling a dispute between trademark and copyright, Chinese courts always apply a rather high standard to determine whether works protected under trademark law will also receive protection under the copyright law. Our website previously discussed this question in the posts Analysis on Proof Requirements in Figurative Trademark Infringing Others’ Copyright Cases by China Court and Why the Calligraphic Character’s Copyright Failed to Defeat Trademark Right.Today, we’d like to introduce a case regarding conflicts between a work of fine art and a trademark, due to the identical combination of Chinese characters and English letters.
By Luo Yanjie
According to China “copyright law”, commercial using pirated software is a typical act of infringement. We generally recommend the right owner taking civil action against pirates. But in many cases, administrative complaints against them will be more efficient because it is hard to get “evidences”. Today, we would like to introduce how to start a copyright infringement complaint inChina.
I. Legal basis of administrative complaints to pirates users
The current “copyright law” article 47 provides:“Any of the following acts of infringement shall, depending on its circumstances, be demanded for civil responsibility such as cease of the infringement, elimination of effects, public apology or compensation for loss; if the act causes a damage to the public interests simultaneously, the copyright administration department may order the person committing the act to stop the act of infringement, confiscate his illegal gains, confiscate and destroy the infringing copies and impose a fine thereon; if the circumstances are serious, the copyright administration department may also confiscate the key materials, tools and equipment mainly used for making infringing copies; and if the act constitutes a crime, criminal responsibility shall be demanded according to law”. This is the law basis for China Administration of copyright administrative punishment. In addition, the” Regulations for the protection of computer software” article 24 also make similar provisions in the light of computer software tort ( similar with ” copyright law”, repeat no longer here ). And” Decree of the National Copyright Administration of the PRC ” also provides the jurisdiction of an administrative copyright complaint case belongs to the State Copyright Bureau and the local copyright bureau, and make detailed provisions of legal procedure.
On 1st March, 2012, the State Copyright Office issued the statistical table on the copyright protection law enforcement in China of 2010. The last time we saw the table was in 2009 of the statistical table on the 2008 copyright protection law enforcement.
As shows in the table, the law enforcement on the copyright protection has been strengthened a lot, with a vast increase in the amount of administrative punishment, cases transferred to the police, the penalty amount, etc. And the detailed information is as follows:
—- Analysis on the Registration System of Copyright in China
Highlight: The copyright registration may enjoy subsidies from the government in some regions in China. Meanwhile, the registration is also kind of solid protection regarding copyright.
News reports indicate that Provisional Measures on Administrative Subsidy on Copyright Registration in Ningbo City will be enforced from this October; the subsidy covers the registration fee of PC software, cosmic works, online games and other legal and popular works.