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2018年度北京法院知识产权司法保护十大案例(中、英文版)
作者:知产宣  发布时间:2019-04-24 10:30:03 打印 字号: | |

 

 

 

 

案例一:“陆风越野车” 外观设计专利权无效

行政纠纷案

 

 

 

 

 

【基本信息】

案号: 2016)京73行初4497

           2018)京行终4169

原告:   江铃控股有限公司

被告:   国家知识产权局专利复审委员会

第三人:捷豹路虎有限公司、杰拉德加布里埃尔麦戈文

【案情】

涉案专利系名称为“越野车(陆风E32车型)”、专利号为201330528226.5的外观设计专利,专利权人是江铃控股有限公司(简称江铃公司)。针对涉案专利,捷豹路虎有限公司(简称路虎公司)、杰拉德加布里埃尔麦戈文(简称麦戈文)分别以涉案专利不符合2008年修正的专利法第二十三条第一款和第二款提出无效宣告请求。国家知识产权局专利复审委员会(简称专利复审委员会)就此作出被诉决定,认定涉案专利与对比设计在整体视觉效果上没有明显区别,涉案专利不符合2008年专利法第二十三条第二款的规定。据此,宣告涉案专利权全部无效。江铃公司不服,向一审法院提起行政诉讼。一审法院认为,涉案专利与对比设计在前车灯、进气格栅、细长进气口、雾灯、贯通槽、辅助进气口、倒U形护板、后车灯、装饰板、车牌区域及棱边等部位存在不同的设计特征,其组合后形成的视觉差异对SUV类型汽车的整体外观产生了显著的影响,足以使一般消费者将涉案专利与对比设计的整体视觉效果相区分。相比于相同点,上述不同点对于涉案专利与对比设计的整体视觉效果更具有显著影响。因此,涉案专利与对比设计具有明显区别。据此,一审法院判决撤销被诉决定。专利复审委员会、路虎公司和麦戈文均不服一审判决,提起上诉。二审法院认为,在涉案SUV的车身三维立体形状和主要装饰件布局存在较大设计空间的情况下,涉案专利与对比设计在上述两方面同时存在的相同点尤其是车身侧面和前面的相同及相似之处对整体视觉效果的影响权重最高,其他不容易为一般消费者注意到的较小区别对整体视觉效果的影响权重明显较小。尽管涉案专利与对比设计在车身前面和后面存在的主要不同点使两者在视觉效果上呈现出一定的差异,但由于导致视觉效果差异的区别设计特征,多数为现有设计所公开或由现有设计给出了相同设计手法,其对整体视觉效果的影响权重显著降低。从整体上观察,涉案专利与对比设计在车身前面和后面形成的视觉效果差异在整体视觉效果中所占的权重要明显低于两者之间相同点所产生的趋同性视觉效果的权重。涉案专利与对比设计相比,二者之间的差异未达到“具有明显区别”的程度,涉案专利不符合2008年专利法第二十三条第二款规定的授权条件,应当予以宣告无效。据此,二审法院判决:撤销一审判决,驳回江铃公司的诉讼请求。

【点评】

本案是一起社会关注度高、案情疑难复杂的汽车外观设计专利无效行政案件,受到了社会各界的广泛关注。本案对于如何适用“整体观察、综合判断”方法判断外观设计专利与对比设计是否具有明显区别进行了精细化的论述。二审判决明确指出,应当基于一般消费者的知识水平和认知能力,从外观设计的整体出发,对其全部设计特征进行整体观察,在考察各设计特征对外观设计整体视觉效果影响程度的基础上,对能够影响整体视觉效果的所有因素进行综合考量。在判断具体特征对整体视觉效果的影响权重时,不能仅根据直观的视觉感知或者根据该特征在外观设计整体中所占比例的大小即贸然得出结论,而应当以一般消费者对设计空间的认知为基础,结合相应设计特征在外观设计整体中所处的位置、是否容易为一般消费者观察到,并结合该设计特征在现有设计中出现的频率以及该设计特征是否受到功能、美感或技术方面的限制等因素,确定各个设计特征在整体视觉效果中的权重。本案所确立的裁判尺度将直接影响到汽车外观设计领域的授权确权标准,具有重要的导向作用。尤其是在创新驱动发展战略上升为国家战略以及知识产权保护力度不断加大的背景下,汽车制造企业必须转变思路,不断加强自主创新,唯有如此才能在未来激烈的市场竞争中占有一席之地。

 

案例二:“华源医药及图”商标行政纠纷案

 

【基本信息】

案号:(2015)京知行初字第177

 2016)京行终2345

原告:  安徽华源医药股份有限公司

被告:  国家工商行政管理总局商标局

第三人:易心堂大药房连锁股份有限公司、上海健一网大药房连锁经营有限公司

【案情】

诉争商标为第11988470号“华源医药及图”商标,由安徽华源医药股份有限公司(简称华源公司)于201314日申请注册,指定使用在第35类药品零售等服务上。针对诉争商标,国家工商行政管理总局商标局(简称商标局)根据《新增服务商标的通知》(简称通知)第四条有关过渡期的规定,作出《同日申请协商通知书》(简称协商通知书)。华源公司不服,向一审法院提起行政诉讼,请求撤销协商通知书,并请求审查通知第四项的合法性。一审法院认为,通知第四条关于过渡期的规定违法,判决撤销协商通知书,商标局重新审查决定。商标局不服一审判决,提起上诉。二审法院认为,协商通知书将华源公司的诉争商标与引证商标一、引证商标二视为“同日申请”,明显否定了华源公司根据商标法第三十一条第一款所享有的合法权益,对其商标申请造成了实质上的不利影响,构成成熟性行政行为,该行为具有可诉性。通知第四项将“201311日至131日”视为“同一天”,与商标法第三十条的规定不符,在事实上对有关新增服务商标申请作出了新的制度安排,违反商标法第三十一条之规定。鉴于通知第四项违反商标法第三十条之规定,协商通知书亦缺乏法律依据,属于违法行政行为,但考虑到撤销后将会给社会公共利益造成重大损害,不宜予以撤销。据此,二审法院判决撤销一审判决,确认协商通知书违法。

【点评】

2014年修改的行政诉讼法第五十三条第一款将规范性文件列入行政诉讼附带审查的范围,这是完善我国行政诉讼法律制度的一项重要举措。本案根据上述规定,第一次在知识产权领域判决确认行政机关制定的规范性文件违法,在推动知识产权法治进程、规范行政机关权力行使方面具有重要作用。二审法院对行政诉讼法理论上的中间性行政行为和成熟性行政行为进行了区分,严格依照上位法的规定,在确认规范性文件违法的基础上,综合分析规范性文件的适用情况及其所造成的影响,通过仅确认具体行政行为违法,但未予判决撤销的方式,确保广大商标申请人的信赖利益,进而维护社会秩序的稳定。本案对行政诉讼法相关条款的妥善适用,对今后在行政诉讼中对规范性文件的附带审查具有较强的指导意义。

 

案例三:“嘀嘀嘀嘀嘀嘀”商标申请驳回复审

行政纠纷案

 

【基本信息】

案号:(2016)73行初3203

(2018)京行终3673

原告:  腾讯科技(深圳)有限公司

被告:  国家工商行政管理总局商标评审委员会

【案情】

诉争商标为第14502527号“嘀嘀嘀嘀嘀嘀”(声音)商标,由腾讯科技(深圳)有限公司(简称腾讯公司)于201454日申请注册,指定使用在第38类电视播放、信息传送等服务上。国家工商行政管理总局商标评审委员会(简称商标评审委员会)以缺乏显著特征为由对诉争商标的注册申请予以驳回。腾讯公司不服,向一审法院提起行政诉讼。一审法院认为,诉争商标由腾讯公司进行了长期、大量的使用,诉争商标作为QQ软件默认的新消息传来时的提示音与QQ软件之间形成了可相互指代的关系,诉争商标的声音在即时通讯领域建立了较高的知名度,与QQ软件、腾讯公司之间建立了稳定的对应关系,在指定使用的信息传送服务项目上起到了标识服务来源的功能。被诉决定认定其不具备显著性缺乏事实及法律依据。据此,一审法院判决撤销被诉决定。商标评审委员不服,提起上诉。二审法院认为,由于诉争商标仅由单一而重复的“嘀”音构成,相关公众通常情况下不易将其作为区分商品或者服务来源的标志加以识别,诉争商标属于缺乏显著特征的标志。特定的标志本身在特定的商品或者服务上可能缺乏商标注册所需的显著特征,但是当其经过使用而能够发挥识别作用时,则可以根据商标法第十一条第二款的规定予以核准注册。本案中,腾讯公司提供的证据能够证明诉争商标“嘀嘀嘀嘀嘀嘀”声音通过在QQ即时通讯软件上的长期持续使用,具备了识别服务来源的作用。诉争商标在与QQ即时通讯软件相关的信息传送等服务上具备显著特征,可以在上述服务项目上予以初步审定。但是,诉争商标并未在电视播放等服务上实际使用,不构成经过使用方取得显著特征的情形。据此,二审法院在纠正一审判决相关错误的基础上,对其结论予以维持。

【点评】

本案是我国法院审理的首例声音商标案件。2013年商标法修改时,删除了商标构成要素必须属于“可视性标志”的原有要求,拓宽了商标类型的范畴,使得任何能够发挥商品或服务来源识别作用的标志均有可能作为商标获准注册。为平等地对待不同商标注册需求的市场经营者、平等地保护已经获准注册的不同类型商标的商标权人,在商标注册申请的审查过程中,无论具体商标标志由何种要素构成,只要其符合商标法第八条的规定,均应当采用相同的审查标准予以同等对待,除非商标法有特殊规定,否则,不应对声音商标以及今后可能出现的其他新类型商标作出特殊对待。本案中,一、二审法院对声音商标显著特征审查标准以及通过使用获得显著特征的认定进行了有益的探索。二审判决明确指出,对于通过使用而取得显著特征的商标的审查,必须遵循“商品和服务项目特定化”的审查原则,避免显著特征使用取得认定过程中的泛化处理和以偏概全。这一规则的明确为新类型商标的注册审查提供了宝贵的经验。由于诉争商标所使用的是腾讯公司具有较高知名度的QQ即时通讯软件提示音,因而本案备受社会各界关注。

 

案例四: “一种无线局域网移动设备安全接入及数据

保密通信的方法”发明专利侵权纠纷案

 

【基本信息】

案号:(2015)京知民初字第1194

2017)京民终454

原告: 西安西电捷通无线网络通信股份有限公司

被告: 索尼移动通信产品(中国)有限公司

【案情】

涉案专利系名称为“一种无线局域网移动设备安全接入及数据保密通信的方法”、专利号为ZL02139508.X的发明专利,专利权人为西安西电捷通无线网络通信股份有限公司(简称西电捷通公司)。2003512日,国家质检总局发布GB15629.11-2003《信息技术 系统间远程通信和信息交换 局域网和城域网 特定要求 第11部分:无线局域网媒体访问控制和物理层规范》。200617日,国家质检总局和国家标准委联合发布GB15629.11-2003/XG1-2006标准(上述两标准统称为涉案标准),对前述国家标准中涉及无线局域网安全的部分进行了修改。200317日,西电捷通公司向全国信标委出具《关于两项国家标准可能涉及相关专利权的声明》。该声明承诺在西电捷通公司的权利范围内,愿意与任何将使用该标准专利权的申请者,在合理的无歧视的期限和条件下协商专利授权许可。20093月至20153月,西电捷通公司与索尼移动通信产品(中国)有限公司(简称索尼中国公司)就涉案专利许可的问题进行了协商和沟通,但未最终达成许可协议。西电捷通公司以索尼中国公司生产、销售的手机构成专利侵权为由,诉至法院,请求判令索尼中国公司停止使用涉案专利,停止生产、销售使用涉案专利的手机产品,赔偿经济损失及合理支出合计3300余万元。一审法院判决索尼中国公司停止侵权,赔偿经济损失及合理支出共计910余万元。索尼中国公司不服,提起上诉。二审法院认为,涉案专利权利要求1与涉案标准中的技术方案相同。索尼中国公司至少在设计研发或样品检测阶段,未经许可完整地实施了涉案专利技术方案,在制造被诉侵权产品的过程中未经许可实施了涉案专利,侵犯了西电捷通公司的涉案专利权。针对索尼中国公司制造销售被诉侵权产品的行为,由于索尼中国公司仅提供内置WAPI功能模块的移动终端,并未提供APAS两个设备,在没有直接实施人的前提下,索尼中国公司的行为不构成帮助侵权。在标准必要专利的许可谈判中,谈判双方应本着诚实信用的原则进行许可谈判。本案双方当事人迟迟未能进入正式的专利许可谈判程序,过错在索尼中国公司,其应当承担停止侵权及赔偿损失的民事责任。据此,二审法院判决:驳回上诉,维持原判。

【点评】

在通信领域,产业界出于互联互通和提高经济效率的需要,对标准化技术存在内在需求和高度依赖。国内外众多技术标准制定组织制定的大量标准应运而生,其中往往包含大量专利技术。这些技术标准已经成为手机等通讯设备等不可缺少的部分,使得通信领域的标准必要专利成为当今世界上商业价值最大的专利类型之一,并由此产生了大量纠纷。在标准制定过程中,为确保标准的顺利制定和实施,标准必要专利权人自愿向标准化组织做出相应的许可承诺,承诺将遵循“公平、合理、无歧视”的原则与标准实施者进行许可谈判,使得标准实施者对日后进行的许可谈判产生合理的预期和期待,并对标准必要专利权利的行使产生一定拘束力。此点也是导致标准必要专利侵权案件在侵权认定、责任承担等方面有别于普通专利侵权案件的主要原因。本案是国内首例通过终审判决认定标准必要专利实施人构成侵权并被法院依法颁布永久禁令的标准必要专利侵权案件,同时也是为数不多的标准必要专利权人系中国企业并最终胜诉的案件。本案在标准必要专利侵权案件的审理规则和责任承担方面进行了积极地探索,特别是在侵权比对、禁令颁布、过错认定及间接侵权等法律问题上进行了有益的尝试和探索,为今后此类案件的审理积累了经验。

案例五:“斐乐”商标侵权纠纷案

 

【基本信息】

案号:(2017)京0102民初2431

2017)京73民终1991

原告: 斐乐体育有限公司

被告: 浙江中远鞋业有限公司

被告: 瑞安市中远电子商务有限公司

被告: 刘俊

被告: 北京京东叁佰陆拾度电子商务有限公司

【案情】

2008年,斐乐体育有限公司(简称斐乐公司)经授权取得了“FILA”系列注册商标在中国地区的唯一合法使用权。通过持续的商业推广活动和宣传,“FILA”系列注册商标在国内外具有较高市场知名度。20166月,斐乐公司发现浙江中远鞋业有限公司(简称中远鞋业公司)在网络及线下实体店、瑞安市中远电子商务有限公司(简称中远商务公司)在京东等线上网络销售平台,宣传展示、销售的鞋类商品使用的商标标志与斐乐公司所持有的“FILA”系列注册商标相近似。刘俊作为中远鞋业公司原法定代表人、中远商务公司法定代表人、“GFLA杰飞乐”等商标的注册人,参与了上述生产、销售和宣传的侵权行为,其应对上述行为承担连带责任。经斐乐公司统计,三被告侵权商品的销售总额已达到数千万元。为此,斐乐公司诉至法院,要求判令三被告停止侵权、赔偿经济损失900万元及合理开支费用41万元。一审法院认为,中远鞋业公司、中远商务公司在被诉商品上使用“”标志、标注“飛樂(中)”以及在网站上使用标志,侵犯了斐乐公司对相应的“FILA”系列注册商标享有的注册商标专用权。中远鞋业公司、中远商务公司作为同类商品的经营者,理应知晓斐乐公司注册商标的知名度,其在生产的商品上突出使用与涉案商标近似的标志,且在多个网络销售平台上进行销售,销售金额巨大;同时,商标局早在2010719日就以第7682295号“gfla”商标与斐乐公司享有商标专用权的第G691003A号“”商标近似为由,驳回了该商标在“服装、帽、鞋”上的注册申请,三被告此时显然已经充分知晓斐乐公司在先注册的“FILA”系列商标。三被告明知其使用涉案被诉标志可能会给消费者造成严重误导,导致商品来源混淆误认的情况下,仍然继续生产和销售侵权商品,其主观恶意明显,侵权情节严重,应按照中远鞋业公司因侵权获利的三倍确定赔偿数额。据此,一审法院判决:三被告停止侵权,赔偿斐乐公司经济损失791万元及合理开支41万元。三被告不服,提起上诉。二审法院判决:驳回上诉,维持原判。

【点评】

2013年修订的商标法第六十三条第一款首次在知识产权法领域规定了侵害商标权的惩罚性赔偿责任,体现了加大知识产权侵权违法行为惩治力度的立法导向。由于商标法对“恶意”、“情节严重”的内涵未予明确,实践中对此意见不统一,导致适用惩罚性赔偿的案例较少。本案是一起适用惩罚性赔偿条款的典型案例,其典型意义在于:对商标法六十三条惩罚性赔偿条款中的“恶意”和“情节严重”进行了详细分析,明确指出:被诉侵权商品的生产者、销售者作为权利商标核定使用商品的同行业经营者,在其先前申请的商标因与他人在先注册商标构成近似商标被驳回后,仍然在所生产、销售的相同商品上使用与权利商标近似的商标,且进行广泛销售、获利数额巨大,则属于主观恶意明显、侵权情节严重的情形,应按照其侵权获利数额的三倍赔偿损失。此外,法院在本案中根据当事人申请依法向有关电商平台调取了被告涉案网店经营情况的证据,并结合被告自己提交的财务数据,对侵权人因侵权所获得的利益进行了精确的计算。本案对于恶意侵犯知名品牌的行为加大惩罚力度,充分体现了适用惩罚性赔偿条款“显著提高违法成本”的导向,将为类似案件的审理提供参考和借鉴。

 

案例六:“泰囧”不正当竞争纠纷案

 

【基本信息】

案号:(2013)高民初字第1236

2015)民三终字第4

原告: 武汉华旗影视制作有限公司

被告: 北京光线传媒股份有限公司、北京光线影业有限公司、北京影艺通影视文化传媒有限公司、北京真乐道文化传播有限公司、徐峥

【案情】

武汉华旗影视制作有限公司(简称华旗公司)享有《人在囧途》电影、剧本和音乐的著作权,拥有《人在囧途》的一切知识产权。《人在囧途》于2010年上映后,获得了业界的广泛认可。此后,华旗公司开始筹拍电影《人在囧途2》,并就此与田羽生签订了剧本委托创作合同,依约对所创作的剧本享有全部知识产权。201094日,华旗公司职员王子萱将《人在囧途2》大纲通过电子邮件发给徐峥。20115月,华旗公司申报的《人在囧途2》通过审核,并取得了摄制电影许可证。201212月,北京光线传媒股份有限公司投资的电影《人再囧途之泰囧》公映,该影片由北京光线影业有限公司、北京影艺通影视文化传媒有限公司、北京真乐道文化传播有限公司、黄渤工作室出品,徐峥任导演和编剧。华旗公司认为,“人在囧途”为知名商品的特有名称,五被告将电影名称从“泰囧”、“人再囧途”变更为“人再囧途之泰囧”,属于使用与“人在囧途”特有名称相同或相近似名称的行为,容易导致相关公众混淆、误认,构成仿冒行为;光线影业公司、徐峥等在宣传过程中,将电影名称从“泰囧”、“人再囧途”变更为“人再囧途之泰囧”,并在各种场合明示、暗示其为《人在囧途》的续集、“升级版”、“全面升级”、“品牌的延续”、“组合的延续”,构成虚假宣传行为;光线影业公司、徐峥等在《人再囧途之泰囧》电影的宣传中暗示、甚至明示《人再囧途之泰囧》是《人在囧途》的“升级版”,贬损了华旗公司的商誉以及《人在囧途》的声誉,属于商业诋毁行为;华旗公司的电影《人在囧途》获得商业上的成功不仅得益于立意新颖、片名独特,还得益于内容策划和故事情节安排上的独特性,光线影业公司、徐峥等在知晓华旗公司筹拍电影《人在囧途2》的情况下,仿冒华旗公司电影名称,进行虚假宣传、商业诋毁、选取基本相同的演员和电影元素拍摄《人再囧途之泰囧》,直接将《人在囧途》获得的成果据为己有,不公平地占有了华旗公司的市场优势和商业机会,违反了反不正当竞争法第二条第一款规定的公平原则、诚实信用原则和公认的商业道德,属于搭便车的不正当竞争行为。综上,华旗公司认为五被告构成共同侵权,请求判令五被告停止侵权、消除影响并赔礼道歉、连带赔偿经济损失及诉讼合理开支一亿元。一审法院认为,电影《人在囧途》在先具有一定的知名度。五被告选取基本相同的演员拍摄相同类型的电影本无可厚非,但是在五被告知晓华旗公司筹拍电影《人在囧途2》的情况下,仍将其电影名称由《泰囧》变更为《人再囧途之泰囧》,主观攀附电影《人在囧途》已有商誉的意图十分明显,同时还多次公开表达《人再囧途之泰囧》是《人在囧途》的“升级版”等观点,造成相关公众对两部电影产生混淆误认。综上,五被告不当地利用华旗公司电影《人在囧途》在先获得的商誉,损害了华旗公司基于《人在囧途》的成功所拥有的竞争利益,违反了反不正当竞争法第二条第一款、第五条第(二)项的规定,构成不正当竞争,应当承担相应的民事责任。据此,一审法院判决:五被告停止涉案不正当竞争行为、公开消除影响并赔偿经济损失500万元。五被告不服一审判决,向最高人民法院提起上诉。最高人民法院于2018年二审判决:驳回上诉,维持原判。

【点评】

本案涉及《人在途》和《泰》两部深受观众喜爱的电影,审理过程备受关注。本案判决在厘清大量相关事实的基础上,准确运用反不正当竞争法及其相关司法解释,对构成知名商品特有名称的电影标题给予有力保护,为规制行业竞争行为提供了有益的范例。尤其是明确指出,在认定电影作品是否属于知名商品时,不应过分强调持续宣传时间、销售时间等,而应当注重考察电影作品投入市场前后的宣传情况、所获得的票房成绩、相关公众的评价以及是否具有持续的影响力,电影的知名度能够使电影标题发挥区别商品来源的作用,属于知名商品的特有名称,应当受到反不正当竞争法的保护。

 

案例七:“网络浏览器广告过滤”不正当竞争纠纷案

 

【基本信息】

案号:(2017)京0105民初70786号、

2018)京73民终558

原告: 深圳市腾讯计算机系统有限公司

被告: 北京世界星辉科技有限责任公司

【案情】

深圳市腾讯计算机系统有限公司(简称腾讯公司)经营的腾讯视频网站为用户提供视频在线观看服务,其通过购买影视作品版权,提供“免费+广告”及会员制的影视播放服务。北京世界星辉科技有限责任公司(简称世界星辉公司开发运营了“世界之窗浏览器”,该浏览器具有“强力拦截页面广告”的功能,用户在设置中勾选该功能后,可屏蔽视频网站中视频的片头广告和暂停广告。腾讯公司诉称,“世界之窗浏览器”软件的用户使用该浏览器设置的广告过滤功能后,可以有效屏蔽腾讯公司网站在播放影片时的片头广告和暂停广告。上述行为使得腾讯公司无法就网站影片的片头及暂停广告获取直接收益。而世界星辉公司屏蔽广告的行为违反了诚实信用原则及公认的商业道德,损害了腾讯公司的合法权益。故请求判令世界星辉公司赔偿经济损失及合理费用共计500万元。

一审法院认为,涉案具有过滤、屏蔽广告功能的浏览器,不具有对腾讯公司经营造成直接针对性的、无任何可躲避条件或选择方式的特定性损害。浏览器具有广告过滤功能是行业的惯例、共同的经营模式,在其具有的“过滤广告”选项下,运营商的地位平等、需求平等,获取利益的“干扰”也是均等机会。网络用户对浏览器广告屏蔽功能的使用,虽造成广告被浏览次数的减少,但此种减少并不构成法律应予救济的“实际损害”,只损害竞争对手的部分利益、影响部分网络用户的选择,达不到特定的、影响其生存的程度,不构成对腾讯公司利益的根本损害。世界星辉公司的涉案行为不足以构成不正当竞争行为。据此,一审法院判决:驳回腾讯公司诉讼请求。腾讯公司不服,提起上诉。二审法院认为,腾讯视频的经营必然需要支出相应成本,其并无义务在用户不支付任何对价的情况下免费向其提供视频,采用广告方式回收成本属于正当经营活动。被诉行为对视频广告的过滤使得腾讯公司免费视频加广告这一经营行为不能依据其意愿原样呈现,被诉行为显然属于一种主动采取措施直接干涉、插手他人经营的行为。即便需要考虑用户需求,对于理性的用户而言,如果其充分知晓这种满足现阶段需求的方式会带来的长期后果,则可能会改变目前的选择。最后,对于消费者长远利益来讲,视频广告过滤功能可能存在不利影响。综上,被诉行为不仅有违公认的商业道德,且此类行为如长期存在亦会对社会总福利具有明显损害,故属于反不正当竞争法第二条所禁止的行为。据此,二审法院判决:撤销一审判决,世界星辉公司赔偿腾讯公司经济损失100万元以及律师费、经济学分析报告费、公证费共计89万余元。

【点评】

本案所涉互联网浏览器广告过滤功能,是互联网不正当竞争行为中的代表性行为。本案的创新之处在于,法院要求当事人针对被诉行为提交了经济学分析报告,使得对反不正当竞争法第二条的判断更加具有客观性。本案判决是对互联网中新技术发展所带来的竞争秩序问题的回应,对于互联网竞争行为是否违反商业道德,对社会公共利益的影响等问题的认定具有借鉴意义。

 

案例八:“短视频”著作权侵权纠纷案

 

【基本信息】

案号:(2017)京0108民初51249

原告: 北京快手科技有限公司

被告: 广州华多网络科技有限公司

【案情】

快手APP用户于20154月在快手APP上传、发布了名为“这智商没谁了”的视频(简称涉案视频)。北京快手科技有限公司(简称快手公司)认为,涉案视频蕴含丰富艺术创造性,与二人转相似,通过对话和动作使视频内容诙谐幽默,属于具有独创性的作品。根据《快手网服务协议》《知识产权条款》等约定以及用户的授权,快手公司合法取得涉案视频在全球范围内的独家信息网络传播权。2017年,广州华多网络科技有限公司(简称华多公司)在其运营的“补刀小视频”APP安卓端和ios端中上传并发布了涉案短视频。快手公司认为,华多公司的上述行为侵害其对涉案短视频享有的著作权,故起诉要求华多公司赔偿经济损失1万元及相应合理开支。一审法院认为,涉案短视频虽仅持续18秒,但其在该时间段中所讲述的情景故事,融合了两名表演者的对话和动作等要素,且通过镜头切换展现了故事发生的场景,已构成具有独创性的完整表达。结合涉案短视频以数字化视频的形式发布在快手APP上的事实,涉案短视频系摄制在一定介质上,由一系列有伴音的画面组成,并通过网络传播的作品,属于以类似摄制电影的方法创作的作品。虽然时长短的确可能限制作者的表达空间,但表达空间受限并不等于表达形式非常有限而成为思想范畴的产物;相反地,在十余秒的时间内亦可以创作出体现一定主题,且结合文字、场景、对话、动作等多种元素的内容表达。华多公司未经快手公司许可,在其运营的“补刀小视频”中发布涉案视频,侵害了快手公司对涉案视频依法享有的信息网络传播权,应当承担赔偿经济损失等侵权责任。据此,一审法院判决:华多公司赔偿快手公司经济损失1万元及相应合理开支。一审宣判后,双方当事人均未提起上诉。

【点评】

近年来,短视频因其形式新颖、内容丰富、传播迅速等特点而成为最受欢迎的互联网产品之一,与短视频相关的著作权纠纷案件开始大量涌现。本案结合著作权法关于作品构成要件、作品类型等规定,对短视频是否能构成作品以及可以构成何种类型的作品等颇具争议的问题进行了充分论证,最终认定涉案短视频具有独创性,符合以类似摄制电影的方法创作的作品的构成要件。本案被媒体称为全国首例认定短视频构成作品的案件,其典型意义在于,首次以裁判形式认定短视频的可版权性以及其可构成以类似摄制电影的方法创作的作品。在短视频产业已渐成规模并亟待明晰相关主体行为边界的当下,及时回应了短视频行业加强知识产权保护及明晰规则的需求,对产业发展将起到司法保护应有的导向作用。

 

案例九:“音乐喷泉”作品著作权侵权纠纷案

 

【基本信息】

案号:(2016)京0108民初15322

2017)京73民终1404

原告: 北京中科水景科技有限公司

被告: 北京中科恒业中自技术有限公司

被告: 杭州西湖风景名胜区湖滨管理处

【案情】

北京中科水景科技有限公司(简称中科水景公司)主张其对所创作的青岛世界园艺博览会(简称青岛世园会)音乐喷泉《倾国倾城》《风居住的街道》乐曲的喷泉编辑享有著作权,认为杭州西湖风景名胜区湖滨管理处(简称西湖管理处)以考察名义从该公司获得包含涉案作品在内的视频、设计图等资料并交给北京中科恒业中自技术有限公司(简称中科恒业公司),中科恒业公司剽窃涉案音乐喷泉编曲并在西湖施工喷放,侵犯其著作权。为此,中科水景公司诉至法院,请求判令中科恒业公司、西湖管理处停止侵权、赔礼道歉,赔偿经济损失20万元及合理支出8万元。一审法院认为,音乐喷泉作品所要保护的对象是喷泉在特定音乐配合下形成的喷射表演效果。著作权法虽无音乐喷泉作品或音乐喷泉编曲作品的类别,但这种作品本身具有独创性,应受到著作权法的保护。考虑到中科恒业公司、西湖管委会曾接触过中科水景公司的相关喷泉视频、资料,西湖音乐喷泉相关曲目的喷射效果与中科水景公司享有著作权的喷泉音乐作品构成实质性相似,故中科恒业公司、西湖管理处构成侵犯著作权。据此,一审法院判决中科恒业公司、西湖管理处停止侵权、公开致歉、赔偿经济损失及合理支出共计9万元。中科恒业公司、西湖管理处不服,提起上诉。二审法院认为,涉案请求保护的权利载体可以称之为涉案音乐喷泉喷射效果的呈现,由于涉案客体通过对喷泉水型、灯光及色彩的变化与音乐情感结合而进行的取舍、选择、安排,展现出的一种艺术美感表达,亦满足“可复制性”要求,符合作品的一般构成要件。由于涉案客体是由灯光、色彩、音乐、水型等多种要素共同构成的动态立体造型表达,其美轮美奂的喷射效果呈现具有审美意义,符合美术作品的构成要件。从价值解释角度出发,法律解释要顺应科技的发展、跟上时代的步伐。将涉案客体认定为美术作品的保护范畴,有利于鼓励对美的表达形式的创新,有助于喷泉相关作品的创作。在此基础上,二审法院对一审判决关于涉案作品著作权归属以及中科恒业公司、西湖管理处侵犯涉案作品的著作权及责任承担的认定,亦予以确认。据此,二审法院判决:驳回上诉,维持原判。

【点评】

随着科技的发展,视觉美感的表达形式呈现多样化的趋势。对于富有美感的、能为人们所感知,但不属于法律明确规定的作品类型的独创性表达,是否构成作品的判断,引发了作品认定与法定作品类型判断之间顺序关系的讨论。如何在符合法律逻辑的前提下,妥善处理尊重现行法律规定和维护智力创新成果的关系,正是本案的难点和典型意义所在。本案二审判决通过对著作权法第三条和著作权法实施条例第二条的合理解释和适用解决了上述问题。一方面,涉案音乐喷泉喷射效果的呈现是设计师借助声光电等科技因素精心设计所展现出的一种艺术美感表达,符合作品的一般构成要件。另一方面,二审判决通过运用文义解释、价值解释等解释方法对涉案相关条款进行了解释,认为涉案音乐喷泉喷射效果的呈现是一种由灯光、色彩、音乐、水型等多种要素共同构成的动态立体造型表达,这种美轮美奂的喷射效果呈现显然具有审美意义,符合美术作品的构成要件,属于美术作品的保护范畴。二审判决既体现了裁判者对立法者在法律规定中明确无误地表达意思的尊重,也充分展现了裁判者科学地解释法律、以理服人的专业技巧,受到了业界的普遍好评。

 

案例十:“销售盗版网络游戏”侵犯著作权罪案

 

【基本信息】

案号:    2018)京0108刑初1932

公诉机关:北京市海淀区人民检察院。

被告单位:巨石在线(北京)科技有限公司

被告人:   黄明

【案情】

2016年至今,黄明伙同他人,未经著作权人北京闲徕互娱网络科技有限公司(简称闲徕互娱公司)许可,运营与闲徕互娱公司享有著作权的“闲徕琼崖海南麻将”游戏源代码具有高度同一性的“巨石海南麻将”游戏,并通过代理人员销售用于启动游戏的虚拟货币的方式进行非法营利,非法经营数额162 912.9元。20171216日,黄明被抓获。公诉机关于2018921日向一审法院提起公诉,认为巨石在线(北京)科技有限公司(简称巨石在线公司)、黄明的行为触犯了刑法第二百一十七条、第三十一条之规定,已构成侵犯著作权罪,提请依法惩处。巨石在线公司诉讼代表人李勇对起诉书指控的事实和罪名没有提出实质性异议。黄明对起诉书指控的事实和罪名没有提出异议。一审法院认为,巨石在线公司及其直接负责的主管人员黄明以营利为目的,未经著作权人许可,复制发行他人享有著作权的计算机软件,情节严重,其行为已构成侵犯著作权罪,应予惩处。公诉机关指控巨石在线公司、黄明犯有侵犯著作权罪的事实清楚,证据确实充分,指控罪名成立。鉴于黄明到案后及能如实供认自己的基本罪行,巨石在线公司及黄明认罪、悔罪态度较好,且巨石在线公司积极退交违法所得,对巨石在线公司及黄明依法从轻处罚。依照刑法有关规定,判决:巨石在线公司犯侵犯著作权罪,判处罚金20万元;黄明犯侵犯著作权罪,判处有期徒刑1年,罚金10万元。一审宣判后, 巨石在线公司和黄明均未提起上诉。

【点评】

随着互联网经济的快速发展,知识产权犯罪逐渐从现实生活蔓延到网络虚拟空间,特别是手机终端网络游戏领域。近年来,在侵犯计算机软件著作权犯罪案中,复制网络游戏作品,经营“山寨”版手机网络游戏非法牟利的案件明显增多。此类案件的盗版侵权数据大部分都储存在服务器或云端,采用违法获利途径与盗版网站经营公司账户分离的方式躲避侦查。本案被害单位闲徕互娱公司系集研发与运营于一体的知名棋牌类手游公司,涉案游戏亦为知名手游,受众广泛,嫌疑人的盗版行为造成了恶劣的社会影响;且本案在案发后,嫌疑人企图通过篡改和销毁数据、账目等方式逃避处罚或减轻自己罪责,使认定该公司经营游戏币的主要收入的电子数额受到破坏,一度给司法审判工作带来了较大困难。本案主要采用第三方代理公司为被告公司销售“星钻礼品”等用于启动游戏的虚拟货币的收入认定被告单位的犯罪数额,充分运用新类型电子商务支付平台数据及“手游”营销模式的新特点,对此类新型犯罪的电子证据进行梳理和评判,确立了通过第三方平台数据印证涉案犯罪情节的规则,对打击此类故意躲避侦查的新类型犯罪具有示范意义。

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2018 IP Judicial Protection of Beijing Courts

Top Ten Cases

(2019)

 

 

 

 

IP Division, Beijing High People’s Court

April 4th , 2019

 

 

 

 

This English translation of the Top Ten Cases is for reference only. In case of any conflict, the Chinese version of the Top Ten Cases shall prevail.

 

 

2018 IP Judicial Protection of Beijing Courts

Top Ten Cases

 

Case 1  Administrative dispute over invalidation of design patent of "Landwind SUV". 26

Case 2  Administrative dispute over the trademark “Huayuan Pharmaceutical & Device”. 27

Case 3  Administrative dispute over review of rejected application of trademark “DiDiDiDiDiDi”. 29

Case 4  Dispute over infringement of invention patent “a method for the secure access of mobile terminal to the Wireless Local Area Network and for secure data communication via wireless link”. 30

Case 5  Dispute over infringement of trademark “FILA”. 32

Case 6  Dispute over unfair competition of “Lost in Thailand”. 33

Case 7  Dispute over unfair-competition of “advertisement filter of web browser”. 35

Case 8  Dispute over infringement of “short video” copyright 37

Case 9  Dispute over infringement of copyright of “music fountain” works. 38

Case 10  Criminal case of copyright infringement by “selling pirated online games”. 39

 

 


Case 1 Administrative dispute over invalidation of design patent of "Landwind SUV"

 

[Basic Information]

Case No.: (2016) Beijing 73 Administrative First Instance No. 4497

(2018) Beijing Administrative Final Instance No. 4169

Plaintiff: Jiangling Motors Holding Co., Ltd.

Defendant: Patent Reexamination Board of China National Intellectual Property Administration

Third Party: Jaguar Land Rover Limited, Gerard Gabriel McGovern

[Case Brief] 

The design patent at issue, titled “SUV (Landwind E32)” with the Patent Number CN201330528226.5, is owned by Jiangling Motors Holding Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as “Jiangling”). Jaguar Land Rover Limited (hereinafter referred to as “Land Rover”) and Gerard Gabriel McGovern (hereinafter referred to as “McGovern”) filed requests for invalidation of the patent at issue respectively on the ground of violating paragraphs 1 and 2 of Article 23 of the Patent Law (2008 Amendment). The Patent Reexamination Board of the China National Intellectual Property Administration (hereinafter referred to as “the Patent Reexamination Board”) made the disputed decision accordingly, ruling that the patent at issue and the contrastive design had no substantial difference in the overall visual effects and the patent at issue did not conform to paragraph 2, Article 23 of the Patent Law (2008 Amendment), and declared the patent at issue invalid in whole. Jiangling was dissatisfied with the decision and filed an administrative litigation with the court of first instance. The court of first instance held that the patent at issue had different design features from the contrastive design in headlamp, air-inlet grille, slender air intake, fog lamp, penetrating tank, auxiliary air intake, inverted-U shape backplate, rear lamp, trim panel, the area of license plate and seamed edge; visual disparity arising from the combination of such features formed significant influence on the overall appearance of SUVs and was sufficient for general consumers to distinguish between the patent at issue and the contrastive design. In comparison with similarities, the aforementioned differences had more significant influence on the overall visual effects of the patent at issue and the contrastive design, therefore the patent at issue had distinctive difference from the contrastive design. Accordingly, the court of first instance made a judgment to revoke the disputed decision. The Patent Reexamination Board, Land Rover and McGovern were all dissatisfied with the judgment of first instance and filed for an appeal. The court of the second instance held that, where the three-dimensional shape and the layout of major decorative components of the SUV at issue had large space for design, similarities of the patent at issue and the contrastive design in the above two aspects, in particular, resemblances and similarities in the side and the front of car body, had the highest weight of influence on the overall visual effects, while the weight of influence of other minor differences not apt to be noticed by general consumers on the overall visual effects was significantly smaller. Although the major differences in the front and the rear of car body of the patent at issue and the contrastive design made the two patents have certain difference in visual effects, yet as the distinctive design features leading to difference in visual effects were mostly published by existing designs or had identical design methods with existing designs, their weights of influence on the overall visual effects were significantly reduced. As a whole, the weight of difference in visual effects formed by the front and the rear of car body of the patent at issue and the contrastive design on the overall visual effects was significant lower than the weight of the convergent visual effects produced by similarities of the patent at issue and the contrastive design. Comparing the patent at issue and the contrastive design, their differences did not reach the degree of “having distinctive features”, and the patent at issue did not conform to the granting conditions as provided in paragraph 2, Article 23 of the Patent Law (2008 Amendment), thus shall be declared invalid. Accordingly, the court of second instance revoked the first-instance judgment and overruled the claim of Jiangling.

[Comments]

This case was a complicated administrative dispute over invalidation of design patent of automobiles and had attracted wide attention from all sectors of society. The case discussed in details how to apply the method of “overall observation and comprehensive determination” to determine whether the design patent had distinctive difference from the contrastive design. The second-instance judgment clearly pointed out that one should base on the knowledge level and cognitive competence of general consumers, start from the whole of the design patent to make overall observation of its all design features, and, on the basis of investigating the influence degree of each design feature on the overall visual effects of the design patent, make comprehensive consideration of all factors that may influence the overall visual effects. When determining the weight of influence of specific features on the overall visual effects, one shall not rush to a conclusion based only on instinctive visual perception or the proportion of the feature to the whole design; instead, in determining the weight of various design features in the overall visual effects, one shall base on the cognition of general consumers of design space, consider the location of the relevant design feature in the overall design and whether it is apt for general consumers to observe, and consider the frequency of occurrence of the design feature in prior designs and whether such design feature is limited by function, aesthetic perception and technology. The ruling scale established in this case would directly affect the standard of granting and verification of design patents in the field of automobile, and has important guiding role. Especially with the upgrade of innovation-driven development strategy to national strategy and the increasing efforts of intellectual property protection, automobile manufacturers must change the way of thinking and ceaselessly strengthen independent innovation; only in this way, can they win a place in the intense market competition in the future.

 

Case 2 Administrative Dispute over the trademark “Huayuan Pharmaceutical & Device”

 

[Basic Information]

Case No.: (2015) Beijing IP Administrative First Instance No. 177

         (2016) Beijing Administrative Final Instance No. 2345

Plaintiff: Anhui Huayuan Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd.

Defendant: Trademark Office of the State Administration for Industry and Commerce

Third Party: Yixintang Pharmacy Chain Co., Ltd., Shanghai Jianyiwang Pharmacy Chain Co., Ltd.

[Case Brief]

No. 11988470 trademark “Huayuan Pharmaceutical & Design” (hereinafter referred to as “the trademark in dispute”) was applied for registration on January 4, 2013 by Anhui Huayuan Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as “Huayuan”) for use on retail services for pharmaceutical under Class 35. The Trademark Office of the State Administration for Industry and Commerce (hereinafter referred to as “the Trademark Office”) issued the Notice of Negotiation over Applications on the Same Day (hereinafter referred to as “the Notice of Negotiation”) for the trademark in dispute in accordance with Article 4 of the Notice of the Trademark Office of the State Administration for Industry and Commerce on Effectively Conducting the Work Relating to the Application for the Registration of Newly Added Retail or Wholesale Service Trademarks (hereinafter referred to as “the Notice”) which stipulated a transitional period. Huayuan was dissatisfied with the Notice of Negotiation and filed an administrative litigation with the court of first instance, requesting to revoke the Notice of Negotiation and to review the validity of Article 4 of the Notice. The court of first instance found Article 4 of the Notice stipulating a transitional period illegal, and made a judgment to revoke the Notice of Negotiation and order the Trademark Office to reexamine its decision. Dissatisfied with the judgment of first instance, the Trademark Office appealed. The court of second instance found that the Notice of Negotiation, regarding the trademark in dispute as “applied on the same day” with the reference trademarks 1 and 2, clearly denied the legitimate rights and interests enjoyed by Huayuan according to paragraph 1, Article 31 of the Trademark Law, imposed a substantially adverse effect on its trademark application, and constituted a mature administrative action which was litigable. Article 4 of the Notice deemed dates “from January 1 to January 31 of 2013” as the “same day” and was not conform to Article 30 of the Trademark Law; new institutional arrangement was made in fact for relevant newly added service trademarks and was in violation of Article 31 of the Trademark Law. Given that Article 4 of the Notice violated Article 30 of the Trademark Law, the Notice of Negotiation also lacked a legal basis and belonged to administrative act in violation of law. Nevertheless, considering its revocation would cause great damage to interests of the general public, it was inappropriate to revoke the Notice of Negotiation. Accordingly, the court of second instance revoked the first-instance judgment and confirmed that the Notice of Negotiation violated the law.

[Comments]

Paragraph 1, Article 53 of the Administrative Litigation Law (2014 Amendment) includs regulatory documents into the scope of examination incidental to administrative litigations which is an important measure to improve the legal system of administrative litigation in China. In accordance with the above provision, this is the first case in the IP field with a judgement that a regulatory document developed by an administrative organization violated the law, playing a significant role in promoting the legal process of intellectual property and regulating the exercise of power of administrative organizations. The court of second instance distinguished between intermediate and mature administrative actions, strictly abided by provisions of the higher-level law, comprehensively analyzed the applicable situation of the regulatory document and the influence thereof on the basis of confirming illegality of the regulatory document, and ensured the reliance interests of the majority of trademark applicants and maintained the stability of social order by only confirming the illegality of the regulatory document without ruling to revoke the document. The proper application of relevant provisions of the Administrative Litigation Law in this case has a strong guiding significance for the examination of regulatory documents incidental to administrative litigation in the future.

 

Case 3  Administrative dispute over review of rejected application of trademark “DiDiDiDiDiDi

 

[Basic Information]

Case No.: (2016) Beijing 73 Administrative First Instance No. 3203

         (2018) Beijing Administrative Final Instance No. 3673

Plaintiff: Tencent Technology (Shenzhen) Co., Ltd.

Defendant: Trademark Review and Adjudication Board of the State Administration for Industry and Commerce

[Case Brief]

No. 14502527 trademark “DiDiDiDiDiDi” (sound) (hereinafter referred to as “the trademark in dispute”) was applied for registration by Tencent Technology (Shenzhen) Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as “Tencent”) on May 4, 2014 for use on television broadcasting and message sending related service under Class 38. Trademark Review and Adjudication Board of the State Administration for Industry and Commerce (hereinafter referred to as “TRAB”) rejected the application for registration of the trademark in dispute on the ground of lacking distinctiveness. Dissatisfied with the decision, Tencent brought an administrative litigation with the court of first instance. The court of first instance held that the trademark in dispute, through the long-term and extensive use of the Tencent, formed a referential relation with QQ app as the default prompt tone of new messages of QQ app; it established high awareness in the field of instant messaging as well as stable congruent relation with QQ app and Tencent, therefore had the function of identifying the source of services in the designated message sending related service. Denial of its distinctiveness by the disputed decision of TRAB lacked factual and legal basis. Accordingly, the court of first instance ruled to revoke the disputed decision. TRAB was dissatisfied with the judgment and filed an appeal. The court of second instance held that as the trademark in dispute was merely composed of the same and repeated element “Di”, generally the relevant public was not apt to recognize it as a mark distinguishing the source of goods or services, thus the trademark in dispute belonged to marks lacking distinctiveness. A specific mark itself may lack distinctiveness as required by trademark registration on specific goods or services, yet where it has the function of identification through use, it may be granted registration in accordance with paragraph 2, Article 11 of the Trademark Law. In this case, evidence provided by Tencent can prove that the trademark in dispute “DiDiDiDiDiDi” (sound) had obtained the function of identifying the source of service through the long-term and extensive use on QQ instant messaging app. The trademark in dispute obtained distinctiveness on message sending service related to QQ instant messaging app, thus may be preliminarily approved on the above service. Nevertheless, the trademark in dispute had not been actually used on television broadcasting related service, thus did not constitute the circumstance of obtaining distinctiveness through use. Accordingly, the court of second instance affirmed the first-instance judgment on the basis of correcting mistakes thereof.

[Comments]

This is the first case concerning sound mark trialed by China’s courts. Amendment of the Trademark Law in 2013 deleted the original requirement that elements of a trademark should be “visible mark”, in which way expanded the scope of types of trademarks and allowed any mark having the function of identifying the source of goods or services to be granted registration as trademark. To equally treat market operators with various needs for trademark registration and equally protect owners of various types of granted trademarks, during the examination of application for registration of trademarks, any trademark, regardless of elements, shall be equally treated with the same examination standard as long as it conforms to Article 8 of the Trademark Law. Unless specially provided by the Trademark Law, sound marks and any other new type of trademarks that may occur in the future shall not be treated differently. In this case, courts of first and second instances conducted a useful exploration of the examination standard for distinctiveness of sound marks and the determination of obtaining distinctiveness through use. Judgement of the second instance made it explicit that examination for trademarks obtaining distinctiveness through use shall follow the principle of “specialization of goods and services” so as to avoid the generalization in the determination of obtaining distinctiveness through use. Clarification of such rule provided valuable experience for the examination of registration of new types of trademarks. This case attracted considerable attention from all sectors of society because the trademark in dispute was used as the prompt tone of Tencent’s QQ app which enjoys high public awareness.

 

Case 4  Dispute over infringement of invention patent “a method for the secure access of mobile terminal to the Wireless Local Area Network and for secure data communication via wireless link”

[Basic Information]

Case No.: (2015) Beijing Intellectual Property Civil First Instance No. 1194

(2017) Beijing Civil Final Instance No. 454

Plaintiff: Xi’an Xidianjietong Radio Network Co., Ltd.

Defendant: Sony Mobile Communication (China) Co., Ltd.

[Case Brief]

The invention patent “a method for the secure access of mobile terminal to the Wireless Local Area Network and for secure data communication via wireless link” (Patent No. ZL02139508.X) (hereinafter referred to as “the patent at issue”) is owned by the patentee Xi’an Xidianjietong Radio Network Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as “Iwncomm”). On May 12, 2003, the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine of China issued the standard GB15629.11-2003 Information technology--Telecommunications and information exchange between systems--Local and metropolitan area networks--Specific requirements--Part 11: Wireless Local Area Network Medium Access Control (MAC) and Physical Layer (PHY) Specifications. On January 7, 2006, the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine of China and the Standardization Administration of the China jointly issued the standard GB15629.11-2003/XG1-2006 (the above two standards are collectively referred to as “the standards at issue”), making amendments to the part concerning security of Wireless Local Area Network in the aforementioned national standard. On January 7, 2003, Iwncomm submitted the Declaration on Patent Rights that may be Involved in Two National Standards to the National Information Technology Standardization Committee, promising that it was willing to, within its cope of patent rights, negotiate on patent license with any applicants adopting such standard patent rights under fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms and conditions. From March 2009 to March 2015, Iwncomm and Sony Mobile Communication (China) Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as “Sony China”) negotiated and communicated on the license of the patent at issue, yet no license agreement was reached. Iwncomm sued to the court, claiming that the mobile phones manufactured and sold by Sony China constituted patent infringement, and requested the court to order Sony China to cease the use of the patent at issue, cease to manufacture and sell mobile phones using the patent at issue, and compensate over RMB 33 million yuan for economic loss and reasonable expenditures. The court of first instance ruled Sony China to cease infringement and compensate over RMB 9.1 million yuan to Iwncomm for economic loss and reasonable expenditures. Dissatisfied with the judgment, Sony China appealed. The court of second instance held that No. 1 claim of the patent at issue was the same as the technical solution of the standards at issue. Sony China, at least in the stage of design research and development or sample testing, completely implemented the technical solution of the patent at issue without permission, and implemented the patent at issue without permission in the process of manufacturing the accused infringing products, infringing the patent right at issue of Iwncomm. For Sony China’s act of manufacturing and selling the accused infringing products, as Sony China only provided mobile terminals with built-in WAPI function modules without providing the two equipments of AP and AS, the act of Sony China did not constitute contributory infringement without the existence of direct implementers. In the licensing negotiations for standard essential patents, the parties shall negotiate in good faith. The parties involved in this case failed to enter the formal patent license negotiation process for a long time, and the fault was at Sony China. Sony China shall bear the civil liability of ceasing infringement and compensating for damages. Accordingly, the court of second instance rejected the appeal and affirmed the original judgment.

[Comments]

In the field of communications, due to the need of interconnection and enhancement of economic efficiency, the industry has internal needs and high dependence on standardized technology. A large number of standards developed by various technical standards development organizations at home and abroad emerge in response, which often contain a mass of patented technologies. Such technical standards have become indispensable parts of communication equipment such as mobile phones, making standard essential patents in the field of communications ones with the most commercial value in the world today, and a large number of disputes have arisen therefrom. In the development of standards, to ensure the smooth development and implementation, patentees of standard essential patents voluntarily make corresponding license commitments to organizations of standardization and promise to negotiate on license with standard implementers in the fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory principle, so that standard implementers may have reasonable anticipation and expectation for licensing negotiations in the future and the exercise of standard essential patent rights would be constrained to a certain extent. This is also the main reason for cases of infringement of standard essential patents to be different from ordinary patent infringement cases in terms of the determination of infringement and the bearing of liabilities. This is China’s first case of infringement of standard essential patents where the implementer of a standard essential patent was determined as constituting infringement by final judgment and was imposed a permanent injunction by the court, as well as one of the few cases where the patentee of a standard essential patent was a Chinese enterprise and ultimately won the lawsuit. It actively explored the trial rules and the bearing of liabilities in cases of infringement of standard essential patents; in particular, it made useful attempts and explorations on legal issues such as infringement comparison, issue of injunction, determination of faults and indirect infringement, accumulating experience for the trial of such cases in the future.

 

Case 5  Dispute over infringement of trademark “FILA”

[Basic Information]

Case No.: (2017) Beijing 0102 Civil First Instance No. 2431

(2018) Beijing 73 Civil Final Instance No. 1991

Plaintiff: Fila Sport Ltd.

Defendant: Zhejiang Zhongyuan Shoes Industry Co., Ltd.

Defendant: Rui’an Zhongyuan E-commerce Co., Ltd.

Defendant: Liu Jun

Defendant: Beijing Jingdong 360 Degree E-Commerce Co., Ltd.

[Case Brief]

In 2008, Fila Sport Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as “Fila”) obtained the exclusive legal right to use the series of registered trademark “FILA” in China by authorization. Through continuous promotion activities and publicity, the “FILA” trademarks enjoy a high market awareness at home and abroad. In June 2016, Fila discovered that the brand mark used on footwear products promoted, displayed and sold by Zhejiang Zhongyuan Shoes Industry Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as “Zhongyuan Shoes”) in online and offline stores and Rui’an Zhongyuan E-commerce Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as “Zhongyuan E-commerce”) on online sales platforms including Jingdong was similar to the “FILA” trademarks held by Fila. Liu Jun, as the former legal representative of Zhongyuan Shoes, legal representative of Zhongyuan E-commerce and registrant of trademarks including “GFLA杰飞乐”, participated in the aforementioned infringement act of manufacturing, selling and promoting said products, for which he shall be jointly and severally liable. According to the statistics of Fila, the total sales of the three defendant’s infringing goods reached tens of millions of yuan. Therefore, Fila sued to the court and demanded the three defendants to cease the infringement act and compensate RMB 9 million yuan for economic loss and RMB 410,000 yuan for reasonable expenditures. The court of first instance held that the use of the mark “” and the label “Feile (China)” on the accused goods and the marks “  ”and “  ”on the website by Zhongyuan Shoes and Zhongyuan E-commerce infringed the exclusive right to use registered trademark enjoyed by Fila for relevant “FILA” trademarks. Zhongyuan Shoes and Zhongyuan E-commerce, as operators of goods of the same class, should have the awareness of the registered trademarks of Fila; these two defendants prominently used marks similar to the registered trademarks on products they manufactured, and sold such products on multiple online sales platforms with huge sales amount. In addition, the Trademark Office had already rejected the application for registration of No. 7682295 trademark “gfla”on “clothing, footwear, headgear” on July 19, 2010 for its similarity with No. G691003A trademark “  ”for which Fila enjoyed exclusive right to use trademark, and the three defendants were apparently and fully aware of the “FILA” trademarks previously registered by Fila. Where the three defendants, clearly knowing that their use of the accused marks may seriously mislead consumers and easily cause confusion and mistake of the origin of goods, still continued to manufacture and sell infringing goods, their subjective malice was obvious and the circumstances were serious, therefore the amount of compensation shall be determined as three times of the benefits acquired by Zhongyuan Shoes from the infringement. Accordingly, the court of first instance made a judgment, ordering the three defendants to cease infringement and compensate to Fila RMB 7.91 million yuan for economic loss and RMB 410,000 yuan for reasonable expenditure. The three defendants were dissatisfied with the judgement and appealed. The court of second instance rejected the appeal and affirmed the original judgment.

[Comments]

Paragraph 1, Article 63 of the Trademark Law (2013 Amendment) stipulated the punitive compensation liability for trademark infringement for the first time in the IP field, reflecting the legislation orientation of increasing the intensity of punishment for illegal infringement of IP rights. As the Trademark Law did not clarify the connotation of “malice” and “serious circumstances”, opinions thereof were inconsistent in practice, resulting in the small amount of cases applying punitive compensation. This is a typical case applying the provision of punitive compensation, and its typical significance lies in that it analyzed in details “malice” and “serious circumstances” in the provision of punitive compensation in Article 63 of the Trademark Law, and explicitly pointed out that: manufacturers and sellers of goods accused of infringement, as operators in the same industry with goods on which the registered trademark was approved to be used, still used marks similar to the registered trademark on the same goods they manufactured and sold after the trademark they applied for registration had been rejected for constituting similar trademarks with a prior registered trademark of others, selling a large amount of such infringing goods and acquiring huge amount of benefits; such behavior belonged to circumstances of obvious subjective malice and severe circumstances of infringement, and the defendants shall compensate three times of the benefits acquired from infringement. In addition, the court of this case obtained evidence of the business condition of the defendants’ online shops from relevant e-commerce platforms according to law based on the application of the party involved, and, combining the financial data submitted by the defendants themselves, accurately calculated the benefits acquired by the infringers from infringement. This case increased the intensity of punishment for the malicious infringement of well-known brands, fully reflecting the orientation of applying the provision of punitive compensation to “significant increase the cost of breach of law”; it will provide reference to the trial of similar cases.

 

Case 6  Dispute over unfair competition of “Lost in Thailand”

[Basic Information]

Case No.: (2013) High Civil First Instance No. 1236

(2015) Civil Third Final Instance No. 4

Plaintiff: Wuhan Huaqi Movies & TV Production Co., Ltd.

Defendant: Beijing Enlight Media Co., Ltd., Beijing Enlight Pictures Co., Ltd., Beijing Yingyitong Culture Communication Co., Ltd., Beijing Joy Leader Culture Communication Co., Ltd., Xu Zheng

[Case Brief]

Wuhan Huaqi Movies & TV Production Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as “Huaqi”) owns copyrights for film, script and music of Lost on Journey as well as all intellectual property rights of Lost on Journey. After its release in 2010, Lost on Journey had been widely recognized in the industry. Thereafter, Huaqi started to prepare to make Lost on Journey II, and signed a script commission contract with Tian Yusheng, according to which it enjoyed all intellectual property rights for the script created. On September 4, 2010, Wang Zixuan, personnel of Huaqi, sent the outline of Lost on Journey II to Xu Zheng by e-mail. In May 2011, Lost on Journey II reported by Huaqi got approved and obtained the permit for movie production. In December 2012, the film Lost on Journey Again: Lost in Thailand invested by Beijing Enlight Media Co., Ltd. was released to the public; this film was produced by Beijing Enlight Pictures Co., Ltd., Beijing Yingyitong Culture Communication Co., Ltd., Beijing Joy Leader Culture Communication Co., Ltd. and Huang Bo Studio, while Xu Zheng worked as the director and screenwriter of the film. Huaqi believed that “Lost on Journey” is a special name belonging to well-known goods; by changing the name of film from “Lost in Thailand” and “Lost on Journey Again” into “Lost on Journey Again: Lost in Thailand”, the five defendants constituted the act of using names identical with or similar to the special name of “Lost on Journey”; their act may easily cause confusion or mistake of relevant public, hence constituted counterfeiting. During promotion of the film, Enlight Media and Xu Zheng changed the name of the film from “Lost in Thailand” and “Lost on Journey Again” into “Lost on Journey Again: Lost in Thailand”, and expressed and implied on various occasions that the film was the sequel, “upgrade version”, “all-round upgrade”, “extension of the brand” and “extension of the group” of Lost on Journey, hence constituted false advertising. Enlight Pictures and Xu Zheng implied and even expressed in the promotion of the film Lost on Journey Again: Lost in Thailand that the film was the “upgrade version” of Lost on Journey, their act derogated the reputation of Huaqi and Lost on Journey and constituted business discrediting. Business success of Huaqi’s film Lost on Journey came not only from the interesting new approach and the special name, but also from the uniqueness of content planning and the story line; Enlight Media and Xu Zheng, clearly knowing that Huaqi was preparing to make Lost on Journey II, counterfeited the film name of Huaqi and conducted false advertising and business discrediting, and selected the same actors and film elements to make Lost on Journey Again: Lost in Thailand; they directly appropriated achievements of Lost on Journey, unfairly occupied the market advantage and business opportunity of Huaqi, violated the stipulation of paragraph 2, Article 2 of the Anti-Unfair Competition Law on the principle of fairness and good faith and generally accepted commercial moral, and constituted the act of unfair competition of free riding. In conclusion, Huaqi believed that the five defendants constituted joint infringement, and requested the court to order the five defendants to cease infringement, eliminate effects and offer an apology to Huaqi, and pay a joint compensation of RMB 100 million for economic loss and reasonable expenditure of litigation. The court of first instance held that Lost on Journey had a certain awareness previously. The five defendants were not at fault by selecting the same actors to make a same type of film, nevertheless, they still changed the film name from Lost in Thailand to Lost on Journey Again: Lost in Thailand when clearly knowing that Huaqi prepared to make Lost on Journey II, showing obvious subjective intention of clinging to the existing reputation of Lost on Journey; at the same time, they repeatedly expressed in public opinions such as Lost on Journey Again: Lost in Thailand was the “upgrade version” of Lost on Journey, causing confusion and mistake of the relevant public to the two films. In conclusion, the five defendants misused the reputation that Huaqi’s film Lost on Journey had obtained previously, impaired the competing interests of Huaqi for the success of Lost on Journey, violated paragraph 1, Article 2 and Article 5.2 of the Anti-Unfair Competition Law, constituted unfair competition and shall bear corresponding civil liabilities. Accordingly, the court of first instance made a judgment to order the five defendants to cease the act of unfair competition, openly eliminate effects and compensate RMB 5 million yuan for economic loss. The five defendants were dissatisfied with the first-instance judgement and appealed to the Supreme People’s Court. The Supreme People’s Court made the second-instance judgment in 2018 to reject the appeal and affirm the original judgment.

[Comments]

This case involves Lost on Journey and Lost in Thailand, two popular films among the audience, and the trial process raised considerable concern. On the basis of clarifying a large number of relevant facts, the judgment of the case accurately applied the Anti-Unfair Competition Law and judicial interpretations thereof, strongly protected the film name that constituted the special name of well-known goods, and provided a useful example for the regulation of competitive behaviors of the industry. In particular, the court made it explicit that when determining whether a film belonged to well-known goods, the duration of continuous promotion and time for selling shall not be overemphasized, instead, the promotion before and after the release of the film, box office results obtained, evaluation of relevant public and its continuous influence shall be examined; awareness of the film enabled the film name to play a role in distinguishing the origin of goods, hence special names of well-known goods shall be protected by the Anti-Unfair Competition Law.

 

Case 7  Dispute over unfair-competition of “advertisement filter of web browser”

[Basic Information]

Case No.: (2017) Beijing 0105 Civil First Instance No. 70786

(2018) Beijing 73 Civil Final Instance No. 558

Plaintiff: Shenzhen Tencent Computer System Co., Ltd.

Defendant: Beijing World Xinghui Technology Co., Ltd.

[Case Brief]

The website of Tencent Video, operated by Shenzhen Tencent Computer System Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as “Tencent”), provided online video viewing services to users; it purchased copyrights of film and television works and provided film and television works playing services by “watch for free + advertisement” and membership system. “TheWorld Browser”, developed and operated by Beijing World Xinghui Technology Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as “World Xinghui”), had the function of “powerful blocking of page advertisements”; after checking such function in the setup, users may block advertisements at the beginning and during the pause of videos played on video websites. Tencent claimed that after using the advertisement blocking function of “TheWorld Browser” in the setup, users of the browser may effectively block advertisements at the beginning and during the pause of the films played on the website of Tencent Video. Such acts prohibited Tencent from gaining direct benefits from advertisements at the beginning and during the pause of the films played on the website; the advertisement-blocking act of Star World violated the principle of good faith and generally accepted commercial moral, and impaired the legitimate rights and interests of Tencent. Therefore, Tencent requested the court to order World Xinghui to compensate RMB 5 million yuan for economic loss and reasonable expenditure.

The court of the first instance held that the disputed browser with the function of filtering and blocking advertisements did not impose specific damages that were directly targeted without any evadable condition or option to the operation of Tencent. It was the practice and common business model of the browser industry to have the function of advertisement filter; under the option of “advertisement filter” of the browser, operators were equal in status, in needs as well as in opportunities of “interruption” to obtain benefits. Although uses of the advertisement blocking function of the browser by network users reduced the number of views of advertisements, yet such reduction did not constitute “actual damages” for legal remedy; it only impaired some of the competitor’s interests and affected the choice of some network users, and did not reach the specific degree to affect their survival, thus did not constitute a fundamental damage to the interests of Tencent. The disputed act of World Xinghui was insufficient to constitute the act of unfair competition. Accordingly, the court of first instance made a judgment to dismiss the claim of Tencent. Dissatisfied with the judgment, Tencent appealed. The court of second instance held that the operation of Tencent Video inevitably needed expenditure cost; Tencent was not obliged to provide videos to users free of charge where users did not pay any consideration, and its act of cost-recovering by advertisement belonged to legitimate business activities. Filter of video advertisement by the accused act made Tencent’s business activity of “watch for free + advertisement” cannot be presented according to wish, therefore, the accused act apparently belonged to acts of taking the initiative to directly interfere with and intervene in other’s operation. Although user’s needs shall be considered, yet reasonable users may change their current option if they were fully aware of the long-term consequences of such way that met current needs. Finally, for the long-term interests of consumers, the function of video advertisements filter may have an adverse effect. In conclusion, the accused act violated the generally accepted commercial moral, and the long-term existence of such act would obviously impair the social total welfare, therefore the accused act belonged to the activities prohibited by Article 2 of the Anti-Unfair Competition Law. Accordingly, the court of second instance revoked the first-instance judgment and ordered World Xinghui to compensate to Tencent RMB 1 million yuan for economic loss and RMB 890,000 yuan for counsel fees, economic analysis report fees and notarial fees.

[Comments]

The function of advertisement filter of internet browsers involved in this case was a representative act of unfair competition of Internet. Novelty of this case lies in that the court ordered the party involved to submit an economic analysis report against the accused act, which made the judgment under Article 2 of the Anti-Unfair Competition Law more objective. The judgment in the case was a response to the problem of competition order brought by the development of new technologies of the Internet, and had referential significance for the determination of violation of commercial moral by Internet competitive behavior and the influence on public interests therefrom.

 

Case 8  Dispute over infringement of “short video” copyright

[Basic Information]

Case No.: (2017) Beijing 0108 Civil First Instance No. 51249

Plaintiff: Beijing Kuaishou Technology Co. Ltd.

Defendant: Guangzhou Huaduo Network Technology Co., Ltd.

[Case Brief]

A user of Kuaishou APP uploaded and posted the video titled “IQ that Nobody Has” (hereinafter referred to as “the video at issue”) on Kuaishou APP in April 2015. Beijing Kuaishou Technology Co. Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as “Kuaishou”) believed that the video at issue was rich in artistic creativity and similar to the song-and-dance duet; it made humorous content with dialogues and action and had originality. According to agreements including Kuaishou Network Service Agreement and Intellectual Property Terms as well as authorization of the user, Kuaishou legally obtained the exclusive right of communication through information network of the video at issue around the world. In 2017, Guangzhou Huaduo Network Technology Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as “Huaduo”) uploaded and posted the disputed short video on its “Budao Small Video” APP on the Android and iOS terminals. Kuaishou believed that the above act of Huaduo impaired its copyright of the video at issue, hence sued to the court, demanding Huaduo to compensate RMB 10,000 yuan for economic loss and corresponding reasonable expenditure. The court of first instance held that although the video at issue only lasted for 18 seconds, yet it told scenarios in the period, combined elements of dialogues and actions of two performers and showed the scene of the story through the lens shift, thus constituted a complete expression with originality. Combining the fact that the video at issue was posted on Kuaishou APP in the form of digital video, the video at issue was a work filmed on a certain medium, composed of a series of pictures with accompanying sounds and spread through the Internet, hence belonged to works created in a way similar to cinematography. Although the short duration may indeed limit the expressing space of authors, yet the limit of expressing space did not mean short videos had limited expression forms and belonged to products of the ideological category. On the contrary, one can also create an expression of content reflecting certain topic and with various elements of characters, scenes, dialogues and actions within over ten seconds. Huaduo, by releasing the video at issue on the “Budao Small Video” APP it operated without the permission of Kuaishou, impaired the right of communication through information network that Kuaishou enjoyed for the video at issue according to law, and shall bear the infringement liability of compensating for economic loss and others. Accordingly, the court of first instance made a judgment, ordering Huaduo to compensate RMB 10,000 yuan to Kuaishou for economic loss and corresponding reasonable expenditure. Neither party appealed after the judgment of first instance.

[Comments]

In recent years, short video has become one of the most popular Internet products due to its novel form, rich content and rapid spread, and cases involving relevant copyright disputes start to spring up. This case combined provisions of the Copyright Law on constitutive elements of works and types of works, fully demonstrated the controversial issues of whether short videos may constitute works and which type of works short videos may constitute, and finally found that the video at issue had originality and conformed to the constitutive elements of works created in a way similar to cinematography. This case was referred to by the media as the first case determining that short videos may constitute works, and its typical significance lied in that it determined that short videos may have copyrights and may constitute works created in a way similar to cinematography with the form of judgment for the first time. At a time when the short video industry is broadening its scale and behavior boundaries of relevant subjects urgently await clarification, this case responded promptly to the needs of the short video industry to strengthen intellectual property protection and clarify rules, and will play a guiding role that juridical protection should play for the development of the industry.

 

Case 9  Dispute over infringement of copyright of “music fountain” works

[Basic Information]

Case No.: (2016) Beijing 0108 Civil First Instance No. 15322

(2017) Beijing 73 Civil Final Instance No. 1404

Plaintiff: Beijing Zhongke Shuijing Technology Co., Ltd.

Defendant: Beijing Zhongke Hengye Zhongzi Technology Co., Ltd.

Defendant: Lakeside Management Office of Hangzhou West Lake Scenic Area

[Case Brief]

Beijing Zhongke Shuijing Technology Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as “Zhongke Shuijing”) claimed that it enjoyed copyright of fountain arrangements of music Beauty Overthrowing States and Cities and Streets Where Wind Lives of Qingdao International Horticultural Exposition (hereinafter referred to as “QIHE”) Music Fountain, and believed that the Lakeside Management Office of Hangzhou West Lake Scenic Area (hereinafter referred to as “West Lake Management Office”), which obtained videos and design drawings materials including the disputed works from Zhongke Shuijing in the name of investigation and handed such materials to Beijing Zhongke Hengye Zhongzi Technology Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as “Zhongke Hengye”), and Zhongke Hengye, which plagiarized the disputed music fountain arrangements and constructed and played the fountain arrangement in the West Lake, infringed the copyright of Zhongke Shuijing. Therefore, Zhongke Shuijing sued to the court, requested the court to order Zhongke Hengye and West Lake Management Office to cease infringement, offer an apology, and compensate RMB 200,000 yuan for economic loss and RMB 80,000 yuan for reasonable expenditure. The court of first instance held that the object to be protected in music fountain works was the spouting show effect formed by the fountain in combination with certain music. Although the Copyright Law did not have the category of music fountain works or music fountain arrangement works, yet such works had originality themselves and shall be protected by the Copyright Law. Considering that Zhongke Hengye and West Lake Management Office had access to relevant fountain videos and materials of Zhongke Shuijing, and the spouting effect of relevant arrangements in the music fountain of West Lake constituted substantial similarity with the fountain music works for which Zhongke Shuijing enjoyed the copyright, therefore the two defendants constituted infringement of copyright. Accordingly, the court of first instance made a judgment to order Zhongke Hengye and West Lake Management Office to cease infringement, openly apologize, and compensate a total of RMB 90,000 yuan for economic loss and reasonable expenditure. The two defendants were dissatisfied with the judgment and appealed. The court of second instance held that the right carrier protected by the disputed request may be referred to as the presentation of spouting effect of the disputed music fountain; as the object at issue was an artistic and aesthetic expression showed by selection and arrangement of combination of water type, change of lighting and color and musical emotion, and met the requirement of “replicability”, thus conformed to the general constitutive elements of works. As the object at issue was a dynamic three-dimensional expression composed of various elements including lighting, color, music and water type, the expression of its beautiful spouting effect had aesthetic significance and conformed to the constitutive elements of fine art works. From the perspective of value interpretation, the interpretation of law shall adapt to the development of science and technology and keep pace with the time. Determination of the object at issue as belonging to the protection scope of fine art works was conducive to encouraging innovation in the expression form of beauty as well as creation of fountain-related works. On such basis, the court of second instance also confirmed the determination of the judgment of first instance on ownership of copyright of the works at issue, infringement of copyrights by Zhongke Hengye and West Lake Management Office, and the bearing of liabilities. Accordingly, the court of second instance rejected the appeal and affirmed the original judgment.

[Comments]

With the development of science and technology, forms of visual aesthetic expression present a diversified trend. Whether an original expression that is aesthetic, appreciable yet does not belong to any category of works explicitly provided by the law may constitute a work brought about discussions on the ordinal relation between the determination of works and the judgment of legal categories of works. The difficulty as well as typical significance of this case lied in the way to, under the premise of conforming to the logic of law, properly handle the relation between respecting existing provisions of law and protecting intellectual innovation achievements. The second-instance judgment of this case solved the above problem by properly interpreting and applying Article 3 of the Copyright Law and Article 2 of the Regulation for the Implementation of the Copyright Law. On one hand, the presentation of the spouting effect of the music fountain at issue was an artistic and aesthetic expression well-designed and displayed by designers with science and technology factors including sound, lighting and electricity, thus conformed to the general constitutive elements of works; on the other hand, the second-instance judgment interpreted relevant provisions by ways of literary content interpretation and value interpretation, and held that the presentation of the spouting effect of the disputed music fountain was a dynamic three-dimensional expression composed of various elements including lighting, color, music and water type, and such beautiful spouting effect obviously had aesthetic significance and conformed to the constitutive elements of fine art works, hence belonged to the protection scope of fine art works. The judgment of second instance not only reflected the judge’s respect for the legislator’s unambiguous expression of meaning in the provisions of law, but also fully demonstrated the judge’s professional skill to scientifically interpret the law and convince people by reasoning, therefore had been widely praised by the industry.

 

Case 10 Criminal case of copyright infringement by “selling pirated online games”

 [Basic Information]

Case No.: (2018) Beijing 0108 Criminal First Instance No. 1932

Public Prosecution Institution: Beijing Haidian People's Procuratorate

Defendant Unit: Jushi Online (Beijing) Technology Co., Ltd.

Defendant: Huang Ming

[Case Brief]

Since 2016, Huang Ming, along with others, operated the game “Jushi Hainan Mahjong”, which had highly identical source code with that of “Xianlai Qiongya Hainan Mahjong”, copyright of which being enjoyed by Beijing Xianlai Huyu Network Technology Co., Ltd (hereinafter referred to as “Xianlai Huyu”), without the permission of Xianlai Huyu, and obtained illegal profits in the way of selling virtual currencies for start of the game by agency personnel; the illegal profits totaled RMB 162,912.9 yuan. Huang Ming was arrested on December 16, 2017. The public prosecution institution initiated a public prosecution to the court of first instance on September 21, 2018, believing that the act of Jushi Online (Beijing) Technology Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as “Jushi Online”) and Huang Ming violated Articles 217 and 31 of the Criminal Law and constituted the crime of infringing copyright, and requested the court to impose punishment according to the law. Li Yong, the representative of action of Jushi Online, did not raise any substantive objection to the facts and charges of the indictment. Huang Ming did not raise any objection to the facts and charges of the indictment. The court of first instance held that Jushi Online and Huang Ming, its directly responsible manager, copied and distributed the computer software that others enjoyed copyright without the permission of the copyright owner for the purpose of seeking profits, the circumstance was severe and their act constituted the crime of infringing copyright, therefore shall be punished. The criminal facts charged by the public prosecution institution were clear, the evidence was credible and sufficient, and the crime charged by the public prosecution institution was proved. Considering that Huang Ming truthfully confessed to his basic crimes after appearing before the court, Jushi Online and Huang Ming showed repentance, and Jushi Online voluntarily withdrawn its illegal gains, the defendants should be given a lighter punishment according to the law. The court made a judgment that Jushi Online committed the crime of infringing copyright and should be imposed on a fine of RMB 200,000 yuan; Huang Ming committed the crime of infringing copyright and should be sentenced to a fixed-term imprisonment of one year together with a fine of RMB 100,000 yuan. After the first-instance judgment was pronounced, neither Jushi Online nor Huang Ming appealed.

[Comments]

With the rapid development of the Internet economy, intellectual property crimes have gradually spread from real life to cyberspace, especially to the field of online games on mobile terminals. In recent years, among cases involving crimes of infringing computer software copyrights, the number of cases in which online game works were copied and “knock-off” mobile online games were operated for illegal gains has increased significantly. Most data of such piracy and infringement were stored in servers or the cloud, and separation of the way of obtaining illegal gains from accounts of the operating companies of pirated websites was applied to evade detection. Xianlai Huyu, victim in this case, is a well-known chess and card mobile game company combining research and development and operation, the game involved is also a well-known mobile game with a wide range of players, and piracy of the suspect produced a bad impact on the society. In addition, after the incident, the suspect attempted to evade punishment or diminish responsibility by tampering with and destroying data and accounts, which led to damages to the electronic amount used for determining the main income from operating game currencies by the company and once brought great difficulties to the judicial work. This case mainly used the income of third party agency companies from selling “star diamond gifts” and other virtual currencies for start of the game for the defendant company to determine the amount of crime of the defendant unit, and fully utilized data of new-type e-commerce payment platforms and new features of marketing patterns of mobile games to clarify and judge the electronic evidence of such new type of crime. It established the rule of verifying criminal circumstances by data of third-party platforms, and had a modeling significance for combating such new types of crimes that intentionally evade inspection.

 

责任编辑:梅玉兰