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shpc released the 2019 white paper on the intellectual property trials (c&e)top ten cases online
[2020-04-23]

 

 

On April 23, 2020, as the 20th World Intellectual Property Day was approaching, the Shanghai High People's Court (SHPC) held a press conference to issue the Chinese and English versions of the White Paper on the Intellectual Property Trials by the Courts of Shanghai in 2019 and the White Paper on the Patent Trials by the Courts of Shanghai, and release the Top Ten Cases on Judicial Protection of Intellectual Property Rights by the Courts of Shanghai in 2019 and the Typical Cases on Intensified Judicial Protection of Intellectual Property Rights by the Courts of Shanghai in 2019, along with the Judicial Protection of Intellectual Property Rights by the Shanghai Intellectual Property Court in 2019.

Zhang Bin, member of the Party Leadership Group and vice president of the SHPC, Li Shulan, vice president of the Shanghai Intellectual Property Court (SIPC), and Liu Junhua, chief judge of the Intellectual Property Court of the SHPC, attended the press conference, which was presided over by the SHPC¡¯s spokesperson Sun Jing, and answered questions from reporters. Officials from Germany, Italy, the UK and the US consulates in Shanghai, representatives from the EU, Japanese, South Korean, and American chambers of commerce, deputies to the National People's Congress, members of the CPPCC, and more than 40 reporters attended the conference via Tencent Meeting.

It was announced at the conference that, in 2019, the courts of Shanghai accepted 23,580 civil, administrative and criminal cases concerning intellectual property and concluded 23,510 of them, up 3.97% and 6.28% year-on-year, respectively. The number of first-instance cases over copyright disputes and trademark disputes recorded slower growth and respectively registered a YoY increase of 5% and 20.56%. The number of first-instance cases over franchise contract disputes and patent disputes soared by 140.81% and 91.14% respectively compared with the previous year. There were 268 first-instance cases over unfair competition disputes, a YoY decrease of 67.04%.

With the continuous increase in the total number of cases, the courts of Shanghai performed well in terms of the quality and efficiency of trial: 99.70% of cases were concluded, up 2.25% year-on-year; 95.97% of first-instance cases were concluded with judgments accepted by all parties involved and no appeals being instituted, up 1.44% year-on-year; 75.83% of civil and commercial cases were settled through mediation or withdrawn, up 11.18% year-on-year. In addition, one case was included into the Guiding Cases, three into the Gazette, one into China's Top Ten Intellectual Property Cases and four into the Typical Cases.

In 2019, the courts of Shanghai heard a number of complicated cases of new types which involved large amounts and attracted wide attention of the society. The Top Ten Cases on Judicial Protection of Intellectual Property Rights by the Courts of Shanghai in 2019 includes those cases that  came under the spotlight in various industries and the whole society: the one over the sale of products with a counterfeit registered trademark of Kiehl; the one over copyright infringement and unfair competition for the fan-fiction of the Ghost Blows Out the Light; the one over copyright infringement and unfair competition for the online game The Legend of Mir; and the one over copyright dispute for the cartoon character of the Minions.

In 2019, the courts of Shanghai continued to serve and guarantee the overall development from various aspects. In June, the SHPC signed the Agreement on the Exchanges and Cooperation Between the People's Courts in the Yangtze River Delta for the Judicial Protection of Intellectual Property Rights with the High People¡¯s Courts of Zhejiang, Jiangsu and Anhui provinces, establishing a cooperation mechanism for the judicial protection of intellectual property rights in courts of the four places. In October, as a move to provide judicial guarantee to the Lingang New Area of the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone, the Shanghai Pudong Court set up the Lingang New Area Trial Station of the Free Trade Zone Intellectual Property Court.

In 2019, the SHPC deepened its cooperation and exchanges with universities by signing with the East China University of Political Science and Law the Summary of Cooperation on Strengthening Intellectual Property Education and Judicial Practice to intensify cooperation in talent cultivation, book publishing and international exchanges; and arranging for students from Tongji University¡¯s master's programs¡ªthe World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) ¡ªto visit the intellectual property judicial departments of the third-level courts, so as to improve the level of legal education, legal research and judicial trial in the field of intellectual property.

At the press conference, Li Shulan briefed about the intellectual property trials by the SIPC in 2019: the court came up with new ways to upgrade the multiple dispute resolutions mechanism. In some cases over patent infringement, whether the National Intellectual Property Administration (NIPA) maintained the final validity of the patent involved was an additional condition to the mediation agreement, so as to promote the parties to reach a settlement ideally under the current situation; in cases over technical disputes, technical investigators were appointed to participate in mediation, so as to dial down the disputes based on fixed technical facts, allowing more space for mediation.

Meanwhile, the SIPC was proactive in using modern technology to help its judicial work: to have the original evidence checked and the physical evidence examined in online trial of intellectual property cases, the court used the network technology to build a platform for a panoramic presentation of evidence in high definition, adding a 360¡ã high-definition platform for remote presentation of documentary evidence, thereby ensuring that the online trial was carried out efficiently.

In November 2019, the Central Office and the State Office issued the Opinions on Strengthening the Protection of Intellectual Property Rights, which provide important decisions on strengthening the protection of intellectual property rights, improving systems and optimizing mechanisms. At the press conference, Liu Junhua introduced the Typical Cases on Intensified Judicial Protection of Intellectual Property Rights by the Courts of Shanghai in 2019. In 2019, the courts of Shanghai continued to strengthen the judicial protection of intellectual property rights through reform and innovation, and provide quality and efficient judicial services and guarantees for the construction of a highland for intellectual property trials in Shanghai and for the optimization of a creative and innovative business environment.

First, support the claim for compensation in full to validate the value of the right. In the case of Balanced Body Inc. v. Yongkang Elina Sports Equipment Co., Ltd. for trademark infringement, the Shanghai Pudong Court protected the intellectual property rights of Chinese and foreign market players on an equally strict footing by fully supporting the plaintiff's claim for RMB three million of compensation. This is the first case in which a court of Shanghai has ever imposed punitive damages for intellectual property infringement.

Second, explore various procedural mechanisms to effectively safeguard legitimate rights and interests. In the case of Shanghai Diandianle Information Technology Co., Ltd. v. Shanghai Rhinos Interactive Network Technology Co., Ltd. et al. for trademark infringement and unfair competition, the SIPC issued for the first time an evidence production order, requiring the defendants to submit evidence on the income of the allegedly infringing game. As the two defendants refused to submit evidence, the court, after considering the plaintiff's claims and evidence, raised the compensation from RMB 200,000 to RMB 3,000,000.

In the case of Shanghai Hongyan Returnable Transit Packagings Co., Ltd. v. Yiwu Ruilai Plastics Co., Ltd. for infringement of invention patent, the SIPC accurately applied the relevant judicial explanation for "urgent circumstances," decided for the first time on behavior preservation and served it to the exhibition, thus protecting the legitimate rights and interests of the patentee.

Third, step up crackdown on crimes to purify the business environment. In the case of nine people including XU and LU counterfeiting the registered trademark of Kiehl, a world-famous cosmetics brand, and WANG selling products with that counterfeit registered trademark, the courts of first and second instance both found that it was a joint crime and imposed heavy punishment by passing sentences ranging from four years and six months to one year and four months in prison and imposing hefty fines accordingly. After the second-instance judgment was passed in court, the French embassy sent a diplomatic note to the SHPC, thanking it for its judicial protection.

This year marks the 35th anniversary of the implementation of the Patent Law of the People's Republic of China. According to the White Paper on the Patent Trials by the Courts of Shanghai, since the Patent Law came into force, the courts of Shanghai had accepted 7,075 first-instance patent cases and concluded 6,490 of them by the end of 2019. And first-instance patent infringement cases stayed at about 90% of patent cases for a long time. In the 21st century, especially in the past five years, patent disputes have begun to expand to such emerging or subdivision technology fields as gene technology, 4G communication, bike-sharing, computer software, and mobile phone chips.

To meet the demand of the patentees and market players for judicial protection of patented technologies, innovations and inventions, the courts of Shanghai have been careful in handling all kinds of patent cases over the past 35 years, exploring and developing a number of trial rules recognized by judicial practice and legislative provisions.

In the case of VALEO SYSTEMES D¡¯ESSUYAGE v. Xiamen Lukasi Automobile Parts Co., Ltd., Xiamen Fuke Automobile Parts Co., Ltd., and a person by the surname of CHEN for infringement of invention patent, the SIPC made an early judgment. This was the first time that the court of Shanghai had ever ordered the defendant(s) to stop the infringement through an early judgment in handling cases over intellectual property infringement, and the judgment was upheld in the second-instance trial by the intellectual property court of the Supreme People's Court. The case, which is also the first one in which an early judgment was adopted by an intellectual property court, has been included in the Guiding Cases of Chinese Courts and the Top Ten Cases on Judicial Protection of Intellectual Property Rights by Chinese Courts in 2019.

In the case of Xi¡¯an Aoke Automation & Instrumentation Co., Ltd. v. Shanghai Huibo Automatic Gauge Co., Ltd. where the party requested for confirmation of non-infringement of patent, the court made a clear decision that if an allegedly infringing product or method contains the same technical features as those under the patent claims, or if they constitute equivalents, then such product or method constitutes a patent infringement; otherwise it does not constitute a patent infringement. This is the first time that a court of Shanghai has accepted a case applying for confirmation of non-infringement of patent. This case is also a typical example that shows the courts of Shanghai strictly follow the principle of universal coverage when it comes to judgments on infringements in patent trials.

Over the past 35 years, the courts of Shanghai have also been engaged with the reform of the patent trial mechanism, defined the two-level patent trial system governed by the SHPC and the SIPC, established the system for investigation and identification of technical facts which consists of four parts: technical investigation, technical consultation, expert jury and technical appraisal, regulated the settings of special procedures such as technical appraisal and inspection of the scene, and introduced an array of normative documents regarding patent trial, thereby making patent trial more standard and specialized.

At the press conference, Zhang Bin stressed that the courts of Shanghai should strive for modern, international, specialized, and refined trial of intellectual property cases, give full play to the function of providing judicial protection of intellectual property rights, continue to intensify such protection, build a team of professionals needed by the development of intellectual property trials in Shanghai, and improve the judicial protection in promoting the construction of a law-based business environment. By providing more quality and efficient legal services and guarantees regarding intellectual property, we could help increase Shanghai¡¯s capacity and core competitiveness and build the city into a technological innovation center with global influence.

*     White Paper on the Intellectual Property Trials by the Courts of Shanghai in 2019 .docx

*     Top Ten Cases on Judicial Protection of Intellectual Property Rights by the Courts of Shanghai in 2019 .doc

*     Typical Cases on Intensified Judicial Protection of Intellectual Property Rights by the Courts of Shanghai in 2019 .doc

*     White Paper on the Patent Trials by the Courts of Shanghai .docx

*     Judicial Protection of Intellectual Property Rights by the Shanghai Intellectual Property Court in 2019 .docx

 

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The English version of this article, which is translated from the Chinese version by CTPC, is for reference only and shall be subject to the corresponding contents on the Chinese webpage.
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