Recently, our firm won the first instance of an administrative litigation case for invalidation of an invention patent, in which it is ruled that the invention patent should be comp...
Introduction In the chemical field, it is difficult to seek invalidation of a patent claiming to have achieved unexpected technical effect. This case provides a strategy for success...
What’s New in October, 2023

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Huawei and Xiaomi Reached Global Patent Cross-licensing Agreement
Recently, Huawei and Xiaomi announced a global patent cross-licensing agreement covering communication technologies including 5G.

It is reported that by the end of 2022, Huawei held more than 120,000 valid granted patents, mainly in China, Europe, the Americas, Asia Pacific, the Middle East, and Africa.

As of March 31 this year, Xiaomi’s global granted patents have exceeded 32,000. According to the ranking of effective global patent family enterprises with 5G standard essential patent claims released by the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology, Xiaomi’s patent family accounted for 4.1%, entering the top ten in the world for the first time. (September 13, Everyday IP WeChat public account)

Anti-Unfair Competition
Awarded 10 Million Yuan! Unauthorized Use of a Well-known Trademark for Investment
and Franchises was Judged to be Infringement
A few days ago, Guangzhou Intellectual Property Court heard a trademark infringement and unfair competition dispute case in which a merchant used the “Swisse” trademark to attract investment and franchises across the country, and the merchant was punished by the court and awarded CNY 10 million (approximately USD 1,367,540) as punitive damages.

H&H Company and Swisse Company are the licensees of the “Swisse” trademark, responsible for the commercial promotion and product sales of the “Swisse” brand in mainland China. Swisse Company used to cooperate with Shanghai Xu Yin Company and agreed that Shanghai Xu Yin Company would use “Swisse” products to prepare and promote healthy tea drinks, and the cooperation was terminated. After the termination of the cooperative relationship with Swisse Company, Shanghai Xu Yin Company and Jian Ao Company continued to use “Swisse” to carry out the operation of tea stores, attract investment and franchise, publicize and promote and “authorize” franchisees to use the “Swisse” trademark in tea stores. Believing that Shanghai Xu Yin and Jian Ao had infringed on their exclusive right to use the “Swisse” trademark and committed acts of unfair competition, H&H Company and Swisse Company filed a lawsuit with the Guangzhou Intellectual Property Court, requesting the court to apply punitive damages of 5 times based on the profits from the infringement of the two defendants.

After trial, Guangzhou Intellectual Property Court held that the plaintiff’s trademark involved in the case enjoys a high reputation, and after the plaintiff terminated the contract and sent a lawyer’s letter to the defendants, the defendants still committed the infringement on a large scale, and the two defendants divided up their labor and cooperated to jointly commit trademark infringement and unfair competition, and the infringement was intentional; Taking advantage of the high reputation of the plaintiff’s trademark, the defendants carried out large-scale recruitment of investment and franchise throughout the country, making huge profits and having caused serious damage to the plaintiff’s goodwill. Due to the reason that the infringement was serious, the court upheld 2.5 times the punitive damages and rendered the above judgment. (September 13, Guangzhou Intellectual Property Court)
Unauthorized Use of Packaging and Decoration Similar to “Yakult” Five-in-a-Row was Judged to Constitute Unfair Competition
Recently, Shanghai Intellectual Property Court rejected the appeal filed by Company Y and its subsidiaries against Yakult Honsha Co., Ltd. in the unfair competition dispute appeal case and upheld the original judgment of second instance.

Yakult Honsha Co., Ltd., the exclusive owner of the “Yakult” series trademarks, filed a lawsuit against Company Y and its subsidiaries in the court of first instance for using packaging and decoration similar to “Yakult” lactic acid bacteria milk beverages with respect to its “You Jun lactic acid bacteria milk beverages” they produced, sold and promised to sell, which constituted unfair competition.

After trial, the court of first instance held that after long-term use and extensive publicity, the five-in-a-row packaging of “Yakult” lactic acid bacteria milk beverages has the function of identifying the source of goods and can be protected as a commodity packaging and decoration with certain influence in the sense of the Anti-Unfair Competition Law.

The packaging and decoration adopted by Company Y and its subsidiaries on its You Jun beverages is similar to the five-in-a-row packaging of “Yakult” lactic acid bacteria milk beverages, and it is likely to cause confusion amongst ordinary consumers about the source of the goods, and the relevant behaviors constitute unfair competition. Accordingly, the court of first instance ordered Company Y and its subsidiaries to stop the act of unfair competition and compensate for economic losses and reasonable expenses totaling CNY 350,000 (approximately USD 47,873). Company Y and its subsidiaries were dissatisfied with the judgment and appealed.

After hearing, Shanghai Intellectual Property Court upheld the first-instance judgment and sustained the original judgment. (September 21, Shanghai Intellectual Property Court WeChat public account)

IP-related Policy
Annual Report of Anti-Unfair Competition Law Enforcement in China (2022) Released
Recently, the State Administration for Market Regulation released the Annual Report of Anti-unfair Competition Law Enforcement in China (2022) in Chinese and English, which comprehensively shows the results of China’s anti-unfair competition work in 2022 from six parts: work overview, law enforcement achievements, legal construction, typical cases, local work and major events. (September 20, SAMR official WeChat public account)
Notice of the Office of the China National Intellectual Property Administration on the Publication of Relevant Data on Patent Exploitation License Contracts Filed in 2022 and the Past Five Years
Recently, the China National Intellectual Property Administration released statistics on patent exploitation licenses in 2022 and the past five years (2018-2022). (September 21, CNIPA)

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