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2016年武汉市保护知识产权十大典型案例

发布时间:2017-04-24浏览:6501发布人:执法处

一、李某等销售假冒注册商标的商品案

【案情】被告人李某在得知购买人张某所需“白云边”系列白酒的品种和数量后,向被告人周某、王某提出购买假冒的“白云边”系列白酒。而后,周某联系被告人郭某购买假冒的“白云边”系列白酒,并安排王某与郭某接洽,由郭某驾驶车辆在王某的指挥下与李某汇合,将假冒注册商标“白云边”系列的白酒最终销售给购买人张某。被告人李某、周某、王某、郭某的非法经营数额分别为32.47万元、26.805万元、23.055万元和18.35万元。

江岸区人民法院经审理认为,被告人李某、周某、王某、郭某明知是假冒注册商标的商品而大量购进用以销售,构成销售假冒注册商标的商品罪;遂依法作出判决:判处李某有期徒刑三年,并处罚金人民币16.5万元;周某有期徒刑二年六个月,并处罚金人民币13.5万元;王某判处有期徒刑二年,并处罚金人民币11.5万元;郭某有期徒刑二年,并处罚金人民币9.5万元。

【点评】该案是一起典型的侵犯商标权犯罪案。“白云边”品牌的系列文字、图像商标是相关商标权利人在我国合法注册的商标,具有很高的知名度,应受我国法律保护。这些假冒白酒流通进入市场后,不仅会侵害注册商标所有人多年建立起来的良好商誉,更直接威胁着消费者的身体健康,具有严重的社会危害性。该案的审理和判决,在于打击明知是假冒注册商标的商品而予以销售的行为,除了对行为人处以人身刑以外,还对其科以较重的罚金财产刑,使行为人因实施侵犯知识产权的行为而承担被限制人身自由及巨大经济损失的法律后果,起到惩罚犯罪和预防犯罪的作用。

    二、芝华士控股(知识产权)有限公司[CHIVAS HOLDINGS(IP) LIMITED]、芝华士兄弟有限公司(CHIVAS BROTHERS LIMITED)诉烟台某酒业有限公司、万某侵害注册商标专用权及不正当竞争纠纷案

【案情】原告芝华士控股(知识产权)有限公司[CHIVAS HOLDINGS(IP) LIMITED]系第G858862A号“ROYAL SALUTE”图形商标、第3958981号立体商标、第7186027号立体商标、第7186031号立体商标以及第7186075号立体商标的所有人,并许可原告芝华士兄弟有限公司(CHIVAS BROTHERS LIMITED)使用上述商标。经持续、广泛的宣传,原告生产、销售的“ROYAL SALUTE/皇家礼炮”21年苏格兰威士忌酒,获得了较高的知名度。被告烟台某酒业有限公司在未经原告许可的情况下,在其生产、销售的“ELYSEE WHISKY”酒上使用与原告商标及商品包装高度近似的酒瓶瓶身及商品外包装。被告万某则未经原告许可,销售了上述商品。

武汉市中级人民法院经审理认为,被告生产、销售的涉案被控侵权产品侵害了原告第G858862A号、第3958981号、第7186027号、第7186031号、第7186075号注册商标专用权,被告擅自在其生产、销售的涉案被控侵权商品上使用与原告知名商品近似包装的行为,构成不正当竞争;依法作出判决:被告烟台某酒业有限公司与被告万某立即停止侵害并销毁涉案侵权产品;被告烟台某酒业有限公司赔偿原告经济损失人民币50万元。宣判后,原、被告均未提起上诉。

【点评】首先,本案涉及全球知名品牌“芝华士”。判决作出后,原、被告双方均服判息诉,未提起上诉,取得了较好的社会效果。其次,本案案情复杂。立体商标的侵权比对不同于一般平面商标,在作近似比对时,既要把握立体商标的显著特点,又要排除商标中,因商品自身性质产生的形状、为获得技术效果而需要的商品形状,或使商品具有实质性价值的形状等通用元素。最后,本案具有特殊性。系湖北省内第一起立体商标侵权案件,类似案件在全国亦不多见。

三、武汉小桔灯文化信息交流有限责任公司诉许某、浙江淘宝网络有限公司侵害著作权纠纷案

【案情】原告武汉小桔灯文化信息交流有限责任公司(以下简称小桔灯公司)是《小桔灯快速阶梯序列作文教案》的版权所有人。被告许某在未经原告授权的情况下,2015年11月2日之前,在淘宝网上经营的店铺“安徽快乐书吧”内出售名为“最新小桔灯作文纸质教案特价一站式作文上课专用”的图书和其他含“小桔灯”字样的商品,如“小桔灯作文上课培训辅导”、“小桔灯作文培训”、“小桔灯全套教案”等,销售额总计约1.9万元。2015年10月20日,小桔灯公司向浙江淘宝网络有限公司(以下简称淘宝公司)送达《律师函》称:淘宝网站上的“安徽快乐书吧”店铺出售的小桔灯作文纸质教案是侵权作品,要求立即停止侵权并提供“安徽快乐书吧”的经营者的信息。2015年11月2日,在淘宝公司删除了“最新小桔灯作文纸质教案特价”的相关链接后,该网店继续销售含“小桔灯”字样的其他图书约1500元。2016年5月3日,一审法院判决许某立即停止侵权行为,赔偿原告经济损失2.2万元;判决被告淘宝公司立即删除侵权商品在淘宝网上的链接,对许某赔偿金额中的5000元承担连带赔偿责任。一审判决后,被告淘宝公司不服,上诉至市中级人民法院。二审改判:维持一审判决有关被告许某的判项,撤销其他判项。

【点评】网络交易平台服务提供者按权利人通知要求删除侵权商品链接后,若有关网络用户再次实施侵权行为,平台服务提供者应否对网络用户的再次侵权行为承担连带责任,一直是网络知识产权侵权诉讼中的难点问题。互联网经济方兴未艾,而电子商务作为作为互联网经济的主要支撑,对《侵权责任法》的理解适用应当在权利人利益保护与产业发展之间作出合理的平衡。二审法院认为,对网络交易平台服务提供者对网店再次侵权行为主观认知状态的判断,应结合网络交易商品上线交易流程、商品命名管理规定以及平台制定的侵权惩处规则等要素予以综合判定,不能一概推定其应知晓卖家的再次侵权行为,进而要求其承担连带责任。这一判决将抽象的法律规定进一步具体化,较好地平衡了权利保护与互联网产业发展的需要。

四、陈某、张某等假冒注册商标案

【案情】被告人陈某、张某原分别系武汉猫人制衣有限公司(以下简称猫人公司)所属部门活力派事业部的总经理和销售经理,被告人李某系猫人公司安徽省经销商,被告人徐某系常州某针纺织品有限公司的负责人。2014年,陈某、张某、李某得知猫人公司不再向经销商提供“猫人”内衣,陈某、张某、李某三人未经猫人公司许可,商议决定自寻厂家生产“猫人”内衣。后经陈某介绍张某与被告人常某相识。常某明知张某、陈某、李某未经猫人公司许可,仍介绍张某、李某与被告人徐某相识。2014年5月至8月期间,张某、李某与常某和徐某,多次商议生产“猫人”内衣事宜。期间,徐某与李某分别以常州某针纺织品有限公司、合肥市某商贸有限公司的名义签订《针纺织品购销合同》,约定生产保暖内衣1.8万余套,货值金额138万余元。随后,徐某在未取得猫人公司授权的情况下,按照张某提供的合格证、吊牌等电子文件及李某提供的样衣,组织生产,共生产涉案产品1.8万余套,提货时李某向徐某实际支付了货款133万余元。李某先后向张某、陈某支付好处费6万元,徐某向常某支付好处费19万元。

江岸区人民法院经审理认为,“猫人”商标是猫人公司合法注册且在注册有效期内的商标,受我国法律保护;被告人张某、陈某、李某伙同被告人常某、徐某,未经注册商标所有人许可,在同一种商品上使用与其注册商标相同的商标,侵犯了我国的商标管理制度和商标所有人的注册商标专用权,其行为均已构成假冒注册商标罪。江岸区人民法院依法对上述被告分别判处有期徒刑、缓刑和罚金。

【点评】该案是一起假冒注册商标案件,其特点在于两名被告人系猫人公司的员工,五名被告人企图以合法形式掩盖非法目的,规避法律,本案所涉及的注册商标和商品具有很高的知名度。这些假冒内衣进入市场后,不仅会侵害注册商标所有人多年建立起来的良好商誉,更直接破坏市场经济秩序,具有严重的社会危害性。法院依法对五名被告人科以自由刑的同时,还对各被告人判处罚金财产刑,意在剥夺其再犯罪的能力,以此震慑此类违法犯罪行为。

五、周某等销售假冒注册商标商品案

【案情】2016年8月,飞利浦(中国)投资有限公司向公安机关举报,武汉泛海城市广场开发投资有限公司一期室内广告灯箱所使用的“PHILIPS”飞利浦牌LED灯带系假冒产品。公安机关侦查查明,2013年7月,犯罪嫌疑人周某代表武汉某公司参与武汉泛海城市广场开发投资有限公司一期室内广告灯箱设计、施工招投标工程,以133万元的价格中标并担任该项目施工方项目经理;周某为获取非法利益,私自从深圳上线某LED生产厂家李某处订购了27万元的假冒“PHILIPS”飞利浦牌LED灯带9000米,用于泛海城市广场一期室内广告灯箱项目。周某在该项目销售假冒“PHILIPS”飞利浦牌LED灯带金额达60万元。2016年8月16日,公安局将周某抓获归案。

【点评】此案社会影响较大,荷兰驻华使领馆对此案高度关注。该案中犯罪嫌疑人周某低价购买假冒“PHILIPS”灯带并投入市场大量使用,其行为严重侵犯了国际知名品牌“PHILIPS”的知识产权。此案的成功破获表明我国依法平等保护国内外当事人在我国取得的知识产权。

六、武汉市某电子电器有限公司假冒注册商标案

【案情】2016年6月21日,工商行政管理部门检查发现,位于汉阳区的武汉市某电子电器有限公司涉嫌生产侵犯“东风”注册商标专用权的商品。经查,当事人于2016年4月20日购进一批标注“东风襄樊仪表系统有限公司”字样及“东风”注册商标的包装盒和小标签,在未经“东风”注册商标权利人授权情况下,擅自将该外包装及标识使用在其生产加工的汽车传感器成品上进行市场销售,违法经营额达20400元。工商行政管理部门依据相关法律规定,责令当事人立即停止侵权行为,并收缴、销毁侵权商品,罚款20万元。

【点评】“东风”是驰名商标,汽车配件产品涉及人民生命财产安全。当事人为了牟取不法利益,将假冒东风汽车配件标识用于购进的汽车配件产品上,严重损害了东风汽车公司和广大消费者的合法权益。为维护公平竞争的市场环境,工商行政管理部门加大了对侵犯驰名商标专用权的打击力度,为企业发展保驾护航。

七、周某播放电影《老炮儿》侵犯著作权案

【案情】2016年1月30日,市文化市场综合执法支队接省新闻出版广电局《关于核处华大青年剧场涉嫌放映盗版电影的通知》后,立即组织市和区执法队伍,赶赴华中师范大学华大青年剧场开展调查。经查,华大青年剧场承包人周某未经著作权人许可,利用蓝光播放器,通过投影仪播放电影《老炮儿》,以10元/张的价格销售电影票140张。执法人员当即对该剧场相关经营情况进行取证;责令该剧场停止放映,退还票款,向观众致歉。执法部门依法作出罚款5000元的行政处罚。

【点评】根据我国《著作权法》的规定,《老炮儿》的著作权人依法享有放映权,即通过放映机、幻灯机等技术设备公开再现电影作品的权利。华大青年剧场承包人周某未经著作权人的授权,通过投影仪播放电影《老炮儿》,侵犯了著作权人的合法权益。市文化市场综合执法支队依法及时行使行政执法权,通过现场取证固定证据,并依法作出行政处罚,有效地维护了著作权人的合法权益,保障和促进我国电影市场的规范与繁荣。

八、何某等制售假冒螺纹钢系列案

【案情】2016年4月,根据举报,市质量技术监督局稽查局统一部署执法人员同时对位于东湖新技术开发区、洪山区的三处建筑工地使用的钢筋混凝土用热轧带肋钢筋(俗称“螺纹钢”)进行执法检查。在三处工地均发现标称武汉钢铁集团鄂钢公司生产的螺纹钢产品,分别由何某(10卷,货值金额46371.12元)、武汉某物资有限公司(5卷,货值金额23715元)、武汉某商贸有限公司(7卷,货值金额42420元)销售。经调查核实,上述螺纹钢均由三名当事人从其他钢厂购进,经过更换冒用武汉钢铁集团鄂钢公司厂名、厂址的合格证、吊牌后再销售到建筑工地。

市质量技术监督局依法对三名当事人分别给予行政处罚,没收假冒产品,并将案情及时通报建筑监管、公安等相关部门。

【点评】螺纹钢产品关系到建筑工程质量安全。市质量技术监督局积极作为,加强监管,查明情况,依法打击假冒伪劣产品,扶优治劣,防止了危害后果的发生。

九、武汉毳雨环保科技有限责任公司专利维权案

【案情】武汉毳雨环保科技有限责任公司(以下简称毳雨公司)是专利“一种塔吊喷淋系统”(专利号:ZL201320052452.5)的排他实施许可合同的被许可人。2016年10月,毳雨公司就武汉某环保公司、中铁某局第六工程公司、中铁某局股份公司涉嫌侵犯其专利权向市科技局(市知识产权局)提出处理请求,请求市科技局(市知识产权局)责令被请求人立即停止所有侵权行为、登报道歉、承诺不再侵权,拆除、查封被请求人使用的侵权产品。市科技局(市知识产权局)依法立案,执法人员多次前往被控侵权产品的安装现场武汉某大桥和某地铁工地调查取证、开展勘验;随后对案件进行了公开口头审理,查明武汉某环保公司制造了涉嫌侵犯涉案专利权的塔吊喷淋装置,并销售给中铁某局第六工程公司、中铁某局股份公司分别安装在武汉某大桥和某地铁施工现场。经过市科技局(市知识产权局)的执法人员反复做工作,当事人之间达成调解协议:武汉某环保公司给予偿毳雨公司一次性赔数,并承诺不再制造、销售、许诺销售侵犯涉案专利权的产品;中铁某局第六工程公司、中铁某局股份公司可在原施工现场继续使用已安装的塔吊喷淋装置。

【点评】知识产权行政机关调处专利侵权纠纷,是我国《专利法》规定的法定职责。本案中,市科技局(市知识产权局)执法人员积极履行职责,在进行调查取证、现场勘验,查清事实的基础上,通过反复协商调解,最终促成双方当事人达成调解协议。调解结案的好处是:一方面,相关权利人获得了合理的赔偿,保护了专利权和创新者的积极性;另一方面,定纷止争,案结事了,避免因作出侵权处理决定而有可能拆除塔吊喷淋装置,给环境带来不利的影响。

  十、侵犯微软注册商标专用权和著作权案

【案情】2016年7月13日,武汉海关住邮局办事处在对申报出口至美国的某邮包进行布控查验时发现,该邮包申报品名为“GIFT”,实际为带有“WINDOWS”标识的光盘共299张、标签100张,涉嫌侵犯微软(中国)有限公司的注册商标专用权。武汉海关随后联系权利人的代理人上海瀚元律师事务所并送达了《确认进出境物品知识产权状况通知书》。8月19日,权利人向武汉海关确认上述光盘侵犯了微软(中国)有限公司的注册商标专用权并提出了扣留上述光盘的书面申请。8月23日,权利人向武汉海关出具了《鉴定证明》,涉案的光盘及标签涉嫌侵犯其注册商标专用权和著作权,价值418301元。武汉海关驻邮局办事处通过寄件人留下的联系方式通知寄件人申报上述光盘的知识产权状况,但无法与其取得联系。12月14日,武汉海关依法决定对涉案侵权物品予以收缴。

点评】本案中,武汉海关贯彻落实海关总署部署,深入开展“清风”行动,积极参加海关总署在全国范围组织开展的中美海关知识产权保护联合执法行动。不仅对输入国内的侵权假冒商品进行监控,也对输住美洲国家的侵权假冒商品进行了重点监控。武汉海关驻邮局办事处对申报出口至美国的名为“GIFT”邮包,通过综合运用相关业务系统进行风险分析、集中研判、重点查验,发现其实带有“WINDOWS”标识的光盘,侵犯微软(中国)有限公司的商标专用权。这是该办事处成立以来查获案值最大的一起知识产权侵权案件,充分体现了我国海关积极主动执法保护知识产权的力度和特色。


Top ten typical cases of intellectual property rights protection of Wuhan in 2016

 

Case NO. 1: Sales of commodities with counterfeited “Baiyunbian” trademark by defendant Li, et al.

[Background and Ruling]

After being informed of the types and quantity of “Baiyunbian” white spirit the buyer Zhang needed, defendant Li proposed to defendants Zhou and Wang that they should buy white spirit with counterfeited “Baiyunbian” trademark. Then, defendant Zhou contacted defendant Guo to purchase the counterfeited commodities and arranged for defendant Wang to approach defendant Guo. Under the direction of defendant Wang, Guo drove to join Li and finally sold the white spirit with counterfeited “Baiyunbian” trademark to the buyer Zhang. The amount of the illegal income of defendants Li, Zhou, Wang and Guo was RMB 324,700 yuan, 268,050 yuan, 230,550 yuan and 183,500 yuan, respectively.

The Wuhan Jiang’an District People’s Court ruled that defendants Li, Zhou, Wang and Guo bought a bulk of commodities with counterfeited “Baiyunbian” trademarks for the purpose of sales, although they had known explicitly that these commodities were counterfeited, and their actions constituted the crime of selling commodities with counterfeited registered trademarks. A judgment was made according to law: defendant Li was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment and a penalty of RMB 165,000 yuan, defendant Zhou was sentenced to two years and six months’ imprisonment and a penalty of RMB 135,000 yuan, defendant Wang was sentenced to two years’ imprisonment and a penalty of RMB 115,000 yuan, and defendant Guo was sentenced to two years’ imprisonment and a penalty of RMB 95,000 yuan.

[Significance]

This case is a typical crime of trademark infringement. The characters and images or logos of “Baiyunbian” brand are legally registered by the corresponding trademark holders and possess a high reputation nationwide, which should be protected by law in China. After these counterfeited commodities entered the market, the good business reputation of the trademark holders, which had been built for many years, was infringed. Furthermore, the counterfeited white spirit directly threatened consumers’ health and brought about a serious harm to the society. As a result of the perpetrators’ actions of intellectual property infringement, they undertook the legal consequences including both the imprisonment and penalties, which restricted personal liberty and brought tremendous economic losses. The trial and judgment of this case cracked down on the crime of selling commodities with counterfeited registered trademarks, which played an active role in punishing and preventing such crimes.

 

Case NO.2: Exclusive right of registered trademarks and unfair competition disputes between Chivas Holdings (IP) Limited, Chivas Brothers Limited and a liquor-making Co Ltd in Yantai and defendant Wan

[Background and Ruling]

The plaintiff, Chivas Holdings (IP) Limited was the trademarks holder of the figurative trademark “ROYAL SALUTE” (registration NO. G858862A) and several three-dimensional trademarks (registration NO. 3858981, 7186027, 7186031 and 7186075) and permitted the other plaintiff, Chivas Brothers Limited, to use these trademarks. By continuous and wide propaganda, “ROYAL SALUTE” blended Scotch whisky (21 years old) produced and sold by the plaintiffs had gained a high reputation in the market. The defendant, a liquor-making Co Ltd in Yantai, used wine bottles and outer packaging similar to those of “ROYAL SALUTE” in their own products, “ELYSEE WHISKY”, without the permission of the plaintiffs. Defendant Wan sold the above products “ELYSEE WHISKY” without the permission of the plaintiffs as well.

The Wuhan Intermediate People’s Court determined that the concerned commodities produced and sold by the defendants had infringed the plaintiffs’ exclusive right to use the registered trademarks (registration NO. G858862A, 3858981, 7186027, 7186031 and 7186075), and the actions of the defendants to use similar packaging in their own commodities without the permission of the plaintiffs constituted unfair competition. The court ruled the two defendants should stop the violation, destroy related products in stock or on sale, and the liquor-making Co Ltd in Yantai should provide compensation for economic losses RMB 500,000 yuan to the plaintiffs. Neither of the parties filed an appeal after this judgment, which has come into effect.

[Significance]

Firstly, this case involved the worldwide famous brand “Chivas”. After this judgment, neither of the parties filed an appeal, which achieved a good social effect. Secondly, details of this case were complicated. Compared with the two-dimensional or figurative trademark, the infringement judgment of the three-dimensional trademark is quite different. The distinctive features of the three-dimensional trademark should be included, but at the same time, all the general elements which affected the shape of commodities should be excluded, such as the inherent properties, the technical effect or the substantive value of commodities. Finally, the case is so specific that it is the first three-dimensional trademark infringement case in Hubei Province. Similar cases are also rare throughout the country.

 

Case NO.3: Copyright infringement dispute between Wuhan Xiaojudeng Culture and Information Communication Co Ltd and defendant Xu and Zhejiang Taobao Network Co Ltd

[Background and Ruling]

The plaintiff, Wuhan Xiaojudeng Culture and Information Communication Co Ltd (hereinafter referred to as Xiaojudeng), is the copyright holder of the book, “Xiaojudeng lesson plan for quick step sequence composition writing”. Before November 2, 2015, without the permission of the plaintiff, defendant Xu, the operator of an online shop “Anhui Happy Book Bar” on Taobao.com, had been offering books called “Latest Xiaojudeng paper lesson plan for composition writing - special offer for one-stop composition class” for sale, as well as several other commodities including the Chinese characters of “Xiaojudeng”, such as “Xiaojudeng training guidance for composition class”, “Xiaojudeng training for composition writing” and “Xiaojudeng lesson plan (Full set)”, et al. The sales had totaled approximately RMB 19,000 yuan. On October 20, 2015, Xiaojudeng sent a lawyer’s letter to Zhejiang Taobao Network Co Ltd (hereinafter referred to as Taobao), saying that “Latest Xiaojudeng paper lesson plan for composition writing - special offer for one-stop composition class” sold in the online shop “Anhui Happy Book Bar” on Taobao.com were infringing works, and this violation should be stopped immediately and detailed information of the shop operator should be offered. Then, Taobao deleted the links related to “Latest Xiaojudeng paper lesson plan for composition writing” on its website on November 2, 2015. However, this online shop continued to sell other books including the Chinese characters of “Xiaojudeng” and the total sales reached RMB 1,500 yuan. On May 3, 2016, the first-instance court ruled that defendant Xu should stop this violation and provide compensation for economic losses RMB 22,000 yuan to the plaintiff, and defendant Taobao should delete the links of these infringing books on the website of Taobao.com and pay RMB 5,000 yuan out of the above penalty since it should be held accountable for assistance in the infringement. Taobao refused to accept the ruling and instituted an appeal to Wuhan Intermediate People’s Court. The second-instance court upheld the original decision related to defendant Xu and canceled those related to Taobao.

[Significance]

After the provider of online trade platform service deletes the related links of the infringing commodities for sale at the request of the right holder, if the seller commits violations repeatedly, whether the provider should be held accountable for assistance in this infringement has been always a difficult problem in the network intellectual property infringement litigation. Currently, the Internet economy is now in the ascendant and e-commerce has become the main support. Consequently, the understanding and application of “Tort Liability Law” should find a reasonable balance between the protection of the interests of the right holder and the development of the prosperous Internet industry. The second-instance court held that, to judge whether or not the provider of online trade platform service had a subjective cognition of the shop’s repeated violations, several key elements should be coherently considered to make a comprehensive conclusion, such as procedures for commodities online trading, administrative regulations of online commodity naming and tort punishment rules instituted by the online platform. It was unfair for the online platform providers to be presumed to know the shop’s repeated violations and then bear joint liability. This judgment makes a successful transition of the law from abstraction to concretization and strikes a balance between the rights protection and the development of Internet industry.

 

Case NO. 4: Counterfeiting registered trademark “Miiow” by defendants Chen and Zhang, et al.

[Background and Ruling]

Defendants Chen and Zhang were the former general manager and sales manager of the business division of Wuhan Miiow Garment Limited (hereinafter referred to as Miiow), respectively. Defendant Li was the dealer of Miiow in Anhui Province. Defendant Xu was the head of a textile Co Ltd in Changzhou. In 2014, defendants Chen, Zhang and Li heard that Miiow had stopped offering Miiow underwear to the dealer. Without the permission of Miiow, the three defendants decided to find a clothes manufacturer by themselves to produce Miiow underwear. Then, defendant Zhang was acquainted with defendant Chang by the introduction of defendant Chen. Defendant Chang further introduced defendant Xu to defendants Zhang and Li, although he was fully aware that the three defendants did not obtain the permission of Miiow. From May to August in 2014, defendants Zhang, Li, Chang and Xu discussed the details of Miiow underwear manufacture several times. In this period, defendants Xu and Li signed a contract for purchases of knitwear and textile products in the name of the textile Co Ltd in Changzhou and a commercial and trading Co Ltd in Hefei, respectively. This contract agreed upon the production of thermal underwear, of which the suit number was over 18,000 and the total value was over RMB 1,380,000 yuan. Subsequently, without the authorization of Miiow, defendant Xu organized the production of thermal underwear in accordance with the electronic documents such as certificates and tags provided by defendant Zhang, and the sample underwear provided by defendant Li. For all the counterfeited underwear of Miiow trademark of over 18,000 suits, defendant Li paid more than RMB 1,330,000 yuan to defendant Xu when taking delivery. Besides, defendant Li paid defendants Zhang and Chen off successively with a total amount of RMB 60,000 yuan, and defendant Xu paid defendant Chang off with a benefit of RMB 190,000 yuan.

The Wuhan Jiang’an District People’s Court ruled that Miiow trademark was legally registered by Miiow and was still in the term of validity, which should be protected by law in China. Defendants Zhang, Chen and Li in collusion with defendants Chang and Xu, used the same trademark “Miiow” in the same type of commodities without the permission of the trademark right holder. This action violated the trademark management system in our country, infringed the exclusive right of registered trademark of the right holder and constituted the crime of counterfeiting the registered trademark. The defendants hereinbefore were sentenced to imprisonment, probation and penalties, respectively.

[Significance]

This case is a crime of counterfeiting registered trademarks. Its characteristic lies in the fact that two of the defendants were employees of the registered trademark right holder, Miiow. Five defendants intended to cover up their illegal purpose in a legal form to get round the law. Moreover, the registered trademark and its relevant commodities involved in this case had a high reputation in the market. After these counterfeits entered the market, the good business reputation of the trademark holder, which had been built for many years, was infringed. Furthermore, these counterfeits directly disrupted the order of the market economy and brought about a serious harm to the society. The court sentenced the five defendants to both imprisonment and penalties, aiming to deprive their ability to commit another crime and thus deter illegal crimes of the same kind.

 

Case NO. 5: Sales of commodities with counterfeited PHILIPS trademark by defendant Zhou, et al.

[Background and Ruling]

In August 2016, PHILIPS (China) Investment Co Ltd reported to the public security organ that “PHILIPS” LED strip lights used by Wuhan Oceanwide City Square Development & Investment Co Ltd in the first-phase indoor advertising light boxes were counterfeited commodities. According to the investigation of the public security organ, defendant Zhou, on behalf of a company in Wuhan, participated in a project bidding of design and construction of Wuhan Oceanwide City Square Development Investment Co Ltd in July 2013. He won the bidding at a price of RMB 1,330,000 yuan and worked as the project manager. In order to obtain illegal benefits in this project, Zhou ordered counterfeited “PHILIPS” LED strip lights of 9000 meters from a LED manufacturer Li in Shenzhen with a total value of RMB 270,000 yuan. These LED strip lights were then utilized in the first-phase indoor advertising light boxes of Oceanwide City Square. However, the income that defendant Zhou earned by selling these counterfeited strip lights in this project reached RMB 600,000 yuan. On August 16, 2016, the bureau of public security arrested Zhou and brought him to justice.

[Significance]

This case was highly concerned by the Netherlands Embassy and Consulates in China and had great social effects. In this case, defendant Zhou bought in large stocks of counterfeited PHILIPS LED strip lights at a low price and put them into the market for mass use. This behavior seriously infringed the intellectual property rights of the famous international brand, PHILIPS. The successful crack-down of this case indicates that in China, foreign litigants enjoy the same protection on intellectual property rights with domestic litigants.

 

Case NO. 6: Counterfeiting registered trademark “Dongfeng” by an electronic appliance Co Ltd in Wuhan

[Background and Ruling]

On June 21, 2016, the industrial and commercial administrative department inspected that an electronic appliance Co Ltd located in Hanyang District of Wuhan was suspected of manufacturing counterfeited commodities with registered trademark “Dongfeng”, which infringed the exclusive right to use the registered trademark “Dongfeng”. The further investigation revealed that this electronic appliance company purchased a batch of packing boxes and labels marked with “Dongfeng Xiangfan Instrument System Co Ltd” and the registered trademark “Dongfeng” on April 20, 2016. Without the permission of the right holder of the “Dongfeng” registered trademark, these packing boxes and labels were used in the automobile sensors manufactured and marketed by this electronic appliance company. The illegal business income totaled RMB 20,400 yuan. According to law, the industrial and commercial administrative department ordered the company to stop the violations immediately and pay a penalty of RMB 200,000 yuan for the tort. The infringing counterfeited commodities were confiscated and destroyed.

[Significance]

 “Dongfeng” is a nationwide well-known trademark and its automobile accessories are closely related to people's lives and property safety. In order to seek illegal interests, the litigant used the counterfeited labels marked with “Dongfeng” trademark on the automobile accessories, which seriously damaged the rights and interests of both Dongfeng Motor Corporation and the consumers. In order to maintain a fair competitive market environment and escort the enterprise development, the industrial and commercial administrative department has devoted greater efforts to crack down on the infringement of the exclusive right to use well-known registered trademarks.

 

Case NO. 7: Infringement of the copyright of the movie “Mr. Six” by contractor Zhou

[Background and Ruling]

On January 30, 2016, as soon as the municipal cultural market comprehensive law enforcement detachment received “Notice about checking and handling the suspicion of pirated movie screening in the Huada Youth Theatre” from Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television of Hubei Province, the detachment immediately organized the municipal and district-level law enforcement team to rush to the Huada Youth Theatre in Central China Normal University and conduct an investigation. The investigation found that the contractor of the theatre, Zhou, screened the movie “Mr. Six” by a blue-ray player and a projector and sold 140 tickets at a price of RMB 10 yuan per ticket without the permission of the copyright holder of this movie. The law enforcement officers gathered evidence about the business operations of this theatre and ordered the theatre to stop screening the movie, refund the ticket price and apologize to the audience. A penalty of RMB 5,000 yuan was made to the theatre as an administrative punishment according to law.

[Significance]

According to the “Copyright Law” in China, the copyright holder of the movie “Mr. Six” has the right to screen, which means playing the movie through a projector, a slide projector or other technical equipment. The theatre contractor Zhou screened the movie by a projector without the permission of the copyright holder of the movie, which violated the legitimate rights and interests of the copyright holder. The municipal cultural market comprehensive law enforcement detachment exercised the right of administrative enforcement timely and made the administrative punishment based on the scene evidence according to law. This enforcement effectively safeguarded the legitimate rights and interests of the copyright holder, protected and promoted the standardization and prosperity of Chinese movie market.

 

Case NO. 8: Manufacturing and sales of counterfeited screw-thread steel by defendant He, et al.

[Background and Ruling]

In April 2016, according to the masses report, the municipal bureau of quality technical supervision and inspection deployed enforcement officers to conduct a law enforcement inspection of the hot rolled ribbed bars used in the steel concrete (known as “screw-thread steel”) in three construction sites located in East Lake High-Tech Development Zone and Hongshan District. It was revealed that screw-thread steel products marked with “Egang Company of Wuhan Iron and Steel Group” were found in all the three construction sites, which were supplied by defendant He (10 volumes with a total value of RMB 46,371.12 yuan), a materials Co Ltd in Wuhan (5 volumes with a total value of RMB 23,715 yuan) and a commercial trading Co Ltd in Wuhan (7 volumes with a total value of RMB 42,420 yuan). After further investigation and verification, it was verified that the screw-thread steel products aforementioned were purchased from another steel mill rather than Egang Company of Wuhan Iron and Steel Group and sold to the three construction sites after the illegal replacement of the counterfeited certificates and labels marked with the plant name and address of “Egang Company of Wuhan Iron and Steel Group”.

The municipal bureau of quality technical supervision imposed administrative penalty on the three litigants according to law and confiscated the counterfeited products. The details of the case were then reported to the departments concerned such as the construction supervision department and the public security organ.

[Significance]

Screw-thread steel products are closely related to the quality and safety of the construction projects. The municipal bureau of quality technical supervision played an active role in strengthening the supervision and cracking down the counterfeited and substandard commodities. This forceful supervision supported and protected the superior enterprises and cleaned up the inferior ones, and thus prevented the occurrence of harmful consequences.

 

Case NO. 9: Enforcement of the patent rights of Wuhan Cuiyu Environmental Protection Technology Co Ltd

[Background and Ruling]

Wuhan Cuiyu Environmental Protection Technology Co Ltd (hereinafter referred to as Cuiyu) is the patent licensee of the exclusive right to use the patent “Spraying system of tower crane” (Patent NO. ZL201320052452.5) in the license contract. In October 2016, Cuiyu put forward a request to Wuhan Science and Technology Bureau (Wuhan Intellectual Property Bureau) about the infringement of its patent right by an environmental protection company in Wuhan, the sixth engineering company of China Railway Group and a corporation of China Railway Group. Cuiyu asked Wuhan Science and Technology Bureau (Wuhan Intellectual Property Bureau) to order the three companies to stop the violations immediately, make a written apology in the newspaper to promise no further infringement, and dismantle and seal up the infringing commodities. The case was then filed according to law by Wuhan Science and Technology Bureau (Wuhan Intellectual Property Bureau). Law enforcement officers made numerous trips to the installation sites of the infringing products, a bridge in Wuhan and a subway construction site, for investigation and evidence collection. A public oral hearing was held afterwards. It was revealed that the environmental protection company in Wuhan manufactured the infringing spraying systems of tower crane, and sold these spraying systems to the sixth engineering company of China Railway Group and a corporation of China Railway Group, respectively, for installation in the bridge and subway construction sites. Through the repeated mediation of the officers of Wuhan Science and Technology Bureau (Wuhan Intellectual Property Bureau), the two parties reached a mediation agreement, which ruled that the environmental protection company in Wuhan should make a one-time payment to Cuiyu and promise not to manufacture, sell or offer to sell the relevant products infringing the patent right, and the sixth engineering company of China Railway Group and a corporation of China Railway Group could continue to use the spraying systems installed in the construction sites.

[Significance]

According to the “Patent Law” in China, mediating the patent infringement disputes is the statutory responsibility of the intellectual property administrative organs. In this case, the officers of Wuhan Science and Technology Bureau (Wuhan Intellectual Property Bureau) performed their duty actively and eventually brought about a mediation agreement through repeated mediation on the basis of comprehensive investigation and evidence collection. The conciliation act was beneficial to both sides. On one hand, the patent right holder received a reasonable compensation, and the patent right and the enthusiasm of patent inventors were protected. On the other hand, the conciliation avoided the demolition of the installed spraying systems, which would bring an adverse effect on the environment.

 

Case NO. 10: Infringement of the copyright and the exclusive right to use the registered trademark WINDOWS of Microsoft

[Background and Ruling]

On July 13, 2016, the Wuhan Customs Agency in the post office found a suspicious parcel whose declare name was “GIFT” while checking and inspecting the parcels exported to the United States. Actually, the parcel contained 299 CDs and 100 tags marked with the logo “WINDOWS”, which were suspected of infringing the exclusive right to use the registered trademark of Microsoft (China) Co Ltd. The Wuhan Customs then contacted the agent of the right holder, Shanghai Hanyuan Law Firm, and delivered “Notice of confirmation of the intellectual property rights status of import and export goods”. On August 19, the right holder confirmed to the Wuhan Customs that the CDs in the parcel infringed the exclusive right to use the registered trademark of Microsoft (China) Co Ltd, and proposed a written application to detain the related CDs. On August 23, the right holder issued an identification certificate to the Wuhan Customs, noticing that the related CDs and tags in this case infringed the copyright and the exclusive right to use the registered trademark with a total value of RMB 418,301 yuan. The Wuhan Customs then informed the sender of the parcel to declare the intellectual property rights status through the address left by the sender, but failed to get in touch with the sender. On December 14, the Wuhan Customs confiscated the infringing good involved in this case according to law.

[Significance]

In this case, the Wuhan Customs implemented the “Fair Wind Action” launched by the General Administration of Customs and took an active part in the nationwide collaborative enforcement action to protect the intellectual property rights between the China Customs and the United States Customs. This collaborative action not only supervised the infringing counterfeited commodities imported to China, but also focused on the commodities exported to the America. By using the operation system comprehensively, the Wuhan Customs Agency in the post office made a risk analysis and a well-targeted inspection of the parcel named “GIFT” exported to the United States, and found that it actually contained CDs marked with the logo “WINDOWS”, which infringed the exclusive right to use the registered trademark of the right holder Microsoft (China) Co Ltd. The amount of money involved in this case was the largest among the intellectual property infringement cases since the establishment of this agency. This case has fully reflected the intensity and characteristics of the law enforcement of China Customs in the intellectual property rights protection.