The unfair-competition case of Dong Yang Rong Xuan V Dong Yang Qing Yu, Beijing Ai Ke Sai Wen Film & Television Production has been concluded at the Beijing Second Intermediate People's Court. The Plaintiff is the producer of the TV Drama 'Detective Di Renjie', while the two Defendants produce a similar TV drama, with almost the same name.
The Plaintiff claims that both dramas are written and directed by the same people, and use almost identical artistic /images, language and character relationships. This demonstrates a lack of good faith and an intention to engage in unfair competition. Audiences are misled to believe that the Defendants' drama is the sequel of 'Detective Di Renjie' and confusion has been caused among general consumers. Therefore, the Plaintiff has requested the Court to order the Defendants to cease production, publish an apology in a China TV newspaper, and compensate it for its economic loss.
The No.2 Intermediate People's Court held that the Plaintiff's TV series 'Shen Tan Di Renjie' has a certain influence and reputation, and should be protected under China's Anti-Unfair Competition Law. The Defendant uses a virtually identical name, differing in only one word, 'Shen Duan Di Renjie' for its drama. At the same time, at the beginning of the Defendant's film, the clothing design, the actor's style and the overall visual style, are similar to those of the Plaintiff's. In addition, the relationship between the characters and the main elements of the story are almost the same. Therefore, it is easy to confuse the relevant public.
Accordingly, the Court held that the Defendant had obviously acted in bad faith and that its activity constituted an act of unfair competition.
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