China: 中国知识产权保护的最新立法发展

Last Updated: 13 December 2017
Article by Allbright Law Office

锦天城律师事务所
刘炯 汤旻利 骆伟兰

知识产权立法的最新发展

近两年知识产权立法领域的最新发展主要是《最高人民法院关于审理侵犯专利权纠纷案件应用法律若干问题的解释(二)》与《最高人民法院关于审理商标授权确权行政案件若干问题的规定》的相继出台。下文就上述文件中的最新规定作简要分析。

一、《最高人民法院关于审理侵犯专利权纠纷案件应用法律若干问题的解释(二)》

2016年1月25日,最高人民法院审判委员会讨论通过了《关于审理侵犯专利权纠纷案件应用法律若干问题的解释(二)》(以下简称"《专利权纠纷解释二》"),并于2016年4月1日起开始实施。《专利权纠纷解释二》全文共31条,主要源于最高人民法院公布的典型案例及近年来对专利审判经验的总结。内容涵盖权利要求解释、间接侵权、外观设计侵权对比标准、合法来源抗辩、赔偿额计算、公共利益认定等重点难点问题。与之前的立法相比,《专利权纠纷解释二》在知识产权保护层面主要有如下亮点:

1. 缩短审理周期(第2条)

专利侵权为民事诉讼,而专利确权则为行政诉讼,由于现行民行分立的诉讼架构,专利侵权案件的审理周期往往较长。在《专利权纠纷解释二》出台前,若权利人起诉被告侵犯其专利权,被告通常将向专利复审委员会另行请求宣告专利权无效,而审理侵犯专利权纠纷之法院因为无权审查专利权是否有效,常常采取中止民事诉讼的做法,待专利确权行政诉讼的结果明朗后继续审理。同时,专利确权程序相当繁冗,愈加导致了专利侵权案件诉累重、效率低的现实。

为解决这一问题,《专利权纠纷解释二》第2条设计了先行裁驳、另行起诉的制度,即,在专利复审委员会作出宣告专利权无效的决定后,审理侵犯专利权纠纷案件的法院便可以裁定驳回起诉,无需等待专利确权的最终结果,并通过另行起诉给权利人以司法救济途径。细化来说,根据先前的规定,在专利确权程序中,专利复审委员会作出宣告专利权无效的决定后,还会经历一系列程序(如,若当事人不服专利复审委员会审查决定,可以自收到通知之日起三个月内以委员会为被告提起行政诉讼,对方当事人作为第三人,对一审判决不服的可上诉,对二审判决不服的,还可向最高人民法院申诉),在此期间专利侵权诉讼将被中止。而在新制度下,专利复审委员会作出宣告专利权无效的决定后,审理侵犯专利权纠纷案件的法院便可以裁定驳回起诉,而不用等待专利确权程序的最终结果。

2. 细化外观设计侵权的对比标准(第14条)

《专利权纠纷解释二》第14 条提出了"设计空间"的概念,系指设计者在创作特定产品外观设计时的自由度。根据该条,法院在认定一般消费者对于外观设计所具有的知识水平时,应以被诉侵权行为发生时授权外观设计所属相同或相近种类产品的设计空间为标准。若设计空间较大,法院可认定一般消费者通常不容易注意到不同设计之间的较小区别;若设计空间较小的,则可认定一般消费者通常更容易注意到不同设计之间的较小区别。

该条解决了审判实践中各地法院对外观设计侵权的对比标准不一的问题——对于设计空间较大的,应侧重于整体设计比较,而对于设计空间小的,应注重细节比较,在较大程度上规范了审判标准。

3. 适度的举证责任倒置(第27 条)

"举证难、赔偿低"一直是专利侵权诉讼中饱受争议的问题,由于专利侵权的隐蔽性,很多侵权证据都掌握在侵权人手中,权利人举证存在较大困难。

《专利权纠纷解释二》借鉴我国《商标法》第63 条第2 款的规定,将有关侵权人获利的举证义务分配给侵权人——若权利人已经提供侵权人所获利益的初步证据,但与专利侵权行为相关的账簿、资料由侵权人掌握,则法院可责令侵权人予以提供;若侵权人无正当理由拒不提供或提供虚假资料的,法院可根据权利人之主张及证据认定侵权人所获利益,从而与《专利法》第65 条第1 款(赔偿数额的计算顺序) 1相衔接。

4. 专利间接侵权的认定(第21 条)

结合《侵权责任法》第9 条,该条细化了对专利间接侵权的认定。

根据该条,"明知有关产品系专门用于实施专利的材料、设备、零部件、中间物等, 未经专利权人许可,为生产经营目的将该产品提供给他人实施了侵犯专利权的行为"系属"帮助他人实施侵权行为"。

"明知有关产品、方法被授予专利权,未经专利权人许可,为生产经营目的积极诱导他人实施了侵犯专利权的行为"则属"教唆他人实施侵权行为"。

5. 合法来源抗辩(第25 条)

根据《专利法》第70 条,为生产经营目的使用、许诺销售或者销售不知道是未经专利权人许可而制造并售出的专利侵权产品,能证明该产品合法来源的,不承担赔偿责任,即"合法来源抗辩"。然而在实践中,常常出现使用者无法判断该产品是否涉嫌侵权的情况,使得该法条的适用出现障碍。

为此,《专利权纠纷解释二》第25 条通过但书"但被诉侵权产品的使用者举证证明其已支付该产品的合理对价的除外",将善意使用者予以排除。

6. 涉及国家利益的认定(第26 条)

根据该条,在专利侵权中,若被告停止被诉行为将对国家利益造成损害的,法院可不判令被告停止侵权行为,而以判令其支付合理费用代替。

二、《最高人民法院关于审理商标授权确权行政案件若干问题的规定》

2017 年1 月,最高人民法院公布了《关于审理商标授权确权行政案件若干问题的规定》(以下简称"《授权确权规定》"),并于2017 年3 月1 日起施行。相比以往, 《授权确权规定》对商标授权确权如何认定"在先权利"作了细化规定。《商标法》第32 条规定申请商标注册不得损害他人现有的"在先权利"(即,在注册商标申请人申请注册商标前,他人已依法取得或享有、并受法律保护的权利)。《授权确权规定》则对"在先权利"的内涵、构成条件与举证规则等进行了更为周密、细致、可操作的规定。

1. "在先权利"的内涵

《授权确权规定》第18 条对"在先权利"之内涵予以明确,即"包括当事人在诉争商标申请日之前享有的民事权利或者其他应予保护的合法权益"。根据该条,"在先权利"须满足两个条件:(1)系现有民事法律中规定的有名权利及虽未规定在法条中但根据善良风俗等原则应予以保护的合法权益;(2)"在先权利"须于商标核准注册时仍然存在,否则不予认定。

2. "在先权利"的构成条件

根据《授权确权规定》第19 条,作品构成"在先权利"的条件包括提供"涉及商标标志的设计底稿、原件、取得权利的合同、诉争商标申请日之前的著作权登记证书等", 这些材料也是证明某个构成作品之商标标志的著作权归属的"初步证据"。

此外,《授权确权规定》中针对姓名(第20 条,包括笔名、艺名、译名等特定名称)、字号(第21 条)、作品元素(第22 条,包括作品中的角色名称等)等的构成条件都加以详细规定,不同种类间的细则规定虽有微小差异,但都要求保护对象必须有一定的知名度、与权利申请人具有对应关系、特定关系。

主张姓名构成"在先权利"的条件

根据《授权确权规定》第20 条,"笔名、艺名、译名"等特定名称均可称为姓名权的保护对象,但须满足以下条件:(1)该特定名称须具有一定知名度;(2)该特定名称与其所指向的自然人之间建立了稳定的对应关系,且应达到相关公众均以该名称指代该自然人的程序。

主张字号构成"在先权利"的条件

根据《授权确权规定》第21 条,可构成"在先权利"的字号主要有以下两类:(1) 具有一定市场知名度;(2)具有一定市场知名度并已与企业建立稳定对应关系的企业名称的简称。

主张作品元素构成"在先权利"的条件

根据《授权确权规定》第22 条,若作品名称以及作品中的角色名称:(1)具有较高知名度;且(2)将其作为商标使用在相关商品上容易导致相关公众误认为其经过权利人的许可或者与权利人存在特定联系,则当事人可对其主张"在先权利"。

结语

近年来,我国知识产权领域整体呈现出多样性和专业性的发展趋势。在立法层面, 无论是《最高人民法院关于审理侵犯专利权纠纷案件应用法律若干问题的解释(二)》还是《最高人民法院关于审理商标授权确权行政案件若干问题的规定》,都体现了司法解决机制在经历多年探索之后日趋完善的过程。在司法层面,上述典型案例为有效解决知识产权纠纷树立了全面优化的标准。在实务操作中,应严格遵守法律法规等文件的规定,在法律允许的范围内合理利用纠纷解决途径和各种有利机制,促进我国知识产权在实践层面的发展和应用。

Footnote

1 《专利法》第65条第1款:"侵犯专利权的赔偿数额按照权利人因被侵权所受到的实际损失确定;实际损失难以确定的,可以按照侵权人因侵权所获得的利益确定。权利人的损失或者侵权人获得的利益难以确定的,参照该专利许可使用费的倍数合理确定。赔偿数额还应当包括权利人为制止侵权行为所支付的合理开支。"

Originally published by Lexology, December 1 2017.

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