China: 实用艺术品知识产权重叠保护之思考

Last Updated: 19 March 2018
Article by Lantai Partners

白伟

实用艺术品作为一种集实用性和艺术性于一身的造型艺术,其同时具有文学艺术作品及工业品外观设计的双重特性;当其与特定厂商结合且经长期大规模使用、宣传后,还可能具备识别商品和服务来源的特性,构成知名商品(服务)特有包装、装潢等受商业标识性知识产权保护的法益。

由于版权、外观设计专利、商业标识权益在保护期限、保护范围、保护力度等方面均存在一定的交叉性和模糊性,因此,无论理论界还是司法实务界,均对实用艺术品知识产权的重叠保护问题存在较大争议。

正因为争议的广泛性和实务操作结果的较大差异性,使得相关公众产生困惑,实用艺术作品是否能够获得重叠保护,在多大限度内能够获得重叠保护?在此,笔者将从现行法规定,创作者的自由处分权、模仿自由与利益平衡等方面,对实用艺术品知识产权重叠保护问题进行思考,以期抛砖引玉。

实用艺术品知识产权重叠保护的可行性

根据《专利法》(2010年)第二条规定:外观设计,是指对产品的形状、图案或者其结合以及色彩与形状、图案的结合所作出的富有美感并适于工业应用的新设计。因此,当实用艺术品不存在违反法律、社会公德、社会公共利益,能够通过工业或手工方式重复生产,且并非实现产品功能的必备设计时,即可获得中国外观设计专利保护。

我国现行《著作权法》(2010)没有关于实用艺术作品的直接规没有关于实用艺术作品的直接规定。根据《实施国际著作权条约的规定》 [1]第六条规定:对外国实用艺术作品的保护期,为自该作品完成起二十五年。同时,《国家版权局对瑞士征询我履行TRIPS协议承诺的答复》(权司[2004]23号)指出,我国著作权法实施条例第四条规定,著作权法和本条例中"美术作品"的含义,"是指绘画、书法、雕塑等以线条、色彩或者其他方式构成的有审美意义的平面或者立体的造型艺术作品。",按此规定,包括纺织品外观设计在内的工业品外观设计,只要符合构成"美术作品"条件的,著作权法就予以保护。因此,我国现行司法实践中,此类作品一般作为《著作权法》中规定的美术作品予以保护。

当实用艺术品经过大量使用后,与相关厂商建立起一一对应关系或较为紧密的对应关系,能够区分商品和服务来源,此时可根据我国《反不正当竞争法》 [2]关于知名商品特有包装装潢的规定,获得商业标识权益的反不正当竞争法保护。

现行法对实用艺术品各知识产权部门单独保护做出了规定,但是没有关于交叉保护或重叠保护的禁止性规定,那么,重叠保护是否存在可行性呢?

根据法无禁止即自由的私法原理,相关权利人根据各法律部门寻求重叠保护从根本上而言,不存在法律障碍。

比如,有司法判例认为 [3],外观设计作品虽然申请了外观设计专利权保护,但并不妨碍其同时或继续得到著作权法的保护。例如,在英特莱格公司与可高天津玩具有限公司侵犯著作权纠纷案中,法院认为,英特莱格公司就其实用艺术作品虽然申请了中国外观设计专利并不妨碍其同时或继续得到著作权法的保护。另外,在原告琼.保罗.戈尔捷诉汕头市佳柔精细日化有限公司等侵犯著作权纠纷案中 [4],被法院认定受到著作权法保护的2件香水瓶设计同时还是中国外观设计专利,并且在原告主张著作权侵权期间,所述外观设计专利权仍然处于有效的状态所述外观设计专利权仍然处于有效的状态。

在北京特普丽装饰装帧材料有限公司与常州淘米装饰材料有限公司著作权权属、侵权纠纷的二审民事判决中,江苏省高级人民法院认为,在一种实用艺术作品客体上可以同时存在著作权、外观专利权等两种或两种以上的权利,而外观设计专利权与著作权这两种权利各自独立存在,其中一种权利的消灭并不必然导致另一种权利的消灭,即特普丽公司的涉案壁纸虽然在其外观设计专利权失效后就不再受专利法的保护,但其仍然受著作权法保护,该壁纸所承载的著作权不因其外观设计专利权的失效而灭失。

不过,在理论研讨及司法实务中,部分学者和法官也认为,将丧失了外观专利保护的作品纳入《著作权》法的保护范围会导致公众无法得知已经进入公有领域的专利的利用是否会受到著作权人的追究,从而会有损社会公众的信赖利益。如,谢新林诉叶某、名扬公司"老谢榨菜包装"案 [5],该案中,法院认为将丧失了外观专利保护的作品纳入《著作权》法的保护范围会导致公众无法得知已经进入公有领域的专利的利用是否会受到著作权人的追究,从而会有损社会公众的信赖利益,且与专利法的宗旨相悖。即便权利人享有涉案设计著作权,也不得妨碍他人使用已进入公有领域的发明创造。

实用艺术品知识产权重叠保护的限度

基于实用艺术品知识产权重叠保护的现行立法分析可知,对于实用艺术品的各部门法单独保护,不存在立法障碍,那么按照法无禁止即自由的私法领域的基本原则,选择如何、何时及何种程度行使权利是其自由处分权的范畴,似乎不应予以过度干涉。

然而,司法实践中,确存在大相径庭的裁判结果,究其原因,在于知识产权本身作为私权的属性并不彻底,而且即便认可其纯粹的私权属性,亦应该受到处分权、公众模仿自由和社会公共利益的限制,最终达到利益平衡。

具体而言,当创作人将其实用艺术作为外观设计专利申请提交,以公开换取国家司法权的绝对排他保护,那么此时专利权人与社会公众之间已经订立了权利保护的契约,也就是说,在专利权保护范围内,相关公众不得侵犯,作为相应对价在相关权利保护期满后,其创作已经在专利权保护范围内贡献给了社会公众。即,专利权人行使了权利的自由处分权,其应该遵守与社会公众之间订立的契约。

按照《专利法》第五十九条规定,外观设计专利权的保护范围以表示在图片或者照片中的该产品的外观设计为准,即:外观设计专利权的保护范围为在"相同或类似产品"上的"相同或近似设计"。当因法律规定(如被无效、期限届满)、或专利权人主观原因(未续展、放弃)导致专利权失效时,在原专利权保护范围内,应该根据专利权人与相关公众之间订立的契约,优先保护社会公众的信赖利益。

当然,在原专利权保护范围以外,如不相同也不类似的产品范围内,专利权人依然享有选择除专利权以外的权利维护其合法权益的自由。当相关使用者将权利人的实用艺术品设计转用到其他产品上,构成著作权法控制的复制等行为时,依然构成著作权侵权,如:立体到平面的复制(将立体实用艺术品造型印制在衣服上销售)、平面到立体的复制等(根据设计图制作立体产品等)。

需要特别强调的是,此处专利权人对实用艺术品权利的处分权,不应做机械理解,需要根据客观证据反应出的权利人主观意愿予以综合判断。最典型的例子是我国外观专利权人经常犯的一个常识性错误:当相关设计完成后,并非第一时间申请专利,而是通过微博微信等工具对外公开宣称主权。在此情况下,其专利权很容易被第三人以其自身公开内容予以宣告无效,然而,权利人绝无放弃专利权的主观意愿,而是基于自身对专利法认识的不足导致的过失。

若对该行为予以一刀切,对其选择通过著作权保护的途径予以断绝,在我国目前知识产权保护水平普遍不高、知识产权保护意识普遍不强的情况下,对于创新主体是极为不公平的,不利于实现鼓励创新的立法目的。由于我国没有类似美国专利法的发明人先申请制做法,此时应该根据利益平衡原则,给予实用艺术创作者以一定程度的著作权法保护(保护力度可较常规著作权轻,如赔偿额等予以适度考量)。

最高人民法院《关于充分发挥知识产权审判职能作用推动社会主义文化大发展大繁荣和促进经济自主协调发展若干问题的意见》,亦指出,应根据相关知识产权创新程度高低、研发投入大小、对经济增长的影响等因素,把握宽严适度的知识产权司法政策。

需要注意的是,对于外观设计专利已经失效的实用艺术品,尽管在相同或类似产品上的相同或近似设计不能获得著作权保护,但是并非等同于社会公众和相关商业主体在任何情况下均得以自由模仿,还需要排除《反不正当竞争法》(2017)第六条规定的情形,即:当实用艺术品的造型设计经过市场推广和宣传在相关公众中与厂商建立起一一对应关系或较为紧密的对应关系时,即便该外观设计专利权已经失效,相关公众也不得模仿。

这是因为,该实用艺术品造型设计已经取得了类似知名商品特有包装、装潢的商业标识权利保护,该权益的保护属于社会公共利益,当相关市场主体违反时,则将产生商品来源混淆的后果。商业标识性公共利益较之于专利产品相关公众的信赖利益,应处于更高的优先级。

综上,实用艺术品因为具有工业品和艺术品的双重特性,因此,其知识产权保护相较于常规艺术品存在特殊性。对于实用艺术品是否给予知识产权重叠保护,不应该采取非黑即白的标准,而应该根据相关创作的难易程度、社会贡献度、当事人的主观意愿、社会公众利益等多种因素予以综合考量。

注释:

[1]《实施国际著作权条约的规定》(1992年9月25日国务院令第105号发布):第六条规定:对外国实用艺术作品的保护期,为自该作品完成起二十五年。美术作品(包括动画形象设计)用于工业制品的,不适用前款规定。

[2]我国《反不正当竞争法》(2017修订)第六条规定:经营者不得实施下列混淆行为,引人误认为是他人商品或者与他人存在特定联系:(一)擅自使用与他人有一定影响的商品名称、包装、装潢等相同或者近似的标识......。

[3]参见:北京市高级人民法院(2002)高民终字第279号民事判决书。

[4]参见:北京市第二中级人民法院(2006)二中民初字第7070号民事判决书。

[5]参见:浙江省高级人民法院(2014)浙民申字第660号判决书。

脚注:

[1]浙江省高级人民法院(2014)浙民申字第660号。

[2]张涛,黄春燕:《实施已失效外观设计专利不侵犯该外观设计图片的著作权》,载:人民司法,2014年09月20日。

[3]凌宗亮:《失效的外观设计专利仍受著作权法保护》,载:人民司法,2010年02月20日。

[4]左佐:《失效外观设计的著作权后续保护问题研究》,湘潭大学硕士学位论文,2017年6月5日。

[5]崔国兵:《著作权法原理与案例》,北京大学出版社2014年9月第一版,第170-189页。

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