The State Council Issues Opinions on Further Optimizing the Foreign Investment Environment and Increasing Efforts to Attract Foreign Investment
Date: 13 August 2023
The recently issued Opinions aim to attract foreign investment by further improving the relevant business environment in China. The Opinions propose 24 policy measures in six major areas including the utilization of foreign investment; ensuring national treatment for foreign investment enterprises; and continuously strengthening the protection available to foreign investment. In terms of the protection available for foreign investment, the Opinions emphasize the need to strengthen the administrative protection of intellectual property rights, improve the administrative adjudication system for patent infringement disputes, and enhance the enforcement of administrative adjudication. The Opinions also encourage reliance on intellectual property workstations for processing applications for copyrights, patents, trademarks and other intellectual property rights during product exhibitions, and provide effective preventive measures against infringement. In addition, the Opinions also make it clear that it is necessary to intensify the administrative enforcement of intellectual property rights, crack down on the infringement of intellectual property rights of foreign investment enterprises, and carry out special enforcement actions against cross-regional and related infringement actions. For cases with clear facts and solid evidence, the enforcement process should be accelerated in accordance with the law with appropriately simplified procedural requirements.
Source: The State Council
The SPP Publishes Information on Characteristics of Crimes Involving Intellectual Property Rights in the First Half of 2023
Date: 4 August 2023
The Supreme People's Procuratorate (SPP) has published information in relation to the cases involving intellectual property crimes that were accepted in the first half of 2023. During this period, the procuratorates throughout China accepted cases involving 11,675 persons suspected of having committed intellectual property infringement crimes, a year-on-year increase of 36.1%. The crimes fell into the following categories. First, a high proportion, 88.9%, of the cases involved trademarks, with an increase in cases involving new forms of infringement and emerging fields. There is increased criminal activity in relation to the sale of refurbished electronic products posing as new products, and the utilization of live streaming platforms to sell counterfeit goods. Secondly, there is an increasing number of new cases involving copyright infringement. The procuratorates accepted cases against 1122 individuals involved in the crime of copyright infringement, a year-on-year increase of 89.7%. In addition to traditional cases involving the production and sale of pirated books, new types of infringements such as the use of reverse engineering to extract, reproduce and distribute the computer software of others, and the use of information network technology to illegally grab and disseminate literary and film works, have continued to emerge. Thirdly, the procuratorates accepted cases against 167 persons for crimes relating to trade secrets, a year-on-year increase of 89.8%. A large number of these involved internal employees. In terms of the type of trade secrets involved, the main types were software source code, technical solutions, equipment drawings, and other technical information.
The National Copyright Administration and Three Other Departments Jointly Launch Sword Net 2023 Special Action
Date: 29 August 2023
The National Copyright Administration, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the Ministry of Public Security and the Cyberspace Administration of China jointly launched Sword Net 2023 Special Action to combat online copyright infringement and piracy, which would take place from August to November 2023. The Sword Net 2023 Special Action focuses on three areas. First, sports events, on demand cinemas, and cultural and creative products. Copyright protection for key sports event programs will be strengthened; for example, combating unauthorized and illegal broadcasting of sports events such as the Hangzhou Asian Games and Asian Para Games. The copyright supervision for on demand cinemas and private theaters will also be strengthened, as well as the protection of copyright for cultural and creative products in museums, art galleries, libraries, and other cultural and creative institutions. Secondly, online videos, online news and audiobooks. Proposed action included copyright protection for key video websites (APP) and crackdown on copyright infringement in short videos and the unauthorized reproduction and dissemination of news. Thirdly, e-commerce platforms, browsers and search engines. Special rectification measures for copyright issues arising on e-commerce platforms and the regulation of unauthorized dissemination of online literature and videos by browsers and search engines.
The Sword Net 2023 Special Action is the 19th consecutive effort carried out by China to combat online copyright infringement and piracy. Since 2005, the National Copyright Administration and other departments have carried out consecutive special rectification actions to deal with online copyright infringement and piracy, which has effectively deterred such behaviors.
Source: The Chinese Central Government's Official Website
Tesla Wins Trademark Infringement Case - Court Rules Tesla Series Trademarks Constitute Well-Known Trademarks
Date: 10 August 2023
The Defendant Zhongyin Foods Co., Ltd. ('Zhongyin Foods') has been producing and selling a series of alcoholic beverages named 'Tesla Soda' and 'Tesla Beer' since 2019, under a trademark featuring a 'T' logo. It used slogans such as 'The Pioneer Brand of American Pre-mixed Drinks' and 'Top International Brand' for promotion and showcased the image of Tesla Model X cars in its promotional materials. Upon discovering the above actions, Tesla filed a lawsuit for trademark infringement against Zhongyin Foods.
After the hearing, the Court held that the Tesla series of trademarks qualified as well-known trademarks. The Defendant had deliberately misled consumers by using the Tesla trademark for the promotion of its products. This constituted trademark infringement. The Court ordered the Defendant to immediately stop the infringement of Tesla's series trademark, cease the unfair competition, and compensate Tesla in the sum of RMB 5 million (approx. US$ 700,000). Zhongyin Foods appealed unsuccessfully: the Shanghai High People's Court upheld the original judgment.
Registered Trademark of TESLA
Illustration of the Defendant's Products
Source: Shanghai Securities News
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