The S&F law blog


China Court Hears More Intellectual Property Cases
April 19, 2011, 5:19 pm
Filed under: Rulings | Tags: , , ,

Building on a massive crackdown on counterfeit goods this month, Chinese courts have accepted 40 percent more intellectual property cases over the last year. The number was a robust 42, 931 with verdicts rendered in 14,718.

The total value of disputed intellectual property was set at 1.2 billion dollars. Trade groups have long protested that China’s piracy consumer culture and production of counterfeit goods costs producers a massive, billions of dollars a year in lost potential sales.

The changing trend is highlighting the power and necessity of the Chinese courts. For example, more than half of the copyright cases involve content posted online, forcing the court to set new copyright precedents and standards.

The growing wave of litigation appears to be mainly between entities within China; of the 24, 724 copyright disputes heard in court, only 1,647 involved overseas plaintiffs, a declining number.

Source: NPR

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Yekalon, Unilin locked in patent case
November 23, 2009, 5:53 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Yekalon and Unilin are engaged in a patent dispute

Chinese building materials provider Yekalon Industry Inc says it will take legal action “at any cost” to defend its self-developed locking technology for laminate and wood floorings.

The private company, based in the southern boom city of Shenzhen adjacent to Hong Kong, was charged by its much stronger competitor Unilin, a subsidiary of the US-listed Mohawk and located in Belgium, with patent infringement at a world fair in Germany in January.

“We have hired top-notch lawyers in Germany and will appear at the court of Hamburg on Wednesday,” said Wilson He Yixin, chairman of Yekalon. “We will never surrender to these groundless allegations.”

The focus of the case lies in a glueless locking technology for laminate and wood floorings. Unilin has owned patents since 1996 for the method and duopolized the market with another European company, Valinge.

However, the Chinese company invented a new locking method in 2005 which can connect the flooring by vertically tapping in the edges of the planks instead of the established technique of angling and snapping horizontally, according to He.

“Our locking technology is completely self-developed. It works theoretically different from that of Unilin. How can we infringe its patents?” he asked, adding that Yekalon has applied for international patents for the invention under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) and will soon complete the process.

It is the second big clash between Yekalon and Unilin.

In July 2006, 18 Chinese flooring exporters, including Yekalon, were put under a Section 337 investigation by the US International Trade Commission (USITC) for patent infringement by Unilin and its subsidiaries.

Yekalon was the only company in the group that was not condemned by the investigation because the USITC found that its locking technology did not infringe the patent claims asserted.

The other Chinese companies who were using Unilin’s locking technology were ordered to pay $100,000 to $120,000 in royalties and $0.65 in royalties per cubic meter to the patent owner, or they would not be allowed to export their glueless laminate flooring panels to the US market.

It’s estimated that both Unilin and Valinge could earn more than $1 billion in royalties and licensing fees from flooring companies around the world.

Source: China Daily



CHINA CLOSES 20 ILLEGAL LITERARY WEBSITES

China’s National Working Group of Eliminating Pornography and Illegal Publications has announced achievements that it has made since campaigns were launched earlier this year against illegal online and mobile phone publications. NWGEPIP stated on October 20 that since the special campaigns were launched to crack down on vulgar online and mobile phone content, China had seized 1414 illegal online literary works, closed 20 websites that were found spreading pornographic information, and deleted a total of more than 30,000 links to illegal web pages. Meanwhile, NWGEPIP has also issued a special circular which asks each region around China to make efforts to stop the spread of vulgar novels online and remove unhealthy content from websites. In addition, NWGEPIP also states operators of websites publishing pornographic publications will be severely punished. A representative from General Administration of Press and Publication stated that in the first nine months of this year, various measures were taken to monitor online publications and up to 50,000 literary works of more than 4000 websites were monitored. GAPP will continue to focus on four areas: making relevant regulations, speeding up the construction of online publication monitoring system, establishing a GAPP online publication monitoring center, and promoting the construction of Chinese online literary publication platform. News about these closures comes days after Chinese authors rallied online against Google’s plans to start a digital Chinese library service. Chinawriter.com.cn has posted a message allegedly from Google which states that the American search engine will compensate Chinese writers USD60 for each book of each writer who agrees to allow Google to use the book online. The search engine stated in the announcement that it would pay at least USD60 to each writer for each book if the writer agrees to reconcile with Google, and the writer can receive 63% of the revenue from readers’ online downloading of the book in the future. Many writers have refused to accept the reconciliation agreement and have spurned Google’s take-it-or-leave-it attitude. The authors state they plan to continue to fight Google’s plans.

Source:Shanghai Daily



Microsoft Successfully Appeals in Alcatel-Lucent Case
Microsoft successfuly appealed a court decision in it's legal battle with Alcatel-Lucent

Microsoft successfuly appealed a court decision in it's legal battle with Alcatel-Lucent

A United States federal appeals court has said Microsoft Corp does not have to pay Alcatel-Lucent US$ 358 million for patent infringement because of problems with how the damages were calculated.

The disputed patent covers a method of entering information into fields on a computer screen without using a keyboard. Alcatel-Lucent says Microsoft’s Outlook calendar and other programs illegally used this technology.

A District Court jury determined that damages should roughly equal what Microsoft would have paid up front to license the technology from Alcatel-Lucent. But last Friday, the US Appeals Court for the Federal Circuit said the telecommunications company didn’t prove its technology was valuable enough to have merited US$358 million in royalties.

The appeals court judges told a district court to reconsider the penalty.

Alcatel-Lucent spokeswoman Mary Ward said in an e-mail that the company was disappointed with the decision.

However, in the same ruling, judges affirmed the underlying verdict against Microsoft, saying it was supported by substantial evidence.

This patent suit is the last of six stemming from claims that Lucent Technologies Inc, which was bought by Alcatel in 2006, filed in 2003 against PC makers Gateway Inc and Dell Inc over technology developed by Bell Labs, Lucent’s research arm. Microsoft later joined the list of defendants.

Source: Shanghai Daily



Installation of Internet filtering software not compulsory
August 19, 2009, 3:32 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , ,

China’s computer users would not face a compulsory mass installation of Green Dam Internet filtering software, China’s Minister of Industry and Information Technology Li Yizhong said Thursday.

He said it would depend on consumers to choose if they wished to install the software or not. But the installation of the software on computers in public places including schools and Internet cafes would still go ahead.

Plans to install the software program, Green Dam-Youth Escort, have aroused controversy.

“Installation is intended to block violent and pornographic content on the Internet to protect children”, Li said, Individuals could install the filtering software voluntarily, if they so wished.

“Any move to politicize the issue or to attack China’s Internet management system is irresponsible and not in line with reality”, he said.

Installation of the software was postponed on June 30. Li said the ministry was still gauging public opinion before installation and would adjust its plans accordingly.

Work on upgrading the Green Dam software is also in progress.

The market would still be open to similar software programs, Li said.

Source: XinHua News



Enterprises IP lawsuits increases
August 19, 2009, 2:29 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , ,

According to incomplete statistics, the amount of IP lawsuit is increasing by 30% every year. Especially this year, the amount of IP lawsuit in the first half of 2009 has approximated to the total amount of 2008. The “Experts’ Opinion on IP Lawsuit” sponsored by Kangxin IP Cooperation was held in Beijing recently, and many IP related experts made detailed explanations on enterprises patent legal protection and patent infringement lawsuit. [Chinese version is available on SIPO.gov.cn]

Source: IPR in China



China Goes Too Far in Plagiarizing Korean Games
July 30, 2009, 5:22 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , ,

Webzen's online role-playing game MU

Chinese game producers have crossed the line in plagiarizing Korean games.

According to industry sources, The9, a Chinese game manufacturer, has created an imitation of Webzen’s online role-playing game MU, called MU X.  It plans to exhibit the game to the public on July 23.

The company that administers MU in China, The9, blatantly stole Webzen’s characters without any contract or agreement.

Moreover, The9 has been expanding its cooperation with Korean companies after it failed to renew its World of Warcraft contract with Blizzard Entertainment.  This is an alarming move that calls for stronger protection of the intellectual property rights of Korean companies.

The9 is known to have planned the creation of MU X two years ago. It displayed an image of characters that closely resemble those of MU with a short comment that says it has inherited the world of MU on the teaser site of MU X, mux.the9.com.

The Chinese name of MU X is The History of Miracles (Ki Juk Jun ki), a name quite similar that of MU, which is Miracle (Ki Juk).

The9 is scheduled to present MU X to the public for the first time at the Chinajoy 2009, the largest game exhibition in China that opens on July 23. The9 has even sent out invitations in China to attend the press interview. Webzen, the creator of MU, expressed distress at the situation.

However, the situation is further complicated by the fact that The9 is currently controlling the distribution of Sun Online, another creation of Webzen, in China.

“We sent an official document to The9, urging them to do a prior consultation,” said a personnel at Webzen. “We will consider a countermeasure after evaluating the degree of resemblance after the exhibition on the July 23.”

Source: Korea IT Times