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Weekly China Trademark News Updates – June 1, 2021


Weekly China Trademark News Updates

June 1, 2021

1. Amended Chinese Patent Law and Chinese Copyright Law came into force on June 1, 2021

The Amended Chinese Patent Law

The amended Chinese Patent Law adds a new patent term adjustment and extension system, increases the roof of the statutory compensation amount to RMB 5 million (USD784,000), and the floor to RMB 30,000 (USD 47,000), extends the design patent protection period to 15 years, and adds partial design.

The Amended Chinese Copyright Law

The amended Chinese Copyright Law modified the definition of “work,” stipulates the relevant requirements for audiovisual works, improves the relevant regulations on copyright protection in cyberspace, introduces a punitive compensation system for infringement, and strengthens the enforcement of copyright infringement.

2. China joins EUIPO’s TMview trademark database as a participating IP office

As of May 19, 2021, the TMview will include the CNIPA trademark data. This means that the total number of trademarks in the TMview search tool would increase from 62 million to over 90 million from 75 participating IP Offices.

For your information, TMview is a trademark database of the European Union Intellectual Office (“EUIPO”). It contains the collections of trademark applications and registered marks of all EU national IP offices, the EUIPO and a number of national partner offices outside the EU.

3. “Mocha in Chinese” was found as a generic name when used on coffee related goods

The mark “Mocha in Chinese and MOCCA and design” with registration number 9199914 (“Subject Mark”) was approved for registration on May 21, 2012, in Class 30 for coffee, cocoa products, coffee flavors (condiments), coffee beverages with milk, chocolate beverages containing milk, plant preparations for coffee substitutes, chocolate sauce, tea beverages, and sugar.

On September 30, 2015, Beijing Huineng Taifeng Information Consulting Co., Ltd. Branch filed an invalidation with the CNIPA against the Subject Mark based on that the Subject Mark has became a generic name. The Beijing High Court, as the second instance court, found that based on the consumer’s perceptions, usage by competitors in the same industry, media introduction and report, and dictionary inclusion, “Mocha in Chinese” had become a generic name for coffee products and should be revoked.

4. Weibo sued Toutiao for unfair competition and won a RMB 20 million verdict in compensation

Beijing Weimeng Chuangke Network Technology Co., Ltd. (“Weibo”) sued Beijing ByteDance Technology Co., Ltd. (“Toutiao”) based on the grounds that Toutiao’s relevant content constituted unfair competition before the Haidian District Court of Beijing. The court found that displayed content and disseminated information of the Weibo content involved in this case was not purely user-generated, the information involved were added with Weibo’s resources and services, which constituted as the “legal interests” of Weibo according to Article 2 of the Chinese Anti-Unfair Competition Law. Toutiao targeted Weibo’s contents and transferred the said contents without authorization, particularly with those Weibo accounts that had large number of fans, more market impact, celebrities’ accounts, and major VIP accounts. Toutiao’s actions may substantially substituted Weibo and damaged its business interests. The court ruled in favor of Weibo for economic loss of RMB 20 million (USD 3.14 million) and reasonable legal costs of RMB 1.15 million (USD 180,000).

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