On April 25, 2020, China’s Supreme People’s Procuratorate issued a list of the top example cases in 2019 of criminal IP rights infringement. The cases cover trademark, copyright and trade secret theft. Verdicts included both imprisonment and fines. While the punishments were severe for trademark and copyright cases, only 2 of the 18 cases are for trade secret theft and defendants received minimal or no jail time, perhaps indicating room for improvement on trade secret protection in China.
Perhaps showing the future of restaurants in times of social distancing, defendant Xuansu Company (炫速公司) implemented a restaurant meal delivery system to deliver food to customers using rails from kitchen to customers’ tables thereby avoiding the need for any interaction between customers and restaurant staff. However, unfortunately for Xuansu, according to the Shanghai Intellectual Property Court , the installed system infringed Chinese patent no. 101282669B and therefore awarded the exclusive licensee, Yunxiao Company (云霄公司), 1 million RMB.
On April 21, 2020, China’s Supreme People’s Court released a list of the top 10 intellectual property law cases of 2019. The cases cover patent (invention and design), trademark, copyright, unfair competition and criminal trademark law. Cases in the list were adjudicated by Courts spread over China and at different appeal levels.
Beijing Creative Mackey Plus Information Consulting Co., Ltd. (北京创意麦奇佳偶信息咨询有限公司, hereinafter Mackey English) sued the Beijing Chaoyang District Market Supervision Administration (北京市朝阳区市场监督管理局) in the Chaoyang District People’s Court of Beijing for imposing a 31 million RMB fine (~$4.38 million USD) for trademark infringement and the Beijing Market Supervision Administration (北京市市场监督管理局) for affirming the fine after already paying damages for infringement in a civil trial. Under the Chinese trademark law, trademark infringers can be subject to both civil liability and administrative penalty.