Shanghai Intellectual Property Court Pronounced Judgments Togetherto Maintain Law-based Market Environment for Fair Competition

As the 22nd World Intellectual Property Day was approaching, the Shanghai Intellectual Property Court pronounced judgments on three cases involving trademark infringement, unfair competition and false publicity disputes on the afternoon of April 21, 2022, displaying the intensity of punishment on intellectual property infringement and the full protection of intellectual property rights holders in its effort to maintain an open, orderly, fully competitive and regulated market environment, and to create an honest, law-abiding atmosphere for fair competition.

In the appeal case of Wilo (China) Pump System Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as “Wilo China”) v. Wilo Pump (Shanghai) Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as “Wilo Shanghai”) concerning disputes over trademark infringement and unfair competition, the Shanghai Intellectual Property Court held as follows through trial. Having settled with Wilo Germany and Wilo China in connection with the unfair competition dispute, Wilo Shanghai should have operated in good faith and used its business name prudently to avoid confusion. However, it highlighted the use of the above logo again, which further led to confusion among the relevant public. In such case, the confusion cannot be prevented without prohibiting Wilo Shanghai from using the business name containing “Wilo”. In addition, considering the scale of infringement, the circumstances of infringement and the applicability of punitive damages in this case, the total damages of 15 million yuan claimed by Wilo China is within a reasonable range, and it’s nothing inappropriate for the first-instance judgment to support the claim. Thus, the Shanghai Intellectual Property Court ordered to reject the appeal and affirm the original judgment in the second instance.

In the appeal case of dispute over the unauthorized use of another company’s business name and false publicity between Atlas Copco Group (hereinafter referred to as “Atlas Copco”) and Bolaite (Shanghai) Compressor Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as “Bolaite”), the Shanghai Intellectual Property Court held as follows after hearing. Obviously, there is competition between appellant Bolaite and the four appellees as they both engage in the production and sales of air compressors and like products.Although the four appellees were established at different times, they have all carried out business activities in China for a long time. In addition, due to their close investment relationship and same trade name, the trade name in the business name of the company established earlier may have impacts on the companies established later. Therefore, it’s nothing inappropriate for the first-instance court to determine based on the documented evidence that the business names of the four appellees had certain influences, and that the behaviors of the appellant constitute unfair competition. Hence the Shanghai Intellectual Property Court ordered to reject the appeal and affirm the original judgment in the second instance.

In the case of dispute over trademark infringement and unfair competition between NOK Corporation and Enoukai (Tianjin) Lubricating Oil Co., Ltd., the Shanghai Intellectual Property Court held as follows through hearing. The Trademark No. 1180250 “” is a well-known trademark and has been widely known by the relevant public in China due to the long term, extensive use by the plaintiff in the oil seal field. The defendant, as an operator of similar products (lubricants), should be aware of this. Hence, the alleged infringing behavior constitutes infringement. In consideration of the foregoing, the Shanghai Intellectual Property Court rendered the first-instance judgment, ordering the two defendants to immediately cease relevant behaviors, eliminate the impact, and compensate one million yuan for economic losses and 200,000 yuan for reasonable expenses.

 

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