The Ministry of Science and Technology to Improve the Intellectual Property Management Process of Major Projects
In 2020, there were a total of 549,000 technology contracts with a turnover of CNY$2.8 trillion in the Chinese technology market, among those contracts, 186,000 of them involves intellectual property rights and these amounted to a turnover of CNY$1.1 trillion, accounting for 39.8% of the total Chinese technology contract turnover.
The Ministry of Science and Technology will work with relevant departments in the coming years to support the creation and application of intellectual property rights as an important task in promoting the transformation of scientific and technological achievements, including: 1) supporting the creation of high-quality intellectual property rights through the original scientific and technological innovation; 2) making new reforms for the conversion of innovation into ownership, right to use and right to obtain income; 3) accelerating the construction of the national technology transfer system and improving capabilities in commercializing of intellectual property rights and scientific and technological achievements 4) supporting the transformation of intellectual property rights for advanced technology into real world applications.
Meituan was Fined CNY$3.442 Billion for its Monopolistic Behaviour
On 8 October 2021, the State Administration for Market Supervision (SAMR) announced an administrative penalty imposed on Meituan monopolistic behaviour.
In reaching the decision, the SAMR considered the following laws and circumstances:
- Articles 47 of the AML in relation to abuse of a dominant market position and Article 49 which provides that fine shall based on the nature, extent and duration of the violations.
- Before the start of the investigation, Meituan took the initiative to admit their monopolistic behaviour and confess the facts about their illegal conducts;
- Meituan aided the investigation by providing crucial evidence previously not known to the law enforcement;
- Meituan conducted a comprehensive self-examination and rectification;
- Meituan took initiative in refunding the exclusive cooperation deposit to merchants.
SAMR decided to order Meituan to stop the illegal acts and imposed a fine of 3% of its 2020 sales volume of CNY$114.748 billion in China, totaling to a fine of CNY$3.442 billion. The decision also ordered Meituan to refund the exclusive cooperation deposit of CNY$1.289 billion to merchants.
In response to the decision, Meituan stated that it will conduct a comprehensive and in-depth self-examination and rectification to eliminate monopolistic behaviour. Later, Ele.me (a competitor, also an online food delivery service platform which is a subsidiary of the Alibaba Group) announced that it will not engage in monopolistic behaviour and will operate strictly to comply with the law.
RIO Sued Ruiao for Trademark Infringement and Won a Compensation of CNY$3.6 Million
Shanghai Bacchus Wine Limited ("Bacchus"), an affiliated company of RIO, is the owner of the "锐澳" (Chinese Pinyin is "Ruiao") and "RIO" Trade Marks. Bacchus filed an unfair competition lawsuit with the Jining Intermediate People's Court in Shangdong Province, after Bacchus noticed that Zhongshan Keizheng Wine Limited changed its name into Guangdong Ruiao Investment Limited ("Guangdong Ruiao"). Bacchus believed such conduct to be an attempt in misappropriating Bacchus's goodwill.
No. 4140501 "Ruiao" Trade Mark
In first instance, the court held that Bacchus is the owner of the registered Trade Mark "Ruiao", and that Guangdong Ruiao's actions infringed Bacchus's exclusive right to use the registered Trade Mark and constituted unfair competition. The court ordered Guangdong Ruiao to change its name within twenty days after the judgement came into effect, and must not include the word "Ruiao" in its name change. The court further ordered Guangdong Ruiao to compensate Bacchus for their economic losses and reasonable expenses which totalled in CNY$3.6 million. Guangdong Ruiao appealed against the first instance judgment. The Shandong Higher People's Court held in the second instance that the appeal request could not be established and finally dismissed it.
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