Hong Kong, June 11, 2007 – LAWFUEL – The Law Newswire – Baker & McKenzie is pleased to announce that China’s Supreme People’s Court (“SPC”), the highest judicial agency in the country, elected three intellectual property infringement cases coordinated by the firm as among the “Top Ten Cases of 2006”. The three cases involved clients Sony, Starbucks and a coalition of luxury goods and fashion companies.
The SPC selected these cases to encourage local courts to follow best practices in IP protection, as well as to demonstrate to the foreign companies that they too can enjoy the same level of intellectual property protection as their Chinese counterparts in China.
Details of each case are as follows:
– Sony Corporation v Guangzhou Top Power Electronics Co., Ltd. – The Firm represented Sony and won the lawsuit against Guangzhou Top Power Electronics Co. Ltd , a Guangdong-based camcorder batteries manufacturer, for counterfeiting the SONY trademark and infringement of its patent rights. Sony sought and was granted a preliminary injunction. The Guangzhou Intermediate People’s Court at a full hearing ordered Top Power Electronics to cease infringement, destroy stocks and moulds and pay Sony RMB600,000 in compensation. The Courts also assisted Sony in executing and collecting on the judgment.
Although an appeal was later filed by the defendant, the SPC affirmed the lower court’s decision of issuing an injunction and determination of infringement. This case has been used by the higher judiciary to encourage lower courts to overcome their conservatism in reviewing and granting preliminary injunctions.
– Starbucks v Shanghai Xinbake Coffee Shop Ltd. – The Firm assisted Starbucks in suing Xinbake on the grounds of trademark infringement and unfair competition for its use of an identical Chinese trade name to Starbucks’, as well as a conspicuously similar green and white logo with a steaming cup of coffee in place of the Starbucks emblem’s wavy-haired ‘mermaid’. The Shanghai No. 2 Intermediate People’s Court awarded our client, Starbucks, a verdict of RMB500,000 (approx US$60,000) and ordered the defendant to apologize in the local newspapers. The court also declared “Starbucks” and its Chinese equivalent “Xing Ba Ke” as well-known trademarks. The ruling was upheld by the Shanghai Higher People’s Court, and the appeal was dismissed. This case was also recognized as a “Top Ten” case by the Shanghai Higher People’s Court.
– Prada, Chanel, Gucci, Burberry and Louis Vuitton v Beijing Xiushui Haosen Clothing Market (also known as “The Silk Market” case) – The Firm represented five leading luxury goods and fashion brands in an action against the landlord of the infamous “Silk Market” Shopping mall where counterfeit goods were sold. The Intermediate and Higher People’s Courts both confirmed that the landlord was jointly and severally liable for failing to stop infringements by vendors after being notified of them, making this the first time a landlord is held responsible for the illegal activities of their tenants in the judicial history of China. This case was also recognized as a “Top Ten” case by the Beijing Higher People’s Court as well as the Quality Brands Protection Committee (“QBPC”), an industry association comprised of more than 170 internationally well-known foreign companies. Since 2002, the QBPC annually gives out “Best Cases” awards to model agencies that have demonstrated initiative, efficiency, effectiveness, and innovation in combating intellectual property infringement in China.
Tan Loke Khoon, Head of the IP practice in Hong Kong and China at Baker & McKenzie said, “Our clients and our team members are thrilled to be recognized by China’s highest judicial body for protecting the brands and intellectual property rights, and having our work named among the top 10 cases in 2006. Such recognition not only reaffirms our strengths in the IP area, but also reflects the strong resolve of the Chinese authorities in protecting intellectual property rights, which is greatly welcomed by foreign companies and brand owners. Looking forward, our Firm maintains its strong commitment in safeguarding our client’s intellectual property rights in China and look forward to working more closely with the Chinese government in strengthening its legal foundation to curb piracy.”
For further details please contact:
Tan Loke Khoon, Head of the Intellectual Property Practice Group, Hong Kong and China, on + 852 2846 1970 or [email protected]
Jamie Kar, Senior Coordinator, Public Relations, Asia Pacific, on + 852 2846 1759 or [email protected]
About Baker & McKenzie
Founded in 1949, Baker & McKenzie is a global law firm of more than 3,400 locally qualified, internationally experienced lawyers and 6,600 other professionals and staff in 70 offices in 38 countries. Global revenues for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2006 exceeded US $1.522 billion. John Conroy is Chairman of the Firm’s Executive Committee. (www.bakernet.com)
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