ESCO wins trademark suit
Beijing High People's Court has entered a second instance decision concerning a Ningbo-based company's infringement of US-based company ESCO's trademark. Fumei Engineering Machinery Company was found to have infringed.
ESCO is primarily engaged in manufacturing and selling machine parts and has a representative office in Beijing. ESCO applied for registration of its trademark ESCO to the Trademark Office under the State Administration for Industry and Commerce in September and October 1993 and obtained registration numbers 659425 and 663565. ESCO would later extend the terms of the registrations to 2013.
In September 2007, ESCO found Fumei-manufactured bucket teeth, tine plates and other parts with ESCO labels on sale in Beijing. After gathering evidence, it filed a suit at Beijing No 2 Intermediate People's Court and sought 200,000 yuan in damages.
Fiat's copycat suit rejected
The Shijiazhuang Intermediate People's Court recently rejected Fiat's lawsuit against Great Wall Motor for patent infringement and Fiat has to pay a court fee of 8,800 yuan.
Fiat Auto filed lawsuits against Great Wall Motor for patent infringement in both China and Italy claiming that Great Wall's Peri model was a copy of Fiat's Panda. On July 16, the Turin Court, in Italy, ruled that the promotion, importation and sale of the Peri was forbidden in the EU and Great Wall Motor was fined 15,000 euros for importing the car.
According to the Shijiazhuang Intermediate People's Court, the designs of the Panda and Peri are "clearly different", particularly the front and rear parts of the vehicles. The court concluded that consumers would not be confused between the two.
Agricultural center needed
An agricultural IP (intellectual property) meeting was held by the Agricultural IP Research Center of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS) on September 12 in Beijing to tackle problems such as the weak protection of China's agricultural patents and related technology innovations. Experts from the CAAS, Chinese Academy of Sciences and Renmin University of China, and officials from the Ministry of Agriculture and the State Intellectual Property Office attended the meeting.
Shi Yanquan, an official from the Ministry of Agriculture, said China's agricultural patent applications have greatly increased in recent years and the proportion of invention patents has continuously risen as well. He added that the amount of annual applications for new varieties of agricultural plants ranks fourth among UPOV members.
However, regarding the development of agricultural intellectual property, China is facing many theoretical and practical problems. So it is necessary to establish a specific research center to solve those problems, Shi concluded.
IPR infringement crackdown
The State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) has issued a circular on the start of "Thunderstorm" and "Skynet" IPR enforcement campaigns. The circular also announced a plan for IPR law enforcement actions.
The "Thunderstorm Campaign" will combat IPR infringement and counterfeiting, especially malicious, collective and repeated infringements, counterfeiting or imitation of patents, while the "Skynet Campaign" is aimed at patent frauds.
The action plan requires all related departments to strengthen their leadership, ensure careful planning, intensify coordination, expand publicity efforts and reinforce supervision.
The campaigns will be carried out from March to November of 2009. The SIPO will write a report and recommendations in December.
CISCO settles dispute
CISCO has settled a trademark dispute with an infringer from Shenzhen. With court intervention, the unidentified defendant agreed to make a public apology and pay 200,000 yuan in damages.
CISCO sued the Shenzhen company in Futian District Court for infringing on its trademarks CISCO and CISCO SYSTEMS. CISCO says the trademarks were registered at the Trademark Office of the State Administration for Industry and Commerce. The Shenzhen company had been selling counterfeit routers and switches labeled with the trademarks since July 2006. The act has misled the public and caused great damages to CISCO, the court found. CISCO originally sought an injunction, 500,000 yuan in damages and a public apology.
S&T awards announced
At a Hubei Provincial S&T (science and technology) Awards Ceremony held in Wuchang city on September 8 a total of 342 science and technology financial awards were granted.
Provincial Party Secretary Luo Qingquan, on behalf of the provincial CPC committee and the people's government, congratulated the winners. He said that Hubei would spare no efforts to encourage the independent innovation capacity of local enterprises.
All the amounts of this year's S&T awards were increased: winners with outstanding contributions won bonuses ranging from from 500,000 to 8 million yuan; S&T best award winners totaled 8 million yuan, up from 6 million yuan; special awards for S&T achievements rose to 500,000 yuan from 300,000 yuan, and first awards for S&T achievements climbed from 30,000 to 60,000 yuan.
(China Daily 09/22/2008 page9)