Notice on Trial Operation of the New China and Global Patent Examination Information Inquiry System
In response to the requirements of the State Council regarding deepening the reform of "simplifying procedures, decentralizing powers, combining decentralization with appropriate control, and optimizing services" and in order to further provide the public with efficient and convenient patent inquiry services, the new China and Global Patent Examination Information Inquiry System was launched officially at 12:00 on February 1, 2023 and began trial operation.
Based on the cloud platform infrastructure and the technical architecture of "platform + module" and microservices, the new inquiry system can flexibly allocate resources and respond to users' on-demand access in a timely manner, thereby effectively improving the inquiry efficiency. Meanwhile, the new inquiry system supports fuzzy query of invention titles and applicants, which can effectively improve the accuracy and completeness. It also adds new functions such as inquiries concerning the filing of patent licensing contracts, registration of patent mortgage contracts, and patent open license declarations, so as to meet the corresponding inquiry needs of users and provide more convenient inquiry services.
During the trial operation, please visit the new China and Global Patent Examination Information Inquiry System (https://cpquery.cponline.cnipa.gov.cn) for inquiries of information of business handled recently, and visit the original system (http://cpquery.cnipa.gov.cn) for inquiries of information of business handled before the trial operation. If you encounter any problem during this period, please call 010-62356655 for consultation.
February 1, 2023
(Source: CNIPA website)
China Ranks First in PCT International Patent Applications for Fourth Consecutive Year
On February 28, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) unveiled the results of international registrations of patents, trademarks, and industrial designs in 2022. China once again ranked first in the number of international patent applications filed under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) in 2022, marking the fourth consecutive year that China has topped the list since its inaugural crowning in 2019.
WIPO data shows that in 2022, global players in innovation overcame the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and difficult economic conditions and filed 278,100 international patent applications in total, a year-on-year increase of 0.3%—this is a record number of applications filed in a single year throughout history. China's number of PCT international patent applications reached 70,015, a 0.6% increase over the last year, and China has remained the top origin of PCT international patent applications. The United States (59,056 applications), Japan (50,345 applications), South Korea (22,012 applications) and Germany (17,530 applications) ranked second to fifth, respectively.
Among the classes of PCT international patent filers, Chinese enterprises and universities performed noticeably well. China's Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd. ranked first with 7,689 PCT international patent applications, Samsung Electronics of South Korea (4,387 applications), Qualcomm Incorporated of the United States (3,855 applications), Mitsubishi Electric Corporation of Japan (2,320 applications) and Ericsson of Sweden (2,158 applications) ranked second to fifth, and Guangdong OPPO Mobile Telecommunications Corp., Ltd. (1,963 applications) and BOE Technology Group Co., Ltd. (1,884 applications) ranked sixth and seventh. Among educational institutions, the University of California (552 applications) ranked first, with Zhejiang University (309 applications) in second place, followed by Soochow University (303 applications), Leland Stanford Junior University (217 applications) and the University of Texas System (187 applications). Among the top 10 educational institutions, the number of applications filed by the Soochow University had a greatest increasing rate and is almost twice as many as in 2021.
The total number of applications for registration under the Madrid System for the international registration of marks in 2022 was approximately 69,000. The United States ranked first (12,495 applications), followed by Germany (7,695 applications), China (4,991 applications), France (4,403 applications) and the United Kingdom (4,227 applications). Although the total number of applications filed under WIPO's Madrid System for the international registration of marks in 2022 is lower than that in 2021, but it is still 8% higher than that in 2020. In 2022, the number of international design applications filed under WIPO's Hague System rose by 11.2% to reach a new high of 25,028. Germany ranked first with 4,909 design applications, with China (2,558 applications) in second place, followed by Italy (2,414 applications), the United States (2,412 applications) and Switzerland (2,178 applications).
(Source: China Intellectual Property News official WeChat account)
Added Value of China's Copyright Industry Accounted for 7.41% of GDP in 2021
Recently, Chinese Academy of Press and Publication released an investigation report on "Economic Contribution of China's Copyright Industry in 2021". The report reveals that the added value of China's copyright industry in 2021 was RMB 8.48 trillion, a year-on-year increase of 12.92%, and accounted for 7.41% of GDP, a 0.02% increase over 2020.
According to the report, the added value of China's copyright industry grew from RMB 6.08 trillion to RMB 8.48 trillion from 2017 to 2021, an increase of 39.43% in industry scale; in terms of contribution to the national economy, the proportion of China's copyright industry in GDP grew from 7.35% in 2017 to 7.41% in 2021, a 0.06% increase.
The report shows that the added value of China's core copyright industry reached RMB 5.36 trillion in 2021, making the most significant contribution to the development of the copyright industry. Meanwhile, the foreign trade of China's copyright industry was steadily improving. The merchandise exports of China's copyright industry in 2021 amounted to USD 457.610 billion, a year-on-year increase of 17.72%, accounting for 13.61% of the national merchandise exports, and its proportion in the national merchandise exports has remained stable at no less than 11% for many years.
CNIPA Issues Guidelines on Assistance in Intellectual Property Protection
Since the CNIPA issued the Guiding Opinions on Further Strengthening Assistance in Intellectual Property Protection in June 2020, more than 2,000 rights protection assistance agencies have been set up nationwide, and 71,000 applications for assistance in intellectual property protection were handled in 2022. In order to further strengthen the work guidance, improve the workflow and strengthen the standardized management, the CNIPA has formulated the Guidelines on Assistance in Intellectual Property Protection.
Attachment: Guidelines on Assistance in Intellectual Property Protection
(Source: CNIPA Official WeChat Account)
中国国家知识产权局与伊朗知识产权主管机构升级版谅解备忘录在京签署CNIPA and Iranian Counterpart Signed the Upgraded MOU
Witnessed by both Chinese President Xi Jinping and Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, the upgraded edition of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA) and the Intellectual Property Center of the State Organization for Registration of Deeds and Properties of the Islamic Republic of Iran was signed at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on the afternoon of February 14. Shen Changyu, Commissioner of the CNIPA, and Ehsan Khandouzi, Iran's Minister of Economic Affairs and Finance, put their signatures on the document in representing their respective intellectual property administrations.
The upgraded MOU spans from invention patents, designs, trademarks, geographical indications, and layout designs of integrated circuits. Both sides will deepen cooperation on specific projects of high-level dialogue, IP strategy, legal system and policy, training and capacity building, IP review practice, information technology and service, IP data and documentation exchange.
(Source: CNIPA Official WeChat Account)
Unitalen's Client Raytron Group Won a Full Victory in a Malicious Litigation Case
Raytron Group: "The promotion of this case to the intellectual property judicial protection in China and its academic significance will certainly be reflected in future judicial practice."
Raytron Technology Co., Ltd., IRay Technology Co., Ltd., Anhui InfiRay Technologies Co., Ltd., etc.（hereinafter referred to as the "Raytron Group"）, which were established in 2009, are national high-tech enterprises specializing in the design and manufacturing technology development of application-special integrated circuits, special chips and MEMS sensors, and are committed to becoming the most valuable special chip enterprise in China and the world-leading provider of intelligent sensing technology solutions.
Wuhan Hongshi Thermal Imaging Technology Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as "Wuhan Hongshi") had been maintaining a cooperative relationship with Raytron Group since 2016 and selling the infrared night vision devices of Raytron Group as an agent. The two parties terminated the cooperation due to different business philosophies. In November 2019, Wuhan Hongshi filed the first lawsuit with the Wuhan Intermediate People's Court and claimed for compensation of no less than 20 million yuan on the grounds that the E3 and E6 series thermal infrared imagers produced by Raytron Group and its subsidiaries infringed its patent rights. Upon examination, the Wuhan Intermediate People's Court ruled that this case was under the jurisdiction of the Hefei Intermediate People's Court. After the case was transferred to the Hefei Intermediate People's Court, Wuhan Hongshi took the initiative to apply for withdrawal of the lawsuit in May 2020.
In June 2020, less than a month after the previous case was withdrawn, Wuhan Hongshi again filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Raytron Group and its subsidiaries with the same cause of action and the same evidence, and the amount of claim increased steeply to 44.2257 million yuan. In order to forcibly set connection point of jurisdiction in Wuhan, Wuhan Hongshi included the Wuhan branch of Raytron Group as a co-defendant in the second lawsuit. However, the establishment of the branch was later than the establishment time in the evidence submitted. Subsequently, the second lawsuit filed by Wuhan Hongshi again went through the first and second trials with regard to jurisdictional objection, and the Supreme People's Court ruled in June 2021 that this case should be under the jurisdiction of the Hefei Intermediate People's Court.
When representing Raytron Group in the infringement lawsuits filed by Wuhan Hongshi, the Unitalen team filed a request for invalidation of the patent concerned. The Unitalen team quickly retrieved the reference documents of the technical solution of the patent concerned that have been disclosed, and the relevant documents were the promotional articles on the WeChat official account and the function introduction videos on the online video platform published by Wuhan Hongshi. In the process of oral hearing of the invalidation case, Wuhan Hongshi recognized that the technical principles disclosed in the aforementioned videos are consistent with the technical principles of the patent concerned. Finally, the patent concerned was declared invalid in whole by the CNIPA on August 31, 2021.
Although the aforementioned patent infringement lawsuit was dismissed due to the successful invalidation of the patent concerned, Raytron Group's legitimate interests suffered losses for no reason. Rraytron Group consumed a lot of human resources, materials and finances to deal with the lawsuits filed by Wuhan Hongshi. Moreover, the sales of the relevant products declined and Raytron's reputation suffered immeasurable intangible losses for no reason. Accordingly, Raytron Group and its subsidiaries entrusted Unitalen Law Office to file a lawsuit arising from a dispute over liability for damage due to the malicious litigation against Wuhan Hongshi in January 2022, and the case was then formally accepted by Hefei Intermediate People's Court.
After losing the court case in the first trial, Unitalen team summed up the experience in a timely manner, took Wuhan Hongshi's act of maliciously applying for a patent while knowing perfectly well that it had disclosed the technical solution beforehand as a breakthrough point to re-collect the evidence. Unitalen submitted additional evidence to the court to prove the cooperation relationship between Raytron Group and Wuhan Hongshi in the early years and to prove that Wuhan Hongshi sold the allegedly infringing products concerned as an agent, and added evidence that Wuhan Hongshi hired a professional patent agency to apply for dozens of patents to prove that Wuhan Hongshi had subjective malice of abusing the right to sue for the reason that it knew very well the conditions for granting patent rights and the substantive defects of the patent concerned, but still applied for several patents fraudulently and filed the infringement lawsuits based on the patents. Meanwhile, Unitalen carried out legal research and searched for similar cases actively, conducted in-depth research and analysis on the legal relationship and practical precedents of malicious filing of an intellectual property lawsuit, and composed special research articles and a similar case search report.
Finally, the Anhui High People's Court supported our arguments and entered a judgment on February 10, 2023 ruling that Wuhan Hongshi's abuse of the right to sue constituted malicious litigation and ordered Wuhan Hongshi to compensate Raytron Group for the corresponding reasonable expenses.
Finally, Raytron Group won the final victory of the malicious litigation case and successfully defended its lawful rights and interests. The four-year-long series lawsuits between Raytron Group and Wuhan Hongshi spanning the entire COVID-19 pandemic ended in a satisfactory way.
Significance of the case
Unitalen Law Office assisted Raytron in winning the final victory in the patent infringement lawsuits and the malicious litigation case, which not only safeguarded Raytron's lawful rights and interests, but more importantly, restrained the abuse of right to sue by the unfair competitor for seeking unlawful interests, and made outstanding contributions to maintaining a good business environment.
The commendatory letter sent by Raytron Group to Unitalen Law Office
Unitalen Represented LG Household & Health Care of South Korea, Successfully Certified Its Trademarks as Well-known Trademarks, and Won the Second Instance Case
深圳市丰雅贸易有限公司（下称“深圳丰雅公司”）在其官方网站、新浪微博等处使用“The History of Whoo一后”“The History of Whoo后”“Whoo一后”“Whoo后”等商标宣传第20、24、26、44、45等相关类别的商品和服务，并且网站上所附相关图片因引起访问者不适而向LG生活健康方面进行投诉。
Shenzhen Fengya Trading Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as "Shenzhen Fengya Company") used trademarks such as "The History of Whoo一后", "The History of Whoo后", "Whoo一后", and "Whoo后" on its official website, Sina Weibo, etc. to promote the related goods and services in classes 20, 24, 26, 44, and 45, and complained to LG Household & Health Care for the discomfort caused by the relevant pictures attached to the website to the visitors.
Upon enquiry, LG Household & Health Care CO., LTD. (hereinafter referred to as "LG Household & Health Care") found that since May 2016, Shenzhen Fengya Company has applied for trademarks such as "Whoo后", "Whoo一后", and "" on goods and services in classes 20, 24, 26, 44, and 45, and the trademarks were approved for registration.
In this regard, LG Household & Health Care, based on the analysis and suggestions of Unitalen attorneys, adopted a dual approach of civil litigation and invalidation procedures to achieve prohibition of use or registration of relevant trademarks applied for use by Shenzhen Fengya Company.
In the civil litigation case, LG Household & Health Care asserted that the relevant sued acts of Shenzhen Fengya Company constituted infringement of its registered well-known trademarks. The case was first tried by Shenzhen Intermediate People's Court, Guangdong Province (hereinafter referred to as the "Shenzhen Intermediate People's Court"), which supported the relevant claims of LG Household & Health Care, and determined that before Shenzhen Fengya Company applied for the registration of the sued trademarks, the trademarks "" No. 4819575 and "" No. 9327294 had reached a well-known status on cosmetics products in class 3. Moreover, this well-known status continued until May 2020, when LG Household & Health Care took evidence of the alleged infringement of Shenzhen Fengya Company, and continued until LG Household & Health Care filed a lawsuit.
The first instance judgment of the Shenzhen Intermediate People's Court: Shenzhen Fengya Company shall immediately stop acts of infringing on the exclusive right to use the registered trademarks "" No. 4819575 and "" No. 9327294 enjoyed by LG Household & Health Care. Within ten days from the effective date of the first instance judgment, Shenzhen Fengya Company shall publish a statement on its infringement behavior in the non middle section of Nanfang Metropolis Daily and Yangcheng Evening News for three consecutive days, and publish a statement in a prominent position on its official website and official Weibo homepage for ten consecutive days to eliminate the impact. Shenzhen Fengya Company shall compensate LG Household & Health Care for economic losses and reasonable rights protection expenses of 450,000 yuan within ten days from the effective date of the first instance judgment.
Shenzhen Fengya Company refused to accept the above judgment of first instance and filed an appeal to the High People's Court of Guangdong Province (hereinafter referred to as "Guangdong High People's Court").
Basic information of the second instance and final determination
In the appeal, Shenzhen Fengya Company proposes four main reasons: "" No. 4819575 and "" No. 9327294 enjoyed by LG Household & Health Care do not constitute well-known trademarks. The acts of Shenzhen Fengya Company do not constitute infringement. Even if it is determined that Shenzhen Fengya Company constitutes an infringement, the amount of compensation determined in the first instance judgment is obviously too high. The determination of the first instance judgment that the acts of Shenzhen Fengya Company detracted from market reputation of LG Household & Health Care is wrong.
Regarding the issue of whether the trademarks involved should be recognized as well-known trademarks, the court of second instance holds that the evidence in the case can confirm that, as of May 3, 2016, when Shenzhen Fengya Company applied for the registration of the sued trademark involved on goods in class 20, the right trademark of LG Household & Health Care had a high reputation among the relevant public. With the evidence, it was found and determined that, the right trademarks involved were already well known by the relevant public, had high popularity, market influence, good market reputation, and reached a well-known status on cosmetics products in class 3 before May 3, 2016, and should be recognized as well-known trademarks. The reasons for Shenzhen Fengya Company's appeal asserting that the trademarks involved do not constitute well-known trademarks are not established.
Regarding the issue of whether the alleged infringement constitutes an infringement, the court of second instance holds that the alleged infringement obviously may undermine the stable correspondence formed between the well-known trademarks involved and the relevant cosmetics, weaken the distinctiveness of the well-known trademarks involved, also reduce the image of the trademarks involved in the relevant public eyes, weaken the identity of cosmetics consumers with the trademarks involved, derogate from the market reputation of the well-known trademarks involved, and damage the legitimate rights and interests of the well-known trademark registrant involved, which falls within the circumstance "mislead the public and damage the interests of the registrant of the well-known trademark" as stipulated in Article 13.3 of the Trademark Law, and thus the above act constitutes infringement.
Regarding the issue of whether the amount of compensation determined in the first instance is too high, the court of second instance holds that even if Shenzhen Fengya Company does not make a profit in actual operation, the damage it caused to the well-known trademarks involved of the LG Household & Health Care is objective, and the relevant costs for restoring the reduced distinctiveness of the well-known trademarks involved and the market reputation of the depreciated well-known trademarks involved should be borne by Shenzhen Fengya Company. The court of second instance holds that the amount of compensation determined by the court of first instance is not improper.
Regarding the issue of whether Shenzhen Fengya Company should bear the legal responsibility to eliminate the impact, the court of second instance holds that Shenzhen Fengya Company's unauthorized use of the marks alleged for infringement on the relevant goods and services in classes 20, 24, 26, 44, and 45 has weakened the distinctiveness of the well-known trademarks involved and detracted from the market reputation of the well-known trademarks involved, and the adverse impact should be publicly eliminated. LG Household & Health Care's claim for Shenzhen Fengya Company to publish a statement in newspaper and on its official website and Weibo to eliminate the impact is well supported.
This case is a typical case where well-known trademark holder cracks down on infringement acts of diluting and defaming its well-known trademark and succeeds in safeguarding rights.
This case has won both the first and second instances, and in the trademark invalidation process, the relevant trademarks have also been successfully declared invalid. With professional level and rich experience in the field of intellectual property, Unitalen attorneys skillfully apply the civil and administrative cross procedure to achieve the prohibition of use and registration of relevant trademarks, effectively safeguarding intellectual property of LG Household & Health Care. In this case, "" No. 4819575 and "" No. 9327294 enjoyed by LG Household & Health Care are successfully identified as well-known trademarks, which will definitely lay a solid foundation for the possible follow-up rights protection of LG Household & Health Care.
Customer Sansure Biotech Awarded Unitalen the Honorary Title of "Best Partner"
Recently, Unitalen's high-quality service has once again received praise from customer - Sansure Biotech Inc. awarded Unitalen the honorary title of "Best Partner" in 2022.
集佳荣膺2023年度WTR 1000 金牌事务所 3位合伙人荣膺多项杰出个人称号
Unitalen Won 2023 WTR 1000 Gold Medal Firm
3 Partners Won Multiple Outstanding Individual Titles
近日，国际知识产权领域权威媒体《世界商标评论》（World Trademark Review，简称WTR）发布了2023年度WTR 1000全球商标领域领先事务所名录，集佳以自身卓越的实力入选中国区商标申请和策略领域“金牌事务所”及商标保护和诉讼领域“银牌事务所”。同时，集佳高级合伙人赵雷律师入选中国区商标申请和策略领域“金牌个人”及商标保护和诉讼领域“银牌个人”，集佳高级合伙人黄莺律师入选中国区商标申请和策略领域“铜牌个人”，集佳合伙人秦丽丽律师入选中国区商标申请和策略领域“铜牌个人”及商标保护和诉讼领域“铜牌个人”。
Recently, the authoritative international media in the field of intellectual property, the World Trademark Review (WTR), released a list of 2023 WTR 1000 global leading firms in the field of trademark. Unitalen, with its outstanding strength, was selected as the "Gold Medal Firm" in the field of trademark application and strategy and the "Silver Medal Firm" in the field of trademark protection and litigation in China. Meanwhile, attorney ZHAO Lei, Unitalen senior partner, was selected as a "Gold Medal Individual" in the field of trademark application and strategy and a "Silver Medal Individual" in the field of trademark protection and litigation in China. Attorney HUANG Ying, Unitalen Senior Partner, was selected as a "Bronze Medal Individual" in the field of trademark application and strategy in China. Attorney QIN Lili, Unitalen Partner, was selected as a "Bronze Medal Individual" in the field of trademark application and strategy and a "Bronze Medal Individual" in the field of trademark protection and litigation in China.
Unitalen Consecutively Won the Award of "China Outstanding Intellectual Property Service Team" in 2022
On February 11, the "13th China Intellectual Property New Year Forum and 2023 China Intellectual Property Manager Annual Meeting" and the award ceremony were grandly opened in Beijing. Unitalen Intellectual Property continued to win the 2022 "China Outstanding Intellectual Property Service Team" award for its superb business capabilities, outstanding professional strength, and outstanding team cohesion. The partner, Ms. WANG Xiuqing, represented Unitalen at the grand event and received the award.
Unitalen Successfully Co-organized the 2023 INTA Annual Meeting Beijing Warm-up Meeting
On the afternoon of February 24, the 2023 INTA Annual Meeting Beijing Warm-up Meeting hosted by the International Trademark Association (INTA) and co-organized by Beijing Unitalen Attorneys at Law was successfully held at Gehua Kaiyuan Hotel.
This meeting was presided by attorney ZHAO Lei, senior partner of Unitalen. At this warm-up meeting, Mr. PAN Xinsheng, deputy director of the Beijing Intellectual Property Office, Ms. SU Hong, chief representative of the INTA China Representative Office, attorney ZANG Baoqing, former deputy secretary general of the China Trademark Association, attorney FU Tongjie, partner of Zhucheng Intellectual Property Agency Co., Ltd., attorney LEI Yongjian, partner of Wanhuida Intellectual Property Agency Co., Ltd., and attorney LI Yongbo, senior partner of Beijing Unitalen Attorney at Law, and over 150 industry authorities from enterprises and intellectual property firms were specially invited to attend. Guests gathered together to share the joy of welcoming the INTA 2023 annual meeting and the hot topics related to intellectual property protection.
2023年5月16-20日，INTA第145届年会将在新加坡举行。INTA 首席执行官Etienne Sanz de Acedo先生通过视频方式致辞，感谢大家多年来对INTA的友好支持，欢迎大家参加INTA新加坡年会，尽享和国际社群的互动交流。
On May 16-20, 2023, the 145th annual meeting of INTA will be held in Singapore. Mr. Etienne Sanz de Acedo, CEO of INTA, delivered a speech via video, thanking everyone for their friendly support to INTA over the years, welcoming everyone to participate in the INTA Singapore Annual Meeting and enjoy the interaction and exchange with the international community.
Unitalen Shanghai Branch Won Awards of the Annual Outstanding Trademark Agency Case and the Nomination Award for Overseas Trademark Protection, Promoting Trademark Agency Compliance Work
On February 9, 2023, the Promotion Meeting of Trademark Agency Compliance Work of Shanghai Trademark Brand Association concluded successfully.
Unitalen Shanghai Branch was awarded the "Outstanding Trademark Agency Case in Shanghai from 2021-2022" for its outstanding work over the "吴良材(Wu Liangcai)" trademark infringement and unfair competition case. Additionally, Unitalen Shanghai Branch was awarded the "Overseas Trademark Protection Nomination Award in Shanghai in 2022".
Attorney HOU Yujing, Partner of Unitalen, Has Been Selected as the "Top 50 Outstanding Intellectual Property Attorneys in China" for Three Consecutive Years
On March 3, 2023, IPHOUSE&Zhichanli hosted the "achievement is founded on diligence, and success depends on forethought" - China Top 50 Outstanding Intellectual Property Attorneys&Legal Affairs List Release and Award Dinner at the Shangri-La Hotel in Beijing, to present the award to the attorneys selected in the 4th "China Top 50 Outstanding Intellectual Property Lawyers List". Attorney HOU Yujing, a partner of Beijing Unitalen Law Office, has been listed for the third consecutive time due to her outstanding performance and high influence in the field of intellectual property litigation!
▲ Attorney HOU Yujing (sixth from left) received the award