Founded in 1999 by Axel Meise, Occhio is one of the most innovative companies in the lighting industry and the market leader in premium design lighting in Germany.

In early October 2021, it came to Occhio's attention that an English website owned by a Chinese company, CANCO, was offering a ceiling lamp that was almost an exact copy of Occhio's Chinese design patent (Figure 1),(1) which is owned by Alex and Susann Meise.

Figure 1: Occhio's Chinese design patent

This design had won several design awards in Germany, and the product was of high value. After preserving the online evidence, Occhio immediately reached out to the website owner and learned that the supplier was a factory named "WAN RUI" based in Zhongshan, Guangdong.

On 15 October 2021, Occhio's counsel paid a visit to WAN RUI and observed the sample of the copycat (Figure 2).

Figure 2: sample of copycat

Mobile notarisation was organised on site and a sample order was placed. In November 2021, Occhio's counsel went to the factory again to carry out a notarised purchase of the sample. In December 2021, a civil lawsuit was filed against WAN RUI on the ground of design patent infringement with the Guangzhou IP Court.


After examining Occhio's complaint, the Court offered an alternative dispute resolution approach – namely, the pre-litigation mediation procedure. Aiming to settle the dispute quickly and cheaply, Occhio agreed to this arrangement. The Court designated a professional mediator for this purpose.

After online communication with both parties, the mediator organised an online mediation meeting in February 2022. On 16 February 2022, both parties signed a settlement agreement and WAN RUI paid the damages immediately. According to the settlement, WAN RUI admitted design infringement and paid 70,000 yuan in damages. WAN RUI and its legal representative also undertook to pay 1 million yuan jointly in the event of repeat infringement.


The design patentee's lamps enjoy high reputation in the international market. The copies seriously harmed Occhio's reputation and eroded its market share. Facing numerous infringers, the design patentee needed to take quick action at a reasonable cost. In light of the heavy workload of the Guangzhou IP Court and the strong evidence of infringement, the patentee agreed to the pre-litigation mediation arrangement, used the procedure to settle the dispute with the infringer quickly and made the infringer undertake to pay punitive damages in the event of repeat infringement. It took only four months to settle the dispute, exemplifying the possibility for foreign design patentees to enforce their design patents efficiently in China.

For further information on this topic please contact Shuhua Zhang at Wanhuida Intellectual Property by telephone (+86 10 6892 1000) or email ([email protected]). The Wanhuida Intellectual Property website can be accessed at www.wanhuida.com.

This article was first published by IAM.


(1) No. ZL201630237030.4.