Beijing IP Court recently announced an exemplary IP case, in which the defendant was sentenced to immediately stop its using of “墙锢” on the concrete interface treating agent it produces and sells, and to compensate 10 million RMB to the plaintiff for its economic loss and reasonable spending in safeguarding its right.

This is said to be the highest amount of compensation in TM civil infringement cases ever since the opening of this court. The decision of substantial increase on compensation amount marks an import attempt on Beijing IP Court’s part for increased deterrence against IP infringement.

This case is not alone in its kind. In the “蒙克雷尔” TM infringement case, Beijing IP Court set the final compensation at 3 million RMB which is the very upper limit of legal compensation provided in China’s Trademark Law. In the “全民武侠” copyright infringement case, Beijing IP Court reconfirmed the 1.5 million RMB damage in the original decision.

Statistics show that the average compensation decided by courts all over the country before 2014 is around 80,000. According to insider sources, the average compensation amount given by Beijing IP Court reached 450, 000 in 2015, which has greatly promoted judicial protection and recognition of IP values.

In March this year, Gong Jiali, president of Guangdong High People’s Court proposed to introduce a punitive compensation system against IP infringement through legislature and legal amendment, so as to punish repeated and mass torts, as well as habitual infringers who feed on infringement. The system allows court to sanction certain amount of punitive damage in addition to the compensation for economic loss and reasonable spending, which is believed to be effective means of punishment for willful infringement. 

Soon after, Shenzhen also released new IP protection rules for public opinions. The rules empowered courts with the right to increase the amount of damages to two to three times of the amount of loss of rights owners.

Beijing IP Court is also said to consider imposing punitive damages against willful infringement.

An insider from Beijing IP Court revealed to the reporter that in an invention patent infringement case, the court sanctioned a compensation amount of 1.5 million RMB which is above the 1 million RMB ceiling provided in Patent Law.

From People’s Daily