The Haidian People’s Court of Beijing recently handed down judgment in the unfair competition case of He Yi Information Technology (Beijing) Co., LTD v. UC Browser:  UC Browser was held to have engaged in unfair competition by  modifying and inducing users to modify an online video download service provided by Youku. The Defendant was ordered to publish an appropriate statement on both Youku and the UC website to and to pay to the Plaintiff the sum of RMB 500,000 (approx. US$80,000). 

The Plaintiff claimed that, having installed the UC Browser, its users could download Youku’s video programs directly.  In its defence, the Defendant contended that the Plaintiff had no right to bring the action because it had no relevant rights in the  videos concerned. Further, the UC Browser’s download function should be regarded as product development, since it enabled improvements to be made to the software.  Finally, no damage had been caused to the Plaintiff.   

This is the first unfair competition case relating to the unauthorized downloading of video programs.  It is also the first IPR case in which the Haidian People’s Court has granted an injunction following implementation of the Amended Civil Procedure Law.