CHINA INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY LAW NEWSLETTER
Vol. 2 , No. 5 - April 04 , 2001
CALL FOR FOREIGN ASSOCIATES TO REPRESENT CHINESE COMPANIES
INTA Annual Meeting 2001
May 5-9 - San Francisco
Lehman, Lee & Xu will be hosting a delegation of Chinese brand owners to the INTA conference. These companies, which include China's premier multinational corporations, represent the first group of Chinese brand owners that have joined the association. These companies have asked Lehman, Lee & Xu to coordinate their overseas IP work. We, in turn, would like to hear from IP counsel from countries in Europe, North and South America, and elsewhere that would like to be considered for representation of these Chinese companies. Interested parties should send email to Edward Lehman at firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a meeting in San Francisco.
TOPICS THIS ISSUE:
- First Asian-Language Cyber-Squatting Case Settled
- China's NetEase Hopes to Pioneer Online Music in China
- China Strengthens Online Copyright Protection
- Chinese Police Crack Case of Nanchang Prison Making Fake Products
First Asian-Language Cyber-Squatting Case Settled
An arbitrator for the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) recently ruled in favor of the Japanese pharmaceutical company, Sankyo, in a dispute over its right to an Internet domain name.
The name, Sankyo.com, was originally registered by Zhu Jiajun of Shantou, China. Zhu claimed that he registered the name, which means "three together" in Japanese, in order to create a web site that would bring three mediums of art: music, literature, and painting together under one forum.
Sankyo has been using its product name for 100 years and claimed that it should have the exclusive rights to the domain name due to the fact that it is well-recognized in Japan, China, and the U.S.
Through the proceedings, it was discovered that Zhu had also registered the names of other Japanese pharmaceutical companies, which suggested that he was ''cybersquatting'' -- registering names in order to sell them for a higher sum to the legitimate owner.
Arbitrator Sang Jo Jong ruled that Zhu had no legitimate right to the domain name and ordered that it should be transferred to Sankyo.
WIPO's arbitration system was set up in 1999 in order to allow those who believe they are the rightful owners of domain names to retrieve those names without costly legal proceedings or exorbitant settlements.
To date, four disputes have been lodged over domain names in Japanese and three in Chinese.
(Source: AP Online)
China's NetEase Hopes to Pioneer Online Music in China
In the wake of the highly publicized Napster ruling in the U.S., in which the swapping of songs online was viewed as an infringement of intellectual property rights by a U.S. federal appeals court, China's NetEase.com Inc. has decided to chart similar waters.
NetEase.com Inc., an Internet provider that supports China's top Websites including www.163.com, recently announced a partnership with Kuro, a specialized music and entertainment Web site. Kuro, based in Taiwan, works with music publishers to offer online songs authorized for distribution and targeted for the Chinese market.
The partnership will see the introduction of NetEase Kuro, a co-branded peer-to-peer membership-based music community, offering chat, entertainment content and music downloading capabilities. Through NetEase Kuro, the 16 million users of the NetEase Web sites will be able to share more than 10,000 selected online music files with other NetEase Kuro users.
There are several risks that NetEase Kuro faces in light of the Napster ruling. Among these risks is the possibility that music publishers will not allow Kuro to offer songs through its service, expand its current offerings or share music on the Internet. Such risk is heightened by the fact that NetEase.com is listed on NASDAQ and is thus responsible to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Issues regarding security, reliability and confidentiality may impede broad use of its online entertainment service.
(Source: Business Wire)
China Strengthens Online Copyright Protection
A high-level forum on online copyright protection kicked off Tuesday in Guangzhou.
The Asia-Pacific Symposium on the World Intellectual Property Organization's (WIPO) Copyright Treaty (WCT) and the WIPO's Performances and Phonograms Treaty (WPPT), and their Impact on the Copyright Industry was jointly organized by WIPO and the National Copyright Administration of China (NCAC).
Copyright experts from the WIPO, the European Community, the United States, Japan, Malaysia, China and other Asia-Pacific countries will discuss online copyright protection measures so as to facilitate the development of information industries on the Forum.
Shi Zongyuan, Director of the NCAC, and Roberto Castelo, Deputy Director-General of WIPO, were in attendance.
WIPO formulated WCT and WPPT in 1996 to regulate copyright protection catering to the fast development of digital and network technologies. China has signed both treaties.
(Source: Xinhua News Agency)
Police Crack Case of Prison Fakes
Several days ago, the Nanchang Police cooperated with the local industrial and commercial department to crack China's first case of a prison being used to manufacture fake merchandise.
Allegations from a Guangdong chemical plant charged that Nanchang Henghe Incense Manufacturing Plant were producing imitations of their "FuShou" and "ChanGe" incense. Shortly after the accusations, the Nanchang City Law Enforcement Detachment in Charge of Fair Transactions immediately carried out an investigation. From an anonymous tip, the police found that the main workshop for the operation was located inside Nanchang prison, the biggest prison in Jiangxi province.
The suspects involved in the case admitted that since 1999, they have rented the general assembly plant of the prison at the cost of 1,500 RMB/month to manufacture fake incense. Their fake products were then shipped to Shanghai, Hunan, Hubei and other localities for sale. Monthly sales reached 500,000 RMB, or roughly US $60,200.
(Source: Zhongguo Tongxun She News Agency)
Lehman Lee & Xu
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