Supreme People’s Court Opinions Concerning Some Issues in Fully Giving Rein to the Function of Intellectual Property Rights Adjudication in Promoting the Grand Development and Grand Flourishing of Socialist Culture and Stimulating the Indigenous Economy and Coordinated Development

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FF No. (2011)18

 

16 December 2011

 

In order to deeply implement the spirit of the 6th Plenum of the 17th Party Congress and the Central Economic Work Meeting, and the requirements of the “12th Five-Year Plan” outline, fully give rein to the function of intellectual property rights adjudication in promoting the grand flourishing and grand development of Socialist culture and stimulate the accelerated transformation of economic development methods and the economy’s indigenous and coordinated development, the following opinions are put forward concerning related issues:

I, Liberating thoughts, a dynamic judiciary, realistically strengthening a sense of responsibility and a sense of mission in providing judicial intellectual property rights guarantees

1, Raising understanding, realistically strengthening the vigour and initiative for the grand flourishing and grand development of Socialist culture and stimulating the economy’s indigenous and coordinated development. The “Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party Decision Concerning Deepening Cultural Structural Reform“ passed by the 6th Plenum of the 17th Party Congress has determined the Socialist development path with Chinese characteristics, firmly established the strategic objectives in establishing a strong Socialist culture country, has put forward the guiding ideology, objectives and tasks, important principles and main policies to promote cultural reform and development under new circumstances, and is a programmatic document in guiding our country’s Socialist culture construction in the present and future. The “12th Five-Year Plan” outline for national economic and social development has made clear that in the next five years, all work matters in our country must have scientific development as the main theme, have transforming economic development methods as main thread; persisting in having the strategic adjustment of economic structures as the direction of the main attack, having scientific progress and innovation as important support. The Central Economic Work Conference requires that we must firmly grasp this solid basis for developing the real economy, strive to create a social atmosphere encouraging being earnest and down-to earth, being industrious and enterprising, making industry and commerce grow rich; firmly grasping this strong driver for accelerating reform and innovation, grasping the opportune moment to make breakthroughs in a number of focus areas and key segments as soon as possible, putting forth effort to raise original innovation capacity, incessantly strengthening integrated innovation, introduction, absorbing, assimilation and reinnovation capacity; persisting in innovation drive, strengthening intellectual property rights protection; fostering the development of strategic burgeoning industries, stressing the promotion of major technology breakthroughs; stressing strengthening core competitiveness; accelerating the expansion of cultural industries, promoting the flourishing and development of cultural undertakings. Cultural development, scientific and technological progress and knowledge innovation, are the basic drivers for promoting the transformation of economic development methods and the economy’s indigenous coordinated development. Intellectual property rights protection is closely related to stimulating cultural development and flourishing, and the economy’s indigenous coordinated development. All levels’ courts and the broad intellectual property rights judges must fully and clearly understand the situation, realistically strengthen their consciousness of the larger picture and a sense of responsibility, persist in a dynamic judiciary, search for points to unite and points to direct efforts, and, during judicial intellectual property rights protection, stress encouraging of cultural development and scientific and technological progress even more , stress moving cultural innovation forward and developing new sorts of culture business models even more, stress promoting intellectual property rights culture development and flourishing even more, stress giving rein to the stimulating and guiding function of intellectual property rights in the real economy even more, stress fostering and developing strategic burgeoning industries and promoting the strategic adjustment of economic structures even more, stress raising our country’s comprehensive national strength and international competitiveness even more, and give rain to a constructive and guaranteeing function in promoting the grand development and grand flourishing of Socialist culture, and the economy’s indigenous and coordinated development.

 

2, Renewing concepts, realistically strengthening and serving the focalization and effectiveness of the grand flourishing and grand development of Socialist culture and the economy’s indigenous and coordinated development. It is necessary to strengthen and reinforce the concept of protection, fully understand the important contradictions, basic position and policy orientation that strengthening protection brings in judicial intellectual property rights protection at present, making good overall planning of both the large international and domestic pictures, using intellectual property rights laws sufficiently and well, strengthening all kinds of judicial intellectual property rights protection, realistically reducing the costs of rights defence and expanding punishment strength. It is necessary to strengthen concepts of classification and appropriate leniency or severity, pay attention to the properties and special characteristics of all sorts of intellectual property rights in judicial intellectual property rights protection, conform to the function and protection requirements of all different kinds of intellectual property rights, making judicial intellectual property rights protection even more adapted to the international and domestic development environment in which our country finds itself, conforming even more to the characteristics or our country’s new economic and social cultural development phase, conforming even more to the new requirements of our country’s cultural development and scientific and technological innovation. It is necessary to strengthen concepts of balancing interests, making balancing interests into an important starting point for judicial intellectual property rights protection, making overall planning including the interests of intelligence and creators, commercial users and the social public, coordinating well the relationships between encouraging innovation, stimulating industrial development and guaranteeing basic cultural rights and interests, making all sides jointly benefit from interests, and balancing development. It is necessary to strengthen the concept of the correct first judgment, and give high regard to raising the level of correctness of first instance trials, making the parties achieve judicial fairness early, raising judicial effectiveness and reducing the rate of appeals, stimulating social harmony and stability.

 

3, Giving rein to superiority, further strengthening the lead of the judiciary in protecting intellectual property rights. Continuing to deeply implement the concepts and objectives in the National Intellectual Property Strategy on giving rein to the leading function of the judiciary in protecting intellectual property rights, strengthening the firmness and consciousness concerning the implementation of these strategic objectives, guaranteeing the scientific nature and accuracy of implementation. It is necessary to adapt to the new requirements and new circumstances after the shaping of a Socialist legal system with Chinese characteristics, giving even more regard to judicial intellectual property rights protection, guaranteeing the implementation of intellectual property rights laws, carrying forward the concept of the Socialist rule of law. It is necessary to give even more regard to the stability and predictability of intellectual property rights law application, giving high importance to procedural guarantees and process transparency, and give high regard to the demonstration function of earlier model cases, to the larges extent providing the interested parties with stable and predictable expectations, to the largest extent letting them avoid the worry that the judicial standards to which they are subject are not uniform, vigorously create desirable legal environments, investment environments and market environments. It is necessary to give even higher regard to long-term protection mechanisms, give high regard to law enforcement pervaded by one unity, give high regard to creating a sort of persevering long-term protection mechanism, avoiding transformation for a short period of time to the point that it damage the long-term enforcement of the law. It is necessary to give even higher regard to equal protection, give high protection to the integral enforcement of intellectual property rights laws, determinedly restraining local protectionism. It is necessary to give even more regard to guiding and orienting function of arbiters, giving high regard to carrying forward the Socialist core value system during arbitration, paying attention to the organic integration of legal appraisal and moral appraisal, guiding mainstream social value systems, making safeguarding public morals to be an important pursuit of values in judicial protection, raising society’s intellectual property rights legal system culture that respects culture, venerates innovation, with sincerity, honesty and that abides the law.

 

II, Strengthening the trial of intellectual property rights cases involving culture, stimulating cultural innovation and fostering new cultural business models, vigorously promoting the grand development and grand flourishing of Socialist cultures

 

4, Giving high regard to the trial of intellectual property rights cases involving culture, strengthening the protection of cultural intellectual property rights according to the law. Our country has already shaped a cultural legal system with laws and regulations such as the Copyright Law, Intangible Cultural Heritage Law, Compute Software Protection Regulations, the Information Network Dissemination Rights Protection Regulations, etc., as backbone, the trial of intellectual property rights cases involving culture has already become an important aspect in intellectual property rights adjudication. It is necessary to earnestly implement the Central Committee policy measures concerning forcefully developing public interest-type cultural undertakings, and accelerating the development of cultural industries, formulate and perfect relevant judicial interpretations and judicial policies, give high regard to trial work involving culture, fully give rein to the demonstration, guiding, stimulating and guaranteeing functions of intellectual property rights adjudication in cultural construction, encouraging the entire national cultural creation vitality to continue to burst forth, enriching the people’s social and cultural life, guaranteeing the people’s basic cultural rights and interests, promoting leapfrogging development in the cultural industries, raising our country’s comprehensive cultural strength and international competitiveness. It is necessary to give high regard to the protection of new kinds of intellectual property rights involving the cultural industries, vigorously promoting cultural industry development to become a pillar industry in the national economy. Especially strengthening copyright protection in industries and areas such as publishing and distribution, film and television production, advertising, performance, entertainment, design, etc., promoting the development and expansion of traditional cultural industries. Deeply researching and forcefully strengthening copyright protection for strategic burgeoning cultural industries such as cultural creation, digital publishing, mobile multimedia, cartoon games, software, databases, etc., fostering new cultural business models, expanding cultural industry development into new areas, fostering new growth points for the national economy, raising our country’s comprehensive cultural strength and competitiveness. Closely following new problems brought on by information technology development such as the “three-network” integration of telecommunications networks, radio and television networks, the Internet, etc., and at the same time as protecting authors’ rights and interests, following the development of stimulating burgeoning industries, stimulating the rise of our country’s informatization levels.

 

5, Expanding protection of the rights and interests of cultural creators, guaranteeing that cultural creation resources fully gush out. It is necessary to appropriately deal with the relationship between a work’s originality and a level of originality, both safeguarding the uniformity of basic standards for copyright protection of works, and pay attention to grasping the characteristics of all kinds of works and adapt to the special requirements corresponding to the area of protection, making protection strength and level of originality mutually coordinated. It is necessary to appropriately apply general provisions in the Copyright Law concerning copyright, to timely protect new rights and interests of creators. Appropriately dealing with the relationship between the works of individuals, job-related works, and works of legal persons, both protecting the rights and interests of authors to the largest extent and encouraging the vigour of creation, and protecting the lawful rights and interests of legal persons or other organizations according to the law. Appropriately utilizing the legal difference between idea and expression, paying attention to the relative difference of ideas and expressions, reasonably defining the scope for protection of works. Giving high regards to protection of disseminators’ rights and interests, fully protecting the lawful rights and interests of publishers, performers, record or video producers, radio stations and television stations, stimulating the dissemination and utilization of works. Vigorously exploring legal protection involving rights and interests concerning comprehensive arts and entertainment soirées, sports programmes, etc., reasonably balancing the interests of corresponding parties.

 

6, Strengthening copyright protection in a network environment, appropriately dealing with the relationship between protecting copyright and stimulating information network industry development and guaranteeing information dissemination. It is necessary to correctly grasp the spiritual essence of laws, administrative regulations and judicial interpretations relating to copyright protection in a network environment, it is especially necessary to correctly grasp balancing between the interests of rights holders, network service providers and the social public, it is necessary to both strengthen copyright protection in a network environment, and to pay attention to stimulating information network technology innovation and commercial model development, guaranteeing the interests of the social public. Correctly grasping the division between works, performances, audio and video product supply activities and network service supply activities, appropriately dealing with the relationship between exceptions and liabilities of relevant network service providers, “notice and takedown” roles and fault liability, and the difference between network service providers infringement fault and common infringement fault. For all network service provision activities conforming to statutory exemption conditions, network service providers do not bear responsibility for compensating infringement; where, even though the statutory conditions for exemption are not completely fulfilled, but the network service provider has not committed a fault, he does not bear responsibility for compensating infringement. It is necessary to correctly grasp the definition of infringement with fault for network service providers, on the basis of the characteristics and reality of the information network environment, it is necessary to both establish fault according to the fault standards for clear infringing facts, and not make network service providers bear general advance examination duties or a relatively high duty of care, and to suitably muster the vigour of network providers in actively preventing infringement and to cooperate with rights holders in preventing infringement. It is necessary to safeguard the basic value of “notice and takedown” rules, and apart from circumstances in which clear facts of infringement are able to establish that the network service provider clearly know or should have clearly known of them, “notice and takedown” rules shall be applied first as presuppositions in investigating the infringement compensation liability of network service providers, it is necessary to both prevent lowering the fault establishment standards for network service providers and make “notice and takedown” rules into empty vessels; and to prevent that network service providers are passive and slack against third parties using their network service for infringement, and abuse the “notice and takedown” rules.

 

7, Appropriately dealing with the relationship between technology neutrality and the establishment of infringement activity, realizing the harmonization and unification of effectively protecting copyright and stimulating technological innovation and industrial development. It is necessary to both correctly grasp the value neutrality and multi-use nature that technology has as tools and methods, and to fully understand the activities and goals of technology providers that technology reflects and embodies. We can neither have the responsibility for the consequence of infringement brought on by technology fall on the technology provider unconditionally, suffocating technological innovation and development; we can also not make technology neutrality absolute, and simply make technology neutrality into an inappropriate pretext for avoiding infringement liability. Concerning technology having substantive non-infringing commercial use, strictly grasping the conditions under which the technology provider bears joint liability, where it cannot be inferred that technology providers clearly knew of the existence of concrete acts of direct infringement, he will only bear joint liability together with the direct infringe under the condition that there are other acts of assistance or abetting; concerning technology that is mainly used to infringe copyright and has no other substantive commercial use, it may be inferred that technology providers clearly know the existence of concrete acts of direct infringement, and shall bear joint liability together with the direct infringer. When trying copyright cases involving network copyright or burgeoning industries such as “three-network integration”, etc., it is especially necessary to grasp the spirit of technology neutrality, both benefiting the stimulation of scientific, technological and commercial innovation, and preventing the committing of infringing acts in the name of technology neutrality.

 

8, Appropriately utilizing the provisions on limitations and exceptions in copyright, correctly judging the lawfulness of defendants’ infringing activities, stimulating commercial and technological innovation, fully guaranteeing the people’s basic cultural rights and interests. Correctly establishing fair use and statutory licensing activities, protecting the proper use and dissemination of works according to the law. Under the special circumstances of the necessity to stimulating technological innovation and commercial development, considering factors such as the nature and objective of the activity in which the work is used, the nature of the used work, the quality and quality of the used part, the influence of the use on the potential market or value of the work, etc., if the act of use does not conflicts with the regular use of the work, and also is unlikely to result in unreasonable damage to the proper rights and interests of the author, it may be established as reasonable use. Where a copy, drawing, photo or video recording is made of art works set up or displayed outdoors in social public spaces, and reuse is made of the results thereof in a reasonable manner and scope, regardless of whether or not that act of use has a commercial goal, it shall always be established as reasonable use.

 

9, Comprehensively utilizing many kinds of legal methods to vigorously promote the protection, inheriting, exploitation and use of intangible cultural heritage, stimulating our country’s rich cultural resources to transform into strong cultural competitive strength. Intangible cultural heritage is an important basis and link for concentrating the nation’s spirit, inheriting the nation’s culture, safeguarding cultural diversity, stimulating social harmony and sustainable development, and is an important source for cultural innovation. In line with the principles of merging inheriting with innovation, protection and use, according to the spirit of present laws and legislation, vigorously protecting intangible cultural heritage such as folk literature and art, traditional knowledge, hereditary resources, etc., fairly and reasonably coordinating and balancing the relationship between the interests of all sides and parties in the process of excavation, arrangement, inheriting, protection, exploitation and use. Persisting in the principle of respect, when using intangible cultural heritage, its form and content shall be respected, and intangible cultural heritage may not be used in distorting or criticizing ways. Persisting in the principle of disclosing the source, when using intangible cultural heritage the sources of the information shall be explained in an appropriate manner. Encouraging informed consent and benefit sharing, intangible cultural heritage users shall as far as possible obtain the informed consent of preservers, providers, possessors or related protecting entities, and share the benefits from use with them in an appropriate manner. Comprehensively utilizing many kinds of methods such as copyright law, trademark law, patent law, anti-unfair competition law, etc., to vigorously protect the inheriting, commercial exploitation and use of intangible cultural heritage.

 

10, Fully utilizing copyright protection methods to protect folk literature and art works according to the law. Folk literature and art works copyright protection must benefit the inheriting of folk literature and art, and give rein to its function in concentrating the nation’s spirit and bring together a national spirit garden, and must benefit innovation and use, raising the influence of Chinese culture. Copyright over folk literature and art works may be shared by the specific ethnicity producing and inheriting those works or the local community, the government departments corresponding to that specific ethnicity or locality has the right to represent them in exercising rights protection. Concerning the preservers and arrangers of folk literature and art works, their right of paternity shall be respected in an appropriate manner. Using folk literature and art elements or source materials to conduct successive creation, regardless of obtaining permission or paying costs; where a n original work is shaped, the author may obtain complete copyright protection according to the law, but shall indicate the source of the materials for the work. Where inappropriate use of folk literature and art works creates damage to the moral rights and interests of the specific ethnicity or local community, the People’s Courts may order the inappropriate user to bear corresponding civil liability.

 

11, Effectively using legal methods such as trademark law, patent law, etc., to protect the commercial value of intangible cultural heritage, stimulating the superiority of natural or human resources having local characteristics to transform into real productive capacity. Letting intangible cultural heritage names, symbols, etc., apply for trademark registrations, where inappropriate acts of use constitute distortion, criticism, misleading, etc., of intangible cultural heritage, damaging the moral rights and interests of the specific ethnicity or local community, or where it is established that there are other harmful influences, it is prohibited to use them as trademarks; where they are already used and bring about harmful influence, the People’s Courts may, according to the concrete circumstances of the case, judge that the user bears civil liability for ceasing the use, making a formal apology, eliminating the influence, etc. Where the name, symbols, etc., of intangible cultural heritage constitutes a geographical indication, it may act as a former right granting protection, taking consideration of the concrete situation. Where traditional knowledge and hereditary resources in intangible cultural heritage constitute commercial secrets, it is prohibited for other persons to steal, illegally disclose and use them. Patent holders that have gained or used hereditary resources in violation of the provisions of laws and regulations, completed inventions or creation relying on those hereditary resources and obtained patent licensing, where they accuse other persons of infringing his patent, it is permitted to not grant support.

 

III, Expanding science and technology achievement protection strength, promoting scientific and technological progress and innovation, raising indigenous innovation capacity

12, Strengthening the intellectual property rights protection for science and technology categories such as patents, new plant varieties, integrated circuit diagrams and designs, etc., according to the law, vigorously promoting scientific and technological progress and innovation. According to the new tendencies of scientific and technological progress and the new requirements for economic developments, with raising our country’s primary innovation capacity and strengthening integrated innovation, introduction, absorbing, assimilation and re-innovation capacity as important objectives, correctly implementing the legislation spirit of patent law and correctly conducting infringement judgements, strengthening intellectual property rights protection for key core technologies, basic forward position areas and strategic burgeoning industries, promoting technological breakthroughs and technological innovation, moving traditional industry optimization and upgrading forward, accelerating the fostering and development of strategic burgeoning industries, accelerating the shaping of front running and pillar industries, strengthening enterprise and national core competitiveness. Expanding intellectual property rights protection strength for science and technology categories relating to the cultural area, giving rein to the driving function of scientific and technological innovation in cultural development, promoting the raising of cultural industry technology equipment levels, strengthening the cultural industries’ core competitiveness, promoting Chinese culture to march towards the world.

 

13, Correctly grasping judicial policies on appropriate leniency and severity in patent rights protection, forcefully raising indigenous innovation capacity. When determining the concrete patent rights protection scope and strength, it is necessary to appropriately consider the characteristics and innovation reality of patent rights in different technology areas, conform to the innovation requirements, innovation characteristics and development reality in different technology areas. Persisting in the principle that the explanation of the scope of invention and utility model patent rights takes the middle road, correctly defining the protection scope of patent rights. Giving high regard to the limiting function of patents’ invention objective in the patent rights protection scope, shortcomings or inadequacies in present technology to be overcome by patents should not be brought into the scope of protection. Original inventions with a high level of innovation, large research and development input, that have a breakthrough and driving function in economic growth, shall be granted relatively high protection strength and relatively broad equivalent protection scope correspondingly; the equivalent protection scope of improving inventions of which the innovative level is relatively low will be appropriately limited.

 

14, Correctly utilizing patent infringement judgement methods, expanding restraining strength against patent infringement acts. Correctly grasping judgement rules such as the overall technological characteristics and contrasts, the prohibition of coming back on promises, contributions, etc., in invention and utility model patent infringement judgements, continuing to explore and perfect equivalent infringement application conditions. Equivalent infringement shall have the basic similarity of methods, functions and effects, and the evidence to the normal technical person skilled in the field as essential conditions, preventing simple mechanistic application of equivalent infringement or inappropriate expansion of its scope of application. The defence rule of presently known technology may be applied both in equivalent infringement and literal infringement. Correctly grasping the judgement methods of comprehensive inspection of design characteristics and comprehensive judgement of overall look, feel and effect in external design patent infringement judgements, taking the normal consumer of the designed product as determining subject, taking the differentiating design characteristics of the external design as the core, taking the similarity or closeness to the overall look, feel and effect of the product’s appearance and design as a basic standards to establish a judgement of infringement. Correctly utilizing the present technology and design defence, where the alleged infringer maintains a present technology or present design defence with a present technology plan or a present design recorded in the literature composed of evident public knowledge or customary design, it shall be granted support. Where the alleged infringer maintains that it does not constitute patent infringement to use technology plans of exterior designs in implemented conflicting applications, it may be judged upon with reference to the examination and judgement standards for the present technology or present design defence.

 

15, Appropriately hearing product manufacturing method invention patent infringement cases, protecting method invention patent rights according to the law. At the same time as appropriately considering the real difficulties of rights protection for method patent rights holders, also protecting the lawful rights and interests concerning commercial secrets of the alleged infringer. Reversing the burden of proof of to suit new product manufacturing methods according to the law, where the products achieved by the application of patented methods as well as the technological plans used to produce that product were not openly known to the public before the patent application date, the alleged infringer producing corresponding products shall bear the burden of proof that his product manufacturing method is not similar to the patented method. Where the products achieved by applying a patented method are not new products, the patent holder is able to demonstrate that the alleged infringer has produced similar products, and it is impossible to prove with reasonable efforts that the alleged infringer has really applied a patented method, but according to the concrete circumstances of the case, integrating the already known facts as well as daily life experience, it possible to establish that the probability that the similar products are produced with a patented method is very large, it is permitted to not further require the patent holder to provide further evidence, according to the relevant provisions of judicial interpretations on civil procedure and evidence, and the alleged infringer will provide evidence that his manufacturing methods are not similar to the patent method. It is necessary to counter the reality of the difficulties of method patent infringement evidence, adopt evidence preservation measures according to the law, and appropriately lighten the evidentiary burden of method patent holders. It is necessary to pay attention to protecting the rights and interests of applicants, prevent the parties from abusing the evidence preservation system to illegally obtain other persons’ commercial secrets. Where evidence provided by the alleged infringer that his manufacturing methods are not similar to patented methods involve commercial secrets, attention shall be paid to adopt protective measures during investigation and trial.

 

16, Appropriately dealing with the relationship of protecting patent rights and preventing rights abuse, controlling abuse of patent rights and abuse of pre-trial injunction systems according to the law. At the same time as protecting patent rights and guaranteeing the right to sue of parties according to the law, paying attention to prevent that patent holders clearly violate the objectives of the law in exercising their rights, and improperly damage competitors, hampering fair competition and disrupting market order. Where he clearly knows that his patent rights involve existing technology or existing designs, but still maliciously issues infringement warnings to proper users or their trading partners, or abuses the right to sue, and it constitutes an infringement, requests for damages and compensation from the damaged party may be supported, taking circumstances into regard. Relatively strictly grasping legal conditions, strengthening order guarantee, cautiously adopting pre-trial measures to cease patent infringement according to the law. Persisting in making the relative clarity of the facts and the ease to determine infringement as prerequisite conditions for adopting pre-trial measures to cease patent infringement. For acts that require that relatively complicated technology comparison to be conducted before it is possible to judge the probability of infringement, it should not be ruled that the instruction of pre-trial cessation of infringement should be adopted. Under circumstances where the conditions permit, an accurate judgement concerning the probability of infringement are to be made through the method of hearing the applicant and the respondent as far as possible. Where it is declared that a decision concerning the request for invalidity has been made, and the patent at issue is invalid, pre-trial cessation of patent right infringement may generally not be adopted.

 

17, Strengthening the protection for new plant variety rights, moving agricultural science and technology innovation forward, stimulating the acceleration and transformation of agricultural development methods. Expanding protection strength for major agricultural science and technology achievements and new plant varieties having intellectual property rights, stimulating the raising of indigenous innovation capacity, moving forward agricultural science and technology progress, raising comprehensive agricultural production capacity, anti-risk capacity and market competitiveness. Strictly guaranteeing the rights and interests of variety rights holders according to the law, forcefully stimulating the fostering of varieties and the transformation of innovative achievements, developing modern agriculture. Expanding attack strength against new plant variety infringement acts, it is necessary to timely stop infringing activities such as production with commercial aims, selling or re-using breeding materials of licensed varieties; acts of passing off other persons’ licensed plant varieties shall be handled as new plant variety infringement disputes. Examining variety rights holders’ evidence preservation applications according to the law, guaranteeing that the variety rights holder obtains judicial relief timely. Concerning evidence preservation steps adapted against alleged infringers of breeding material, corresponding technological regulations shall be followed as much as possible, guaranteeing the objectivity and representativeness of samples, but the effect of the evidence preservation may not be simply denied on the basis of not having invited corresponding technology experts to assist in the samples. Paying attention to protecting the lawful rights and interests of peasants according to the law, safeguarding agricultural and rural stability. Correctly dividing the large seed producing and managing companies from normal individuals and rural contracting businesses for whom growing plants is the livelihood, we must both prevent infringement liability for normal individuals and rural contracting businesses for whom growing plants is the livelihood who by themselves breed and use breeding materials for licences plants, and must prevent that large companies that essentially produce and manage seed evade legal sanctions.

 

IV, Strengthening trademark right protection, fostering and safeguarding famous brands, vigorously promoting the Socialist market economy’s competitive, innovative and inclusive growth

 

18, Strengthening trademark protection according to the law. The protection of trademark rights must benefit encouraging competition, benefit the distinction between commercial symbols, benefit resisting malicious acts of squatting other persons’ famous brands and “semi-brands”, benefit the provision of a harmonious and comfortable legal environment for famous brand innovation and development, providing assistance to fostering famous brands and raising enterprises’ overall competitiveness, promoting the accelerated transformation of our country from a large production country to a strong brand country. it is necessary to, on the basis of a trademark’s renown and level of distinction, appropriately utilize measurable legal standards such as trademark similarity, commercial categories, former use,, as well as trademarks having a certain influence, obtaining trademark registration though fraud or other improper methods, etc., appropriately grasping whether a trademark registration applicant or registrant has a true intent of use or not, as well as integrating subjectivity or maliciousness of “semi-brand” activities in trademark application, etc., using relevant provisions of trademark law fully and well, expanding strength to restrain improper acts such as malicious squatting, “semi-brand”, etc., fully reflecting the legal orientation of trademark rights protection.

 

19, Appropriately dealing with the relationship of trademark similarity and similarity of elements composing trademarks, correctly grasping the legal scale of establishing trademark similarity. Establishing whether or not trademark similarity is constituted, must be based on the concrete circumstances of the case. Under usual circumstances, where the composing elements corresponding to the trademark constitute similarity in the whole, trademark similarity may be established. Where the composing elements of the trademark are not similar in the whole, but it is maintained that the renown of the trademark at issue is higher than the trademark of the alleged infringer, a comparison of the main parts may be adopted to decide whether or not there is similarity. It is necessary to appropriately deal with the relationship of clearly distinguishing the boundaries between commercial symbols and permitting the appropriate coexistence of trademarks with similar composing elements under special circumstances. When relevant trademarks all have relatively high renown, or the coexistence of relevant trademarks has been formed under special circumstances, establishment of trademark similarity shall also be based on a judgement integrating factors such as the real use situation of both parties, the history of use, the state of recognition of the corresponding public, the subjective state of the users, etc., paying attention to respecting market structures that have already objectively formed, stopping to simply equate similarity of composing elements of trademarks with trademark similarity, realizing the inclusive development between operators.

 

20, Fully considering the associativity of products using trademarks, correctly grasping establishment standards for product similarity. To establish product similarity, the similar product differentiation form may be consulted, but the market reality shall be respected more. It is necessary to take the general recognition of the corresponding public as standard, and integrate factors such as the product’s function, use, producing entity, selling channel, consumption target, etc., to correctly establish product similarity in the sense of trademark law. Where it is maintained that the trademark at issue is already being used in reality hand has a certain renown, the associativity between the products must be fully considered to establish product similarity. Products of which the corresponding believe that specific associativity exists based on the general recognition of the product and the general understanding of its trade, may be brought into the scope of product similarity, taking circumstances into regard.

 

21, Standardizing the establishment and protection of famous trademarks, realistically strengthening famous trademarks protection. The objective of protecting famous trademarks lies in appropriately expanding the protection scope and protection strength of trademarks with a relatively high level of fame, and is not a judgement or the award of a honorary title. In all cases where parties maintain that famous trademark protection conforms to the conditions for protections and is really necessary, it shall be granted establishment and protection according to the law. For famous brands of which the normal public has extensive knowledge, the famous facts that are broadly known to the public must be integrated, lowering the burden of proof on the trademark holder concerning the famous trademark situation. Establishment of a famous trademark does not require, however, that there is an equal or uniform level of fame, but the scope and strength of the famous trademark must correspond to its distinctiveness and renown, for famous brands with strong distinctiveness and a high level of renown, a broader scope of protection that crosses protection categories and stronger protection strength must be granted. It is necessary to earnestly implement the provisions of judicial interpretations, correctly grasp the protection scope of famous trademarks, strengthen strict gate keeping over establishing the real facts about famous trademarks, persist in the system of examination and verification before trial, prevent the parties’ committing frauds, or conducting false lawsuits to defraud the establishment of famous trademarks.

 

22, Appropriately establishing trademark infringement defences, safeguarding the lawful rights and interests of legitimate business operators. Trademark infringement acts shall have similar use in the sense of commercial symbols or trademark similarity as conditions, the where the alleged infringer reasonably and in good faith uses similar or identical symbols to describe or explain the characteristics of his products or services, it may be considered as proper use according to the law. Where the trademark registered by the trademark registering person duplicates, imitates or translates the famous trademark of another person that is not yet registered in China, or trademarks of squatting agents or representatives or squatting trademarks of other persons that already have a certain influence with improper means are at issue, and the alleged infringer who used the trademark earlier puts forward a defence with this as grounds, support shall be granted.

 

23, Appropriately dealing with the relationship between facts and procedure, strengthening the substantive resolution of trademark licensing disputes. Procedure has its independent legal value, and must also have the resolution of the substantive issue and substantive justice as orientation and final objective. Substantive justice is the objective and orientation of procedural moves, and must be support and guarantee for procedural fairness. It is necessary both to give high regard to procedural fairness, and prevent ignoring procedural fairness in the one-sided pursuit of substantive justice, and to rely on substantive justice, and prevent mechanistic adjudication. Where the parties possibly influence each others major substantive rights and interest because of flaws in exercising procedural rights, and possibly may even lead to the loss of the possibility for relief, and there is no other channel for relief, it is permitted to grant the possibility for remedy on the basis of the concrete circumstances of the case. It is necessary to stress the substantive resolution of trademark authorization disputes, avoid getting bogged down in unnecessary procedural duplication, solving the substantive questions and avoiding contradictions. Where it is possible to make substantive judgements on whether or not the trademark should be granted registration or not, or where they should be cancelled or not, etc., a clear decision may be made in the grounds for judgement, providing clear guidance for the administrative organ at issue to remake a decision.

 

V, Standardizing competition procedures according to the law, fostering a free and open, honest and law-abiding competitive culture, creating an open and orderly, market environment brimming with vitality

 

24, Strengthening unfair competition case trial, safeguarding fair market competition. Appropriately dealing with the relationship between specialized intellectual property rights law and anti-unfair competition law, and at the same time as encouraging innovation, it is also necessary to encourage fair competition. Giving rein to the complementary protection function of anti-unfair competition law may not conflict with specialized intellectual property rights laws and policies, in all areas in which specialized intellectual property rights law has been exhaustively provided, anti-unfair competition law will in principle not provided added protection, permitting free use and free competition, but within the scope of compatibility with specialized intellectual property rights legislation and policy, it is still permitted to grant protection from the point of view of stopping unfair competition. Appropriately dealing with the relationship between the principle provisions and the special provisions of anti-unfair competition law, it is necessary to both fully utilize the flexibility and adaptability of principle provisions, effectively ceasing all sorts of constantly changing and incessantly emerging unfair competition acts, and to stop the arbitrariness of the application of principle provisions, avoiding the obstruction of free and fair market competition. Strictly grasping the application conditions of anti-unfair competition law’s principle provisions, all spheres where special provisions of anti-unfair competition law provide for explicit prohibitions, corresponding unfair competition act can be controlled only according to special provisions, in principle, principle provisions should not be applied by expanding their scope of application. For acts which are not prohibited by special provisions of anti-unfair competition law, if damage is caused to the lawful rights and interests of other business operators, the principle of sincerity and honesty and generally acknowledged business ethics are truly violated, and there is impropriety, and not stopping it would be insufficient to safeguard the fair competition order, it is permitted to govern this by applying principle provisions. Correctly grasping the principle of sincerity and honesty, and the judgement standards for business ethics, taking homo economicus ethics standards that are generally identified and accepted in the specific business area as yardstick, avoiding that the principles of sincerity and honesty and generally acknowledged business ethics are simply equated to individual morals or social morals.

 

25, Strengthening the protection of commercial secrets according to the law, effectively stopping acts infringing commercial secrets, creating a safe and trustworthy legal environment for corporate innovation and investment. According to the concrete situation of the case, reasonably grasping evidentiary standards for confidentiality and improper means, suitably lightening the difficulty to protect the rights of commercial secret rights holders. Where superior evidence of confidentiality has been provided by the rights holder or he fully and reasonably explains or analyses the points of difference between information in the public space and the information he maintains is a commercial secret, it may be established as confidential. Where, on condition that the evidence provided by the commercial secret rights holder proves that the information of the alleged infringer corresponds to the commercial secret or substantively corresponds to commercial that the alleged infringing party came into contact with or illegally obtained, on the basis of the concrete circumstances of the case or the already known facts and daily life experience, the probability of establishing that the alleged infringing party has adopted improper means is relatively high, it may be inferred that the fact is established that the alleged infringing party has adopted improper methods to obtain business secrets, except for cases where the alleged infringing party is able to prove that said information was obtained through lawful methods. Using commercial secret information conforming to legal conditions as a basis according to the law, correctly defining the scope of commercial secret protection, all single commercial secret information units constitute independent protection subjects. Perfecting commercial secret case trial and confrontation methods, it is necessary to try the adoption of measures such only revealing to agents, revealing in stages, signing an affidavit to preserve secrecy, etc., concerning evidence involving commercial secrets, to limit the scope of information and dissemination channels for commercial secrets, preventing them to be leaked a second time during case proceedings. Appropriately dealing with the relationship between civil commercial secret infringement litigation and criminal procedure, both paying attention to the connection between the two sorts of procedure, and paying attention to the their mutual independence, at the same time as protecting commercial secrets according to the law, it is also necessary to prevent operators from maliciously starting criminal procedures to disturb or pressure competitors.

 

26, Appropriately dealing with the relationship between protecting commercial secrets and the freedom of occupation, non-competition of persons involved with the secret and the reasonable mobility of talent, safeguarding the proper and lawful employment and entrepreneurial rights and interests of workers, stimulating the reasonable mobility of labour forces according to the law. Knowledge, experience and skill mastered by workers during their work, apart from the situation where they are part of the work unit’s business secrets, constitute a component part of their human dignity, and workers have the freedom to use them as they choose after leaving a position. Under the circumstances that it does not violate non-competition obligations, and it does not infringe commercial secrets, where workers knowledge, experience and skills they have learnt in the work unit originally employing them for the service of other work units having a relationship of competition with the original work unit, it should not be simply established that this constitutes improper competition on the basis of non-competition law principles. Appropriately dealing with the relationship between protecting commercial secrets and non-competition agreements, non-competition agreements may take the existence of commercial secrets as a presupposition, but the two have different legal bases and manifestations, violating non-compete obligations is not equal to infringing commercial secrets, the period of non-competition is also not equal to the period of protecting secrets. Plaintiffs filing an infringement suit on the basis of infringement of commercial secrets are not limited by the earlier existence of a non-competition agreements.

 

27 Strengthening anti-monopoly case trial work, timely and effectively stopping monopolistic acts, strengthening the vitality of the market, stimulating the perfection of market structure and the healthy development of the market economy. It is necessary to strengthen effects and thoughts on anti-monopoly law, completely considering all kinds of corresponding factors, comprehensively assessing the effects hindering competition and stimulating competition of the alleged monopolistic act, establishing monopolistic acts according to the law. Paying attention to giving rein to the function of economic experts and specialist organs, exploring ways and channels to attract economic analysis methods. It is necessary to reasonably divide the burden of proof of the parties in civil monopoly disputes and cases on the basis of the different categories of monopolistic acts. Concerning monopolistic agreements that clearly have the effect of gravely removing or limiting competition, it is permitted to not require the victim to prove that said agreement has the effect of removing or limiting competition; where public utility enterprises as well as other business operators having monopoly business qualifications abuse their dominant market position, it is permitted to suitably reduce the burden of proof of the victim according to the concrete circumstances of the case.

 

VI, Strengthening intellectual property rights procedure system construction, perfecting trial structures and work mechanisms

28, Deeply grasping the characteristics and rules of intellectual property rights cases, establishing and completing dispute settlement mechanisms adapted to the special characteristics of intellectual property rights cases. Correctly grasping the work principle of “mediating first, integrating trials”. It is necessary to vigorously guide parties into choosing methods such as entrusted mediation, expert mediation or sector mediation to resolve their disputes, according to the characteristic that intellectual property rights cases have a strongly specialized technological nature. Persisting in the principle of voluntary mediation according to the law, it is not permitted to force or drag parties into mediation against their wishes. For cases in which the expectations of parties or concerned sectors with regard to the distinction between right and wrong are high, or in which the requirements regarding clarification of rules are strong, or the level of acceptance of the decision is high, the judicial method is to be chosen as much as possible to resolve the dispute, fully giving rein to the guiding and leading function of judicial judgements. It is necessary to give rein to the function of scientific and technological experts in resolving disputes, and perfect resolution mechanisms for specialized technological issues in intellectual property rights cases.

 

29, Continuing to perfect intellectual property rights judgement structures and mechanisms, fully giving rein to the overall efficacy of judicial intellectual property rights protection. According to the requirements of the National Intellectual Property Rights Strategy, vigorously moving forward trial work for trying civil, administrative and criminal intellectual property rights cases in concentrated intellectual property rights trial courts, establishing civil, administration and criminal trial and mediation mechanisms for intellectual property rights, unifying judicial standards, giving rein to their overall protection efficacy, striving to establish an intellectual property rights trial structure with optimized resources, scientific operation and high authority. It is necessary to strengthen cooperation and coordination with public security organs, prosecution organs as well as administrative intellectual property rights law enforcement organs, shaping protection strength. Optimizing intellectual property rights case jurisdiction distribution, suitably increasing general intellectual property rights case grass-roots courts, encouraging middle and basic level courts to launch concentrated jurisdiction management across regional boundaries, according to work requirements, reasonably allocating judicial resources.

 

30, Safeguarding the unity of the legal system, stimulating the unified opening up of the market. Perfecting case jurisdiction management systems, strengthening supervision constraints, suitably adopting methods such as raising jurisdiction to a higher level, appointing jurisdiction to other localities, etc, to effectively restrain the appearance of local protection and departmental protection, guaranteeing that cases are fairly tried. Where it is decided to raise jurisdiction to a higher level or move jurisdiction to another locality, the court with original jurisdiction must deal with this correctly, and timely transfer materials. Realistically strengthening trial supervision, giving rein to the rectifying function of second trials and retrials, preventing that faulty judgements are accommodated with an eye to judicial achievement assessment standards. In cases of which retrial is ordered, the relevant retrying court must correctly understand and earnestly deal with the order for retrial, and correct mistakes according to the law. Where the order for retrial is disregarded, retrial is delayed or the retrial order is not implemented without proper reason, discipline must be enforced, and it will be reported for criticism according to the gravity of the circumstances. Further perfecting work mechanisms, suitably expanding coordination and guidance strength for related intellectual property rights cases, safeguarding the unity of judicial standards.

 

最高人民法院印发《关于充分发挥知识产权审判职能作用推动社会主义文化大发展大繁荣和促进经济自主协调发展若干问题的意见》的通知

 

各省、自治区、直辖市高级人民法院,解放军军事法院,新疆维吾尔自治区高级人民法院生产建设兵团分院:

 

现将《最高人民法院关于充分发挥知识产权审判职能作用推动社会主义文化大发展大繁荣和促进经济自主协调发展若干问题的意见》印发给你们,请结合审判工作实际,认真贯彻执行。执行中遇到问题,请随时报告我院。

 

二○一一年十二月十六日

 

为深入贯彻十七届六中全会、中央经济工作会议精神和“十二五”规划纲要要求,充分发挥知识产权审判在推动社会主义文化大发展大繁荣及促进经济发展方式加快转变和经济自主协调发展中的职能作用,现就有关问题提出如下意见:

 

一、解放思想,能动司法,切实增强提供知识产权司法保障的责任感和使命感

 

1、提高认识,切实增强推动社会主义文化大发展大繁荣和促进经济自主协调发展的积极性和主动性。十七届六中全会通过的《中共中央关于深化文化体制改革推动社会主义文化大发展大繁荣若干重大问题的决定》,确定了中国特色社会主义文化发展道路,确立了建设社会主义文化强国的战略目标,提出了新形势下推动文化改革发展的指导思想、目标任务、重要方针、重大举措,是当前和今后一个时期指导我国社会主义文化建设的纲领性文件。国民经济和社会发展“十二五”规划纲要明确,未来五年我国各项工作必须以科学发展为主题,以加快转变经济发展方式为主线;坚持把经济结构战略性调整作为主攻方向,把科技进步和创新作为重要支撑。中央经济工作会议要求,要牢牢把握发展实体经济这一坚实基础,努力营造鼓励脚踏实地、勤劳创业、实业致富的社会氛围;牢牢把握加快改革创新这一强大动力,抓住时机尽快在一些重点领域和关键环节取得突破,着力提高原始创新能力,不断增强集成创新、引进消化吸收再创新能力;坚持创新驱动,强化知识产权保护;培育发展战略性新兴产业,注重推动重大技术突破,注重增强核心竞争力;加快壮大文化产业,推动文化事业蓬勃发展。文化发展、科技进步和知识创新,是推动经济发展方式转变和经济自主协调发展的根本动力。知识产权保护与促进文化发展繁荣和经济自主协调发展密切相关。各级法院和广大知识产权法官要充分认清形势,切实增强大局意识和责任意识,坚持能动司法,找准结合点和着力点,在知识产权司法保护中,更加注重激励文化发展和科技进步,更加注重推进文化创新和发展新型文化业态,更加注重推动知识产权文化的发展和繁荣;更加注重发挥知识产权对实体经济的促进和引领作用,更加注重培育发展战略性新兴产业和推动经济结构战略性调整,更加注重提高我国的综合国力和国际竞争力,在推动社会主义文化大发展大繁荣和经济自主协调发展中充分发挥建设者和保障者的作用。

 

2、更新观念,切实增强服务社会主义文化大发展大繁荣和经济自主协调发展的针对性和有效性。要强化加强保护观念,充分认识加强保护是当前知识产权司法保护的主要矛盾、基本定位和政策取向,统筹好国际国内两个大局,用足用好知识产权法律,加强各类知识产权司法保护,切实降低维权成本和加大制裁力度。要强化分门别类和宽严适度观念,在知识产权司法保护中注意适应各类知识产权的属性和特点,符合各类不同知识产权的功能和保护需求,使知识产权司法保护更加适应我国所处的国际国内发展环境,更加符合我国经济社会文化发展新的阶段性特征,更加符合我国文化发展和科技创新的新要求。要强化利益平衡观念,把利益平衡作为知识产权司法保护的重要基点,统筹兼顾智力创造者、商业利用者和社会公众的利益,协调好激励创造、促进产业发展和保障基本文化权益之间的关系,使利益各方共同受益、均衡发展。要强化初次裁判正确观念,高度重视提高第一审初次裁判的正确率,使当事人及早获得司法公正,提高服判息诉率和减少上诉率,促进社会和谐稳定。

 

3、发挥优势,进一步增强司法保护知识产权的主导性。继续深入落实发挥司法保护知识产权主导作用的国家知识产权战略构想和目标,增强贯彻这一战略目标的坚定性和自觉性,确保贯彻落实的科学性和准确性。要适应中国特色社会主义法律体系形成后的新形势新要求,更加重视司法保护知识产权,确保知识产权法律的贯彻实施,弘扬社会主义法治理念。要更加重视知识产权法律适用的稳定性和可预期性,重视程序保障和过程透明,重视在先典型案例示范作用,最大限度地为利益攸关方提供稳定和可期待的预期,最大限度地使其避免受司法标准不统一的困扰,积极营造良好的法律环境、投资环境和市场环境。要更加重视长效保护机制,重视一以贯之的法律执行,重视营造一种持之以恒的长效保护机制,避免为一时一事改变甚至损害法律的长效执行。要更加重视平等保护,重视知识产权法律的一体执行,坚决遏制地方保护。要更加重视裁判的引领和导向功能,在裁判中重视弘扬社会主义核心价值体系,注意把法律评价与道德评价有机结合起来,引领社会主流价值观,把维护公共道德作为司法保护的重要价值追求,提升全社会尊重知识、崇尚创新、诚信守法的知识产权法治文化。

 

二、加强涉文化类知识产权案件的审判,促进文化创新和培育新型文化业态,积极推动社会主义文化大发展大繁荣

 

4、高度重视涉文化类知识产权案件的审判,依法加强文化类知识产权的保护。我国已形成以著作权法、非物质文化遗产法、计算机软件保护条例、信息网络传播权保护条例等法律、行政法规为主干的文化法律体系,涉文化类知识产权案件的审判已成为知识产权审判的重要方面。要认真贯彻落实中央关于大力发展公益性文化事业、加快发展文化产业的政策措施,制定和完善有关司法解释和司法政策,高度重视涉文化类审判工作,充分发挥知识产权审判对文化建设的规范、引导、促进和保障作用,激励全民族文化创造活力持续迸发,丰富人民社会文化生活,保障人民基本文化权益,推动文化产业跨越式发展,提升我国整体文化实力和国际竞争力。要高度重视涉及文化产业的新类型知识产权保护,积极推动文化产业发展成为国民经济支柱性产业。特别是依法加强出版发行、影视制作、广告、演艺、娱乐、设计等产业领域的著作权保护,推动传统文化产业发展壮大。深入研究和大力加强文化创意、数字出版、移动多媒体、动漫游戏、软件、数据库等战略性新兴文化产业的著作权保护,培育新型文化业态,扩展文化产业发展新领域,培育国民经济新的增长点,提升我国整体文化实力和竞争力。密切关注电信网、广电网、互联网“三网融合”等信息技术发展带来的新问题,在保护著作权益的同时,注重促进新兴产业的发展,促进我国信息化水平的提高。

 

5、加大文化创造者权益保护,保障文化创造源泉充分涌流。要妥善处理作品的独创性与独创高度的关系,既维护给予作品著作权保护的基本标准的统一性,又注意把握各类作品的特点和适应相关保护领域的特殊需求,使保护强度与独创高度相协调。要妥善适用著作权法有关著作权的概括性规定,及时保护创作者的新权益。妥善处理个人作品、职务作品和法人作品的关系,既最大限度保护作者权益和鼓励创作积极性,又依法保护法人或者其他组织的合法权益。妥善运用思想和表达两分法,注意思想与表达区分的相对性,合理界定作品保护范围。高度重视传播者权益保护,充分保护出版者、表演者、录音录像制作者、广播电台、电视台的合法权益,促进作品的传播和利用。积极探索对综艺晚会、体育节目等所涉权益的法律保护,合理平衡相关各方利益。

 

6、加强网络环境下的著作权保护,妥善处理保护著作权与促进信息网络产业发展和保障信息传播的关系。要准确把握法律、行政法规和司法解释有关网络环境下著作权保护的精神实质,特别要准确把握权利人、网络服务提供者和社会公众之间的利益平衡,既要加强网络环境下著作权保护,又要注意促进信息网络技术创新和商业模式发展,确保社会公众利益。正确把握作品、表演、录音录像制品提供行为与网络服务提供行为的划分,妥善处理有关网络服务提供者免责与归责、“通知与移除”规则与过错归责、网络服务提供者侵权过错与一般侵权过错的差别等关系。凡网络服务提供行为符合法定免责条件的,网络服务提供者不承担侵权赔偿责任;虽然不完全符合法定的免责条件,但网络服务提供者不具有过错的,也不承担侵权赔偿责任。要根据信息网络环境的特点和实际,准确把握网络服务提供行为的侵权过错认定,既要根据侵权事实明显的过错标准认定过错,不使网络服务提供者承担一般性的事先审查义务和较高的注意义务,又要适当地调动网络服务提供者主动防止侵权和与权利人合作防止侵权的积极性。要维护“通知与移除”规则的基本价值,除根据明显的侵权事实能够认定网络服务提供者具有明知或者应知的情形外,追究网络服务提供者的侵权赔偿责任应当以首先适用“通知与移除”规则为前提,既要防止降低网络服务提供者的过错认定标准,使“通知与移除”规则形同虚设;又要防止网络服务提供者对于第三方利用其网络服务侵权消极懈怠,滥用“通知与移除”规则。

 

7、妥善处理好技术中立与侵权行为认定的关系,实现有效保护著作权与促进技术创新、产业发展的和谐统一。既要准确把握技术作为工具手段所具有的价值中立性和多用途性,又要充分认识技术所反映和体现的技术提供者的行为与目的。既不能把技术所带来的侵权后果无条件地归责于技术提供者,窒息技术创新和发展;也不能将技术中立绝对化,简单地把技术中立作为不适当免除侵权责任的挡箭牌。对于具有实质性非侵权商业用途的技术,严格把握技术提供者承担连带责任的条件,不能推定技术提供者应知具体的直接侵权行为的存在,其只在具备其他帮助或者教唆行为的条件下才与直接侵权人承担连带责任;对于除主要用于侵犯著作权外不具有其他实质性商业用途的技术,可以推定技术提供者应知具体的直接侵权行为的存在,其应与直接侵权人承担连带责任。在审理涉及网络著作权、“三网融合”等新兴产业著作权案件时,尤其要准确把握技术中立的精神,既有利于促进科技和商业创新,又防止以技术中立为名行侵权之实。

 

8、妥当运用著作权的限制和例外规定,正确判定被诉侵权行为的合法性,促进商业和技术创新,充分保障人民基本文化权益。正确认定合理使用和法定许可行为,依法保护作品的正当利用和传播。在促进技术创新和商业发展确有必要的特殊情形下,考虑作品使用行为的性质和目的、被使用作品的性质、被使用部分的数量和质量、使用对作品潜在市场或价值的影响等因素,如果该使用行为既不与作品的正常使用相冲突,也不至于不合理地损害作者的正当利益,可以认定为合理使用。对设置或者陈列在室外社会公共场所的艺术作品进行临摹、绘画、摄影或者录像,并对其成果以合理的方式和范围再行使用,无论该使用行为是否具有商业目的,均可认定为合理使用。

 

9、综合运用多种法律手段,积极推动非物质文化遗产的保护、传承和开发利用,促进我国丰富的文化资源转化为强大的文化竞争力。非物质文化遗产是凝聚民族精神、传承民族文化、维护文化多样性、促进社会和谐和可持续发展的重要基础和纽带,是文化创新的重要源泉。本着传承与创新、保护和利用并重的原则,根据现有法律和立法精神,积极保护民间文学艺术、传统知识、遗传资源等非物质文化遗产,公平合理地协调和平衡在发掘、整理、传承、保护、开发和利用过程中各方主体的利益关系。坚持尊重原则,利用非物质文化遗产应尊重其形式和内涵,不得以歪曲、贬损等方式使用非物质文化遗产。坚持来源披露原则,利用非物质文化遗产应以适当方式说明信息来源。鼓励知情同意和惠益分享,非物质文化遗产利用者应尽可能取得保存者、提供者、持有者或者相关保护部门的知情同意,并以适当方式与其分享使用利益。综合运用著作权法、商标法、专利法、反不正当竞争法等多种手段,积极保护非物质文化遗产的传承和商业开发利用。

 

10、充分利用著作权保护手段,依法保护民间文学艺术作品。民间文学艺术作品的著作权保护,既要有利于民间文学艺术的传承,发挥其凝聚民族精神和维系民族精神家园的作用,又要有利于创新和利用,提高中华文化影响力。民间文学艺术作品可由产生和传承该作品的特定民族或者区域群体共同享有著作权,该特定民族或者区域的相关政府部门有权代表行使保护权利。对于民间文学艺术作品的保存人和整理人,应尊重其以适当方式署名的权利。利用民间文学艺术的元素或者素材进行后续创作,无需取得许可或者支付费用;形成具有独创性作品的,作者可依法获得完整的著作权保护,但应说明其作品的素材来源。不当利用民间文学艺术作品给特定民族或者区域群体精神权益造成损害的,人民法院可以判令不当利用人承担相应的民事责任。

 

11、有效利用商标法、专利法等法律手段,保护非物质文化遗产的商业价值,促进具有地方特色的自然、人文资源优势转化为现实生产力。将非物质文化遗产的名称、标志等申请商标注册,构成对非物质文化遗产的歪曲、贬损、误导等不正当利用行为,损害特定民族或者区域群体的精神权益的,可以认定为具有其他不良影响,禁止作为商标使用;已经使用并造成不良影响的,人民法院可以根据具体案情,判决使用人承担停止使用、赔礼道歉,消除影响等民事责任。非物质文化遗产的名称、标志等构成地理标志的,可以视具体情况作为在先权利予以保护。非物质文化遗产中的传统知识和遗传资源构成商业秘密的,禁止他人窃取、非法披露和使用。违反法律、法规的规定获取或者利用遗传资源,依赖该遗传资源完成发明创造并获得专利授权,专利权人指控他人侵犯其专利权的,可以不予支持。

 

三、加大科技成果权保护力度,推动科技进步与创新,提高自主创新能力

 

12、依法加强专利、植物新品种、集成电路布图设计等科技类知识产权保护,积极推动科技进步和创新。根据科技进步的新趋势和经济发展的新需求,以提高我国原始创新能力和增强集成创新、引进消化吸收再创新能力为重要目标,准确贯彻专利法立法精神和正确进行侵权判定,加强对关键核心技术、基础前沿领域和战略性新兴产业的知识产权保护,推动技术突破和技术创新,推进传统产业优化升级,加快培育和发展战略性新兴产业,加快形成先导性、支柱性产业,增强企业和国家核心竞争力。加大涉文化领域科技类知识产权保护力度,发挥科技创新对文化发展的引擎作用,推动提高文化产业技术装备水平,增强文化产业核心竞争力,推动中华文化走向世界。

 

13、正确把握专利权保护宽严适度的司法政策,大力提高自主创新能力。确定专利权的具体保护范围和强度时要适当考虑不同技术领域专利权的特点和创新实际,符合不同技术领域的创新需求、创新特点和发展实际。坚持发明和实用新型专利权利范围的折衷解释原则,准确界定专利权的保护范围。重视专利的发明目的对专利权保护范围的限定作用,不应把具有专利所要克服的现有技术缺陷或者不足的技术方案纳入保护范围。对于创新程度高、研发投入大、对经济增长具有突破和带动作用的首创发明,应给予相对较高的保护强度和较宽的等同保护范围;对于创新程度相对较低的改进发明,应适当限制其等同保护范围。

 

14、正确运用专利侵权判定方法,加大对专利侵权行为的遏制力度。准确把握发明和实用新型专利侵权判定的全部技术特征对比、禁止反悔、捐献等判断规则,继续探索完善等同侵权适用条件。等同侵权应以手段、功能和效果基本相同并且对所属领域普通技术人员显而易见为必要条件,防止简单机械适用等同侵权或者不适当扩展其适用范围。现有技术抗辩规则在等同侵权和相同侵权中均可适用。准确把握外观设计专利侵权判定的整体观察设计特征、综合判断整体视觉效果的判定方法,以外观设计产品的一般消费者为判断主体,以外观设计的区别设计特征为核心,以产品外观设计整体视觉效果的相同或者近似作为判断侵权成立的根本标准。正确适用现有技术和设计抗辩,被诉侵权人以一份对比文献中记载的一项现有技术方案或者一项现有设计与公知常识或者惯常设计的显而易见组合主张现有技术或者现有设计抗辩的,应当予以支持。被诉侵权人以实施抵触申请中的技术方案或者外观设计主张其不构成专利侵权的,可以参照现有技术或者现有设计抗辩的审查判断标准予以评判。

 

15、妥善审理产品制造方法发明专利侵权案件,依法保护方法发明专利权。在适当考虑方法专利权利人维权的实际困难的同时,兼顾被诉侵权人保护其商业秘密的合法权益。依法适用新产品制造方法专利的举证责任倒置规则,使用专利方法获得的产品以及制造该产品的技术方案在专利申请日前不为公众所知的,制造相同产品的被诉侵权人应当承担其产品制造方法不同于专利方法的举证责任。使用专利方法获得的产品不属于新产品,专利权人能够证明被诉侵权人制造了同样产品,经合理努力仍无法证明被诉侵权人确实使用了该专利方法,但根据案件具体情况,结合已知事实以及日常生活经验,能够认定该同样产品经由专利方法制造的可能性很大的,可以根据民事诉讼证据司法解释有关规定,不再要求专利权人提供进一步的证据,而由被诉侵权人提供其制造方法不同于专利方法的证据。要针对方法专利侵权举证困难的实际,依法采取证据保全措施,适当减轻方法专利权利人的举证负担。要注意保护被申请人的利益,防止当事人滥用证据保全制度非法获取他人商业秘密。被诉侵权人提供了其制造方法不同于专利方法的证据,涉及商业秘密的,在审查判断时应注意采取措施予以保护。

 

16、妥善处理保护专利权与防止权利滥用的关系,依法规制滥用专利权及滥用诉前禁令制度。在依法保护专利权和保障当事人诉权的同时,注意防止专利权人明显违背法律目的行使权利,不正当地损害竞争对手,妨碍公平竞争和扰乱市场秩序。对于明知其专利权属于现有技术或者现有设计,仍然恶意向正当实施者及其交易对象滥发侵权警告或者滥用诉权,构成侵权的,可以视情支持受害人的损害赔偿请求。适度从严把握法律条件,加强程序保障,依法慎重采取诉前停止侵犯专利权措施。坚持把事实比较清楚、侵权易于判断作为采取诉前停止侵权措施的前提条件。对于需要进行比较复杂的技术对比才能作出侵权可能性判断的行为,不宜裁定采取责令诉前停止侵权措施。在条件允许的情况下,尽可能通过听取申请人与被申请人意见的方式对侵权可能性作出准确判断。宣告涉案专利权无效的无效请求审查决定已经作出的,一般不得裁定采取诉前停止侵害专利权措施。

 

17、加强植物新品种权保护,推进农业科技创新,促进农业发展方式加快转变。加大对具有自主知识产权的重大农业科技成果和植物新品种的保护力度,促进提高自主创新能力,推进农业科技进步,提高农业综合生产能力、抗风险能力和市场竞争力。依法严格保障品种权人的利益,大力促进品种的培育和创新成果的转化,发展现代农业。加大对侵犯植物新品种行为的打击力度,对于为商业目的生产、销售或者重复使用授权品种繁殖材料等侵权行为,要及时依法予以制止;对于假冒他人授权品种的行为,也应以侵犯植物新品种权纠纷论处。依法审查品种权人的证据保全申请,积极采取证据保全措施,保障品种权人及时获得司法救济。对被诉侵权繁殖材料采取证据保全措施,应尽量遵守相应的技术规程,保证取样的客观性和代表性,但不得以未邀请有关专业技术人员协助取样为由简单否定证据保全的效力。注意依法保护农民的合法权益,维护农业和农村稳定。正确区分作为品种生产者、管理者的制种大户与以种植为业的普通个人、农村承包经营户,既要依法免除以种植为业的普通个人、农村承包经营户自繁自用授权品种繁殖材料的侵权责任,又要防止实质上成为品种生产者和管理者的制种大户逃避法律制裁。

 

四、加强商标权保护,培育和维护知名品牌,积极促进社会主义市场经济的竞争性、创新性和包容性增长

 

18、依法加强商标权保护。商标权的保护,必须有利于鼓励正当竞争,有利于划清商业标识之间的边界,有利于遏制恶意抢注他人知名商业标识及“傍名牌”行为,有利于为知名品牌的创立和发展提供和谐宽松的法律环境,为培育知名品牌和提升企业综合竞争力提供助力,推动我国从制造大国向品牌强国加快转变。要根据商标的知名度、显著程度等,恰当运用商标近似、商品类似、在先使用并且有一定影响的商标、以欺骗或者其他不正当手段取得商标注册等裁量性法律标准,妥善把握商标注册申请人或者注册人是否有真实使用意图,以及结合商标使用过程中的“傍名牌”行为认定主观恶意等,用足用好商标法有关规定,加大遏制恶意抢注、“傍名牌”等不正当行为的力度,充分体现商标权保护的法律导向。

 

19、妥善处理商标近似与商标构成要素近似的关系,准确把握认定商标近似的法律尺度。认定是否构成近似商标,要根据案件的具体情况。通常情况下,相关商标的构成要素整体上构成近似的,可以认定为近似商标。相关商标构成要素整体上不近似,但主张权利的商标的知名度远高于被诉侵权商标的,可以采取比较主要部分决定其近似与否。要妥善处理最大限度划清商业标识之间的边界与特殊情况下允许构成要素近似商标之间适当共存的关系。相关商标均具有较高知名度,或者相关商标的共存是特殊条件下形成时,认定商标近似还应根据两者的实际使用状况、使用历史、相关公众的认知状态、使用者的主观状态等因素综合判定,注意尊重已经客观形成的市场格局,防止简单地把商标构成要素近似等同于商标近似,实现经营者之间的包容性发展。

 

20、充分考虑商标所使用商品的关联性,准确把握商品类似的认定标准。认定商品类似可以参考类似商品区分表,但更应当尊重市场实际。要以相关公众的一般认识为标准,结合商品的功能、用途、生产部门、销售渠道、消费对象等因素,正确认定商标法意义上的商品类似。主张权利的商标已实际使用并具有一定知名度的,认定商品类似要充分考虑商品之间的关联性。相关公众基于对商品的通常认知和一般交易观念认为存在特定关联性的商品,可视情纳入类似商品范围。

 

21、规范驰名商标的认定和保护,切实加强驰名商标保护。驰名商标保护的目的在于适当扩张具有较高知名程度的商标的保护范围和保护强度,不是评定或者授予荣誉称号。凡当事人主张驰名商标保护且符合保护条件和确有必要的,应当依法予以认定和保护。对于一般公众广泛知晓的驰名商标,要结合众所周知的驰名事实,减轻商标权人对于商标驰名情况的举证责任。认定驰名商标并不要求具有等同划一的知名程度,但驰名商标的保护范围和强度要与其显著性和知名度相适应,对于显著性越强和知名度越高的驰名商标,要给予其更宽的跨类保护范围和更强的保护力度。要认真执行司法解释的规定,准确把握驰名商标的保护范围,加强对驰名商标事实认定的严格把关,坚持判前审核制度,防止当事人弄虚作假,为骗取驰名商标的认定而进行虚假诉讼。

 

22、妥善认定商标侵权抗辩,维护正当经营者的合法权益。商标侵权行为应以在商业标识意义上使用相同或者近似商标为条件,被诉侵权人为描述或者说明其产品或者服务的特点而善意合理地使用相同或者近似标识的,可以依法认定为正当使用。注册商标权人的注册商标属于复制、摹仿或者翻译他人未在中国注册的驰名商标、抢注被代理人或者被代表人的商标或者以不正当手段抢注他人已经使用并有一定影响的商标,被诉侵权的在先商标使用人以此为由提出抗辩的,应当予以支持。

 

23、妥善处理实体与程序的关系,强化商标授权确权争议的实质性解决。程序既有其独立的法律价值,又必须以实体问题的解决和实体公正的实现为取向和终极目标。实体公正既是程序运行的目标和指向,又需要以程序公正为支撑和保障。既要高度重视程序公正,防止忽视程序公正片面追求实体公正,又要以实体公正为依归,防止机械司法。当事人因行使程序权利的瑕疵而可能影响其重大实体权益,甚至可能导致其丧失救济机会且没有其他救济途径的,可以根据案件具体情况给予补救机会。要注重商标授权确权争议的实质性解决,避免陷入不必要的程序重复,搁置实体问题和回避矛盾。对于商标是否应予注册、是否应当撤销等能够做出实体性判断的,可以在裁判理由中作出明确的判断,为被诉行政机关重作决定作出明确指引。

 

五、依法规范竞争秩序,培育自由公平、诚信守法的竞争文化,创造公平有序、充满活力的市场环境

 

24、加强不正当竞争案件的审判,维护市场公平竞争。妥善处理好知识产权专门法与反不正当竞争法的关系,在激励创新的同时,又要鼓励公平竞争。反不正当竞争法补充保护作用的发挥不得抵触知识产权专门法的立法政策,凡是知识产权专门法已作穷尽性规定的领域,反不正当竞争法原则上不再提供附加保护,允许自由利用和自由竞争,但在与知识产权专门法的立法政策相兼容的范围内,仍可以从制止不正当竞争的角度给予保护。妥善处理好反不正当竞争法的原则规定与特别规定之间的关系,既要充分利用原则规定的灵活性和适应性,有效制止各种花样翻新、层出不穷的不正当竞争行为,又要防止原则规定适用的随意性,避免妨碍市场自由公平竞争。严格把握反不正当竞争法原则规定的适用条件,凡属反不正当竞争法特别规定已作明文禁止的行为领域,只能依照特别规定规制同类不正当竞争行为,原则上不宜再适用原则规定扩张适用范围。反不正当竞争法未作特别规定予以禁止的行为,如果给其他经营者的合法权益造成损害,确属违反诚实信用原则和公认的商业道德而具有不正当性,不制止不足以维护公平竞争秩序的,可以适用原则规定予以规制。正确把握诚实信用原则和公认的商业道德的评判标准,以特定商业领域普遍认同和接受的经济人伦理标准为尺度,避免把诚实信用原则和公认的商业道德简单等同于个人道德或者社会公德。

 

25、依法加强商业秘密保护,有效制止侵犯商业秘密的行为,为企业的创新和投资创造安全和可信赖的法律环境。根据案件具体情况,合理把握秘密性和不正当手段的证明标准,适度减轻商业秘密权利人的维权困难。权利人提供了证明秘密性的优势证据或者对其主张的商业秘密信息与公有领域信息的区别点作出充分合理的解释或者说明的,可以认定秘密性成立。商业秘密权利人提供证据证明被诉当事人的信息与其商业秘密相同或者实质相同且被诉当事人具有接触或者非法获取该商业秘密的条件,根据案件具体情况或者已知事实以及日常生活经验,能够认定被诉当事人具有采取不正当手段的较大可能性,可以推定被诉当事人采取不正当手段获取商业秘密的事实成立,但被诉当事人能够证明其通过合法手段获得该信息的除外。以符合法定条件的商业秘密信息为依据,准确界定商业秘密的保护范围,每个单独的商业秘密信息单元均构成独立的保护对象。完善商业秘密案件的审理和质证方式,对于涉及商业秘密的证据,要尝试采取仅向代理人展示、分阶段展示、具结保密承诺等措施限制商业秘密的知悉范围和传播渠道,防止在审理过程中二次泄密。妥善处理商业秘密民事侵权诉讼程序与刑事诉讼程序的关系,既注意两种程序的关联性,又注意其相互独立性,在依法保护商业秘密的同时,也要防止经营者恶意启动刑事诉讼程序干扰和打压竞争对手。

 

26、妥善处理保护商业秘密与自由择业、涉密者竞业限制和人才合理流动的关系,维护劳动者正当就业、创业的合法权益,依法促进劳动力的合理流动。职工在工作中掌握和积累的知识、经验和技能,除属于单位的商业秘密的情形外,构成其人格的组成部分,职工离职后有自主利用的自由。在既没有违反竞业限制义务,又没有侵犯商业秘密的情况下,劳动者运用自己在原用人单位学习的知识、经验与技能为其他与原单位存在竞争关系的单位服务的,不宜简单地以反不正当竞争法的原则规定认定构成不正当竞争。妥善处理商业秘密保护和竞业限制协议的关系,竞业限制协议以可保护的商业秘密存在为前提,但两者具有不同的法律依据和行为表现,违反竞业限制义务不等于侵犯商业秘密,竞业限制的期限也不等于保密期限。原告以侵犯商业秘密为由提起侵权之诉,不受已存在竞业限制约定的限制。

 

27、加强垄断案件的审理工作,及时有效制止垄断行为,增强市场活力,促进市场结构的完善和市场经济的健康发展。要强化反垄断法的效果思维,全面考虑各种相关因素,综合评估涉嫌垄断行为的反竞争和促进竞争的效果,依法认定垄断行为。注意发挥经济学专家和专业机构的作用,探索引进经济分析方法的途径和方式。要根据不同的垄断行为类型,合理分配垄断民事纠纷案件中当事人的证明责任。对于明显具有严重排除、限制竞争效果的垄断协议,可以不再要求受害人举证证明该协议具有排除、限制竞争的效果;对于公用企业以及其他具有独占经营资格的经营者滥用市场支配地位的,可以根据案件具体情况适当减轻受害人的举证责任。

 

六、加强知识产权诉讼制度建设,完善审判体制和工作机制

 

28、深刻把握知识产权案件的特点与规律,建立健全适合知识产权案件特点的纠纷解决机制。正确把握“调解优先、调判结合”的工作原则。要根据知识产权案件专业技术性强的特点,积极引导当事人选择委托调解、专家调解、行业调解等方式解决纠纷。坚持依法自愿调解原则,不得违背当事人意愿强调硬调和以拖促调。对于当事人或者相关行业对判明是非的期待高,或者对明确规则的要求强烈,或者对判决的接受程度高的案件,尽可能选择以判决方式解决纠纷,充分发挥司法裁判的指引和导向功能。要发挥科技专家在解决纠纷中的作用,完善知识产权案件专业技术问题解决机制。

 

29、继续完善知识产权审判体制机制,充分发挥知识产权司法保护的综合效能。按照国家知识产权战略的要求,积极推进由知识产权审判庭集中审理知识产权民事、行政和刑事案件的试点工作,建立知识产权民事、行政和刑事审判协调机制,提高司法效率,统一司法标准,发挥整体保护效能,努力构建资源优化、科学运行、高效权威的知识产权审判体系。要加强与公安机关、检察机关以及知识产权行政执法机关的协调配合,形成保护合力。优化知识产权案件管辖布局,适当增加管辖一般知识产权案件的基层法院,鼓励中、基层法院根据工作需要开展跨地区划片集中管辖,合理配置审判资源。

 

30、维护法治统一,促进市场统一开放。完善案件管辖制度,加强监督制约,适当采取提级管辖、异地指定管辖等措施,有效遏制地方保护和部门保护现象,保障案件公正审理。决定提级管辖或者异地指定管辖的,原管辖法院要正确对待,及时移交案件。切实加强审判监督,发挥二审和再审的纠错功能,防止为顾及审判绩效考核指标而迁就错误裁判。对于指令再审的案件,有关再审法院要正确理解和认真对待再审指令,依法改正错误。对于无视再审指令,拖延再审或者无正当理由不执行再审指令的,要严肃纪律,情节严重的给予通报批评。进一步完善工作机制,适当加大知识产权关联案件的协调和指导力度,维护裁判标准的统一。

One thought on “Supreme People’s Court Opinions Concerning Some Issues in Fully Giving Rein to the Function of Intellectual Property Rights Adjudication in Promoting the Grand Development and Grand Flourishing of Socialist Culture and Stimulating the Indigenous Economy and Coordinated Development

    […] the continuing efforts concerning regulatory reform in the cultural sphere, the SPC published a a number of guidelines for judges deciding intellectual property rights cases. He Tianxiang, who’s currently writing […]

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