22 October 2021TrademarksHaiyu Li and Haoyu Feng

Typical punitive damages in IP cases

On February 7, 2021, the Chinese Supreme People’s Court (SPC) passed the Judicial Interpretation on Punitive Damages in Intellectual Property Infringement Cases (Interpretation), effective from March 3, 2021, and followed up by releasing six typical IP rights cases to facilitate accurate understanding and application of the Interpretation. We summarise the cases and comment below.

Case 1: Guangzhou Tianci et al v Anhui Niuman et al for infringing technical secret, No. SPC Zhiminzhong 2019-562

Guangzhou Tianci and Jiujiang Tianci sued Anhui Niuman and several associated individuals for infringing a technical secret. The court ascertained the infringement, and considering the bad faith and severe scenarios, granted a punitive damage of 2.5-fold infringement profit.

The plaintiffs and three of the defendants appealed to the SPC. While confirming the infringement, the SPC pointed out that the first-instance court failed to fully consider the contribution of the technical secret, the infringers’ severe bad faith, professional infringement, scale, duration, and obstruction of evidence.

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