The "一品石" Copyright Infringement Case Represented by Unitalen Selected into Summary of Annual Report of the Supreme People's Court on Intellectual Property Cases (2021)
The comments on the typical significance of the case in the report are as follows:
★ Determination of the originality of art works
In the case of the copyright ownership and infringement dispute [(2021) Supreme People's Court Min Zai No. 121] (hereinafter referred to as "一品石" copyright infringement case) between the retrial applicant Qingdao Cuckoo Electronics Co., Ltd. ("Qingdao Cuckoo") and the respondent ZHENG Jianhong and Zhanjiang Astone Electric Appliance Co., Ltd., the Supreme People's Court pointed out that the design of calligraphy characters, despite reference to the existing fonts in the public domain, belongs to the author’s original expression, and should be determined as a work of art in the sense of the copyright law, as long as it reflects the author's personalized selection, adoption and arrangement.
★ Registration and use of the sued infringing mark does not affect the determination of copyright infringement
In the aforementioned "一品石" copyright infringement case, the Supreme People's Court pointed out that although the mark used by the sued infringer has been registered as a trademark and the time limit for filing a request for invalidation stipulated by the law has passed, as long as the mark infringes others' prior copyright, the infringer should bear civil liability for copyright infringement in accordance with the law. Whether the copyright owner has used his work as a trademark does not affect the protection of his copyright.