Schneider Electric (China) Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as Schneider China company) is authorized to enjoy the right to use five Chinese and foreign trademarks of "Schneider" and "施耐德" such as No. G715396 on goods in Class 9 including "electric switches, circuit breakers and electric relays", and has the right to file civil lawsuits. In January 2013, Schneider China company filed a lawsuit with the people's court of Xiacheng District, Hangzhou, claiming that "Hangzhou Schneider Electric Co., Ltd.", the predecessor of Hangzhou Dongheng Electric Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as Dongheng company), infringed the trademark No. G715396. After the mediation and confirmation of the court, Dongheng company shall stop infringing the trademark No. G715396, change the enterprise name, and compensate Schneider China company for its economic losses and reasonable expenses totaling 100,000 yuan.
After the mediation of the previous case, although Dongheng company revised its website and changed its name, it continued to use the "Schneider" trademark in a large number of places such as the homepage, article title, product price list and product links. At the same time, in the "China supplier network" operated by Beijing Qizhihaotian Technology Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as Qizhihaotian company), where the products of Dongheng company were displayed, there were 201 product links with the "Schneider" trademark. In the product introduction, the Chinese and foreign trademarks "Schneider/施耐德" were also widely used. The above behavior continued until 2019. Schneider China company filed a lawsuit again to require Dongheng company to compensate for the loss of 3 million yuan, and Qizhihaotian company to bear joint and several liability within the range of 10,000 yuan.
The court of first instance held that Dongheng company's act involved in the case belongs to the use of the same or similar trademark logo as Schneider China company on the same or similar goods, which is easy to confuse the relevant public about the source of the goods and infringes upon Schneider China company's rights to the trademark involved, and should bear the legal liability for compensation. As an information release platform, Qizhihaotian company had fulfilled the obligation of reasonable care and deleted the infringing links in a timely manner, so it does not need to bear the tort liability. As for the specific amount to be compensated by Dongheng company, it is decided that Dongheng company compensated Schneider China for the economic loss of 3 million yuan based on the comprehensive consideration of the popularity of the trademark involved, the repeated infringement of the sued act, the obvious subjective malice and the long duration. The first instance judgment of the case has come into effect.
This case is a typical case in which punitive factors are fully considered to determine the amount of legal compensation at a high level. Although this case can meet the legal requirements for the application of punitive damages, it is difficult to determine the base of punitive damages, and the court fully considered the punitive factors to determine the amount of legal compensation from a high level, and fully supported the plaintiff's claim of compensation of 3 million yuan. The judgment of this case fully reflects the implementation of the requirements of increasing punishment for serious infringement act and strict protection of intellectual property rights, which is conducive to the improvement of the market-oriented, legal and international business environment.
(Source of case: Beijing Higher People's Court)