Civil suit in which the client was awarded huge compensation
Period: May 2017 Place: Guangdong Province, Guanzhou City Type of case: Trademark infringement Target product: Automotive parts
Party A: Japanese automobile manufacturer Party B: Chinese automotive parts distributor
Background of the case
・Party A owns a trademark related to automotive parts in China. ・Party B is Party A’s former agent, and after the business relation between the parties had ended, Party B started selling counterfeit goods of Party A’s products. ・ Party A enforced Party B’s sales of counterfeit goods and Party B received administrative punishment, but after follow-up investigations, it was discovered that Party B is still selling counterfeit goods. ・Party A, through notarization, collected evidence of infringement at Party B’s physical stores and online stores, filed a civil suit with a court in Guangdong Province, Guanzhou City, and demanded Party B to discontinue infringement and pay damages. ・Since Party B continued to engage in infringement even while the civil suit was pending, Party A obtained additional evidence related to such infringement and explained the situation to the court. ・ The court acknowledged Party B’s infringement and rendered judgment ordering Party B to discontinue infringement, pay damages in an amount of 2,000,000 yuan, and issue an apology.
At the stage of preliminary evidence gathering, since we were able to collect evidence related to the counterfeiter’s act of selling infringing goods online, the infringer’s act of infringement while the civil suit was pending, written decision of past administrative punishment, written decision on refusal of misappropriated trademark application, and past transaction documents, we were able to demonstrate the scale and duration of infringement and maliciousness of the infringer, which were ultimately adopted by the court.
Furthermore, in recent years, the amount of damages is of an increasing trend even when the legal compensation is applied, and in such a case the key factors of consideration are the defendant’s maliciousness, scale and duration of infringement, famousness of the plaintiff’s trademark, court costs, etc. The court also considered these circumstances in this case, and ordered the defendant to pay roughly 2,000,000 yuan as damages, even though this is within the scope of legal compensation.
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