[http://www.iprchn.com] A Dispute over Design Patent Arising from a Children's Potty

May 30, 2019 http://www.iprchn.com

With the advent of "Children's Day", Shanghai Intellectual Property Court has concluded a case involving the infringement of design patent by a children's potty and made the judgement to reject all claims of the Plaintiff according to law.

The Plaintiff Decoaid was the design patent owner of a children's potty. The Plaintiff found that the Beineng Mole children's potty jointly manufactured by the Defendants Jiangsu Youshenghuo Media Technology Co., Ltd. ("Youshenghuo") and Zhongtong Co., Ltd. ("Zhongtong") sold on the flagship shop on Tmall was similar to the involved patented design. The Plaintiff argued that the acts of the Defendants infringed the product's design patent, which caused heavy economic losses to the Plaintiff, so filed an action to the court, requesting to order the Defendants to immediately stop the manufacture, sales, offering for sale of the infringing product, destroy the inventory of infringing product, compensate for the Plaintiff's economic losses and reasonable expenses of RMB 180,000 in total.

The Defendant Youshenghuo had no objection to the fact of the sales and offering for sale of the allegedly infringing product, but argued that it was not the manufacturer of the allegedly infringing product and was authorized by Zhongtong, which was authorized by a company in Xiamen, which was not involved in this case and the owner of design patent of the children's potty (compact design), the latter of which was neither identical nor similar to the involved patent. The Defendant Zhongtong had no objection to the manufacture, sales and offering for sale of the allegedly infringing product, agreed to the Defendant Youshenghuo's defense and requested the court to reject all claims of the Plaintiff.

After the trial, Shanghai Intellectual Property Court concluded that first, the Defendant Youshenghuo implemented act of manufacturing the allegedly infringing product. The allegedly infringing product had the company name, address and other information, as well as the registered trademark, of the Defendant Youshenghuo printed on the outer packing, so it was deemed that the Defendant Youshenghuo labelled and sold the alleged infringing product as the manufacturer. Second, the allegedly infringing product did not fall in to the protection scope of the involved design patent. The similarity to the design shall be judged in full consideration of the knowledge level and cognitive competence of general consumers of the design patented product, the design features of the authorized design and the alleged infringing design and the overall visual effect of the design. When the product is normally used, the site that could be directly seen often has greater impact on the overall visual effect of the design than other sites, and the design feature that distinguishes the authorized design from existing design had greater impact than other design features of the authorized design. In this case, the allegedly infringing product differed greatly from the involved patent with respect to the shape of the main part, and the main part of the involved patent consisted of the upper part and the lower part and had no round feet, with the inward retracting bottom and the egg shape as a whole, the egg shape of which was the main distinguishing design feature from existing design. The main part of the allegedly infringing product with integrated design had no inward retracting bottom, but had four round feet, with an arch between feet, and did not look like a smooth egg. Above differences were found at the site that could be directly seen by general consumers during the use, and were distinguishing design features that had great impact on the overall visual effect; therefore the design of the allegedly infringing product was neither identical nor similar to the involved patent.

On these grounds, the court made the judgement to reject the claims of the Plaintiff Decoaid. (Reporter: Feng Fei; Correspondent: Chen Yingying)

 

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