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New Type of Dispute Triggered by Attention Economy in the Internet Era——3C Company Received 250K in Compensation in Lawsuit against Taobao Seller for Unfair Competition Constituted by Trademark Infringement

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A certain 3C company (hereinafter referred to as “certain company”) is an Internet company focusing on mobile phone, intelligent hardware and IoT platform. With over ten billion of income in merely seven years since its establishment, this company was listed on the main board of Hong Kong Stock Exchange in 2018.

In 2018 certain company entrusted Pinwei with cracking down online and offline acts of infringement of its intellectual property rights. Through monitoring online E-commerce platforms including Taobao, Pinduoduo and JD with its monitoring system, Pinwei discovered that a large number of sellers on the platforms added the highly recognizable trademark of certain company to the titles of their commodities without authorization, so as to gain more market trading opportunities and improper interest by selling a large quantity of commodities infringing upon the exclusive right to use the trademark of certain company. Such situation has considerable impact on the online sales channel of certain company, but there are no relevant precedents that determine the nature of this scenario. After research and determination with external expert attorney, Pinwei immediately notarized the infringing page of a certain Tmall seller through its online evidence preservation system and brought a lawsuit to court. The court decided that the utilization of keywords related to certain company’s goodwill by this Tmall seller as a means of publicity and shortcut serves as a distraction amid massive Internet information, which may make certain people forget about their original intention of consumption, thereby decreasing the user stickiness of certain company and resulting in improper grab of market attention and business opportunities that certain company is supposed to be entitled to, which is illegitimate and constitutes unfair competition, and ruled that the Tmall seller should compensate certain company for an economic loss of 250,000 yuan. This case is also publicized by the Judicial Case Research Institute of the Supreme People’s Court as a typical case of “scrounging off flow”, the new scenario of intellectual property right infringement.

After its success in this precedent, Pinwei enhanced its monitoring of similar online infringement acts of certain company, and initiated a series of legal proceedings in over 200 cases, which put an end to platform seller’s behavior of using expressions related to certain company as keywords of commodity titles to attract flow, so that certain company gained more trading opportunities in addition to receiving economic compensation.

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