Some people claimed that textile merchants had infringed the copyright of patterns and patterns. If the claims failed, they filed lawsuits. In the end, the defendant merchants lost the lawsuit or were forced to accept mediation, resulting in huge losses. Is this high-priced claim justified? Who is the real copyright owner?
“The market has been playing copyright promotional videos produced by the procuratorate, and you can also see prosecutors’ legal education on WeChat. We know a lot about intellectual property protection.” Ms. Pei is from Keqiao, Shaoxing City, Zhejiang Province He is an operator of a curtain shop in China Textile City Market (hereinafter referred to as China Textile City). Previously, she was required to pay huge compensation because of a few small patterns, and there are many business owners like her who have been compensated.
The Keqiao District Procuratorate has spent nearly two years actively promoting the integrated performance of intellectual property criminal, civil, and administrative prosecutions, and has solved a number of pattern and pattern copyright fraud cases through the digital prosecution and supervision platform.
“Now we no longer have to worry about being maliciously prosecuted, and we can finally do business with peace of mind.” Recently, Ms. Pei said to the prosecutor who visited us recently.
Light textile merchants encountered inexplicable claims
Walking in the Textile City, you will find various patterns on fabrics, curtains, lace and other textile products. Some people have come up with the “crooked idea” of copyright protection.
In early 2021, when police officers from the Keqiao District Procuratorate visited a local law firm, they learned that there was a phenomenon of professional rights protection for pattern copyrights in the Textile City. Some people claimed that merchants had infringed the copyright of patterns and designs. If the claims failed, they filed lawsuits. In the end, the defendant business owners lost the lawsuit or were forced to accept mediation, resulting in huge losses.
Keqiao District is home to more than 32,000 textile merchants and is known as the “International Textile Capital”. Many merchants have experienced similar experiences. This clue attracted the attention of prosecutors, who believed that this may be a type of false prosecution, and there may even be someone behind it. To this end, prosecutors went to China Textile City to verify the situation one by one with nearly a hundred business households that were subject to claims.
In charge of the prosecutor’s visit to merchants in China Textile City Market.
Ms. Gu has been in the curtain fabric business in China Textile City for nearly 30 years. According to her, she has been brought to court many times in the past two years. As early as 2017, Ms. Gu received a letter from a lawyer claiming that the pattern of a 6-meter-long curtain fabric she sold infringed the copyright of others, requiring her to immediately stop selling samples and pay 20,000 yuan in compensation. “How can such a pattern that is so popular on the street be copied by others?” Ms. Gu felt very aggrieved,because the pattern on sale was openly popular in the market. However, the plaintiff presented the work registration certificate and was recognized by the court as the copyright owner of the pattern. After mediation, Ms. Gu compensated the plaintiff 13,000 yuan. Later, Ms. Gu paid a total of 80,000 yuan in compensation for selling several other types of goods. “If this continues, how will we do business?”
“Several of our merchants discovered thatthere is indeed a group of people who often look for similar products with registered pattern copyrights in the market. After purchasing in small quantities, they then sue us, demanding compensation of 10,000 yuan for each pattern. Yuan to 20,000 yuan.” The prosecutor’s visit and investigation found that nearly a thousand business households like Ms. Gu have been sued in court. They have been involved in pattern copyright infringement disputes for a long time and have suffered terribly. Not only did they lose the lawsuit and pay money, they were also banned from selling the infringing patterns, resulting in huge losses. In addition to business operators who are litigating, there are also a large number of merchants who, considering the loss of litigation energy and the possible consequences of losing the case, choose to directly compensate private parties. The amount of compensation for each infringement method ranges from 5,000 yuan to 30,000 yuan.
“This kind of pattern has been sold in the market for several years. How come whoever registers it belongs to whom?”For a period of time, people in the Textile City were panicked, and the merchants They even dare not open for business. Such rights protection behavior has seriously endangered the healthy development of the market.
Is this high-price claim justified? Who is the real copyright owner?
Digital supervised analysis model finds anomalies
In the investigation, the information reported by the merchants was relatively emotional, scattered and fragmented, and it was impossible to restore the whole story of the incident. To find the truth quickly and accurately, prosecutors turned to digital empowerment.
As a result, the Shaoxing City and Keqiao District Procuratorates jointly established a digital supervision analysis model, and used the civil judgment smart supervision system to conduct big data screening of approximately 160,000 judgment documents from the courts in the jurisdiction in the past 10 years, and found three Abnormality: Among the 2,916 related cases, the plaintiffs in more than 1,300 cases entrusted two lawyers outside Shaoxing; and in 373 judgments, two evidence collection personnel, Chen and Wang, appeared 348 times; involved cases Most of the registration agencies listed in the registration certificates for pattern works are not in Zhejiang, but the rights defenders are all in Zhejiang.
In the process of retrieving data, prosecutors alsoThe Qiaoqiao District Procuratorate also used the Zhejiang Provincial Procuratorate’s Inspection and Judicial Practice Forum platform to invite experts and scholars from well-known universities to conduct a “Seminar on Punishing False Litigation of Intellectual Property Rights”. Based on expert opinions, the Procuratorate jointly issued the “Preventing and Combating Fraudulent Copyright Fraud” with the courts. Litigation Work Plan” to jointly create a good legal business environment.
At the same time, the Keqiao District Procuratorate actively participated in social governance in conjunction with case handling, shot special promotional videos, went to the Textile City to carry out law popularization, and reported the situation to the higher-level procuratorial organs in the form of situation feedback and other forms, and recommended promoting the national network for pattern copyright application and registration. The digital prosecutorial supervision model in this case was also promoted and used in the Zhejiang Provincial Procuratorate’s special supervision work on punishing malicious intellectual property litigation in accordance with the law.
Tips for legal education
Have work registration certificate ≠original
According to the relevant laws and regulations of our country, copyright is a general term for the personal rights and property rights enjoyed by citizens, legal persons or unincorporated organizations over intellectual achievements that are original and can be expressed in certain forms in the fields of literature, art and science. Copyright is also called copyright. . Pattern copyright is a common name for the personal rights and property rights that citizens, legal persons or unincorporated organizations enjoy over artistic works contained on textiles.
In this case, some market operators have a misunderstanding: whether it is a pattern that is copied, imitated or simply modified with pattern details, or a pattern purchased from a pattern making shop or design company, as long as there is a work registration certificate, The pattern is your original work, and you own the copyright. Others cannot use the pattern. This understanding is one-sided. Because the registration of works is not a legal procedure, and the copyright registration agency generally does not conduct substantive examination of the applied works, the work registration certificate is not a certificate of authorization and confirmation of ownership. It can only prove that the applicant holds the work, but cannot prove that the work belongs to the applicant. original.
For textile patterns to be protected by copyright law, they must have a prerequisite, that is, originality. The state encourages and supports innovation, but not every business owner has the ability to create. According to the provisions of the Copyright Law, when an operator uses another person’s work, he or she may enter into a licensing contract or transfer contract with the copyright owner.