The PRC courts’ determination to enhance protection for proprietors of trade marks and trade dress is reflected in recent decisions in trademark infringement and unfair competition cases. Damages awarded under AUCL are calculated by reference to the methods for calculating damages under the Trademark Law, applying the same factors. The upper limit of statutory damages under the PRC Trademark Law was increased from RMB 500,000 to RMB 3 million in 2014. Since this amendment to the PRC Trademark Law, we have noticed a trend for the PRC courts to exercise their discretion and award maximum or near-maximum statutory damages in claims for trade mark infringement, and also for claims under the AUCL.
In the last quarter of 2015, the Beijing IP court awarded its first maximum statutory damages to Moncler, a foreign plaintiff which took action against Nuoyakate for trademark infringement and unfair competition. The Beijing IP court issued a judgment against Nuoyakate for trade mark infringement and unfair competition and awarded Moncler an unprecedented high amount of damages. For details of the Moncler case and our comments, please see our article in a previous issue of the IP/TMT Quarterly Review.
Since the Moncler case, the PRC courts have awarded the maximum/near-maximum amount of statutory damages in other cases involving both local and foreign plaintiffs thus proving that the Moncler case was not an isolated case.
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