Thursday, January 20, 2011

New Game: Claim To Have Organised A Conference You Did Not, Say Sorry And Pay RMB 1

Howell International Trade Fair Ltd. (Howell) organised events in China such as: China Game Developers Conference and ChinaJoy. Then United Business Media LLC (UBM), who organised the Game Developers Conference in the US, claimed to "have hosted alone or together with IDG the China Game Developers Conference 2007."

Howell sued UBM in 2009 before the Beijing No. 2 Intermediate People's Court. Because UBM did not register trademarks in China for Game Developers Conference or GDC, in First Instance the court ruled that UBM's claims on exclusive rights constitute dissemination of false propaganda. The penalty for dissemination of false propaganda in this case is interesting.

"UBM shall, within thirty days after the judgement becomes effective, publish an announcement in the magazine Computer Information World acknowledging UBM's anti-competitive business practices so as to eliminate the ill effects thereof and, also, within ten days after the judgement becomes effective, compensate Howell for damages in the nominal amount of RMB 1."

Sorry and RMB 1 ... WTF?
Is such a penalty a deterrent for other conference organizers for claiming events they did not organize? What conference organizers could take away from this judgment is that registering the name of your events as trademarks in the jurisdictions where you want to be active is a good idea.

Read the Sun Herald article here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

First, the appreciation of RMB v. US Dollar will enhance the relief for the plaintiff.

Second, as in many civil law countries, a court-imposed apology is a remedy available under Chinese law. But this not so in the U.S., where the Consititution guarantees the freedome of speech and a court cannot impose a speech to a lost defendant. But you can get damages and injunctions.