Friday, October 19, 2007

Alibaba and the IP Thieves; Domain Name, Trademark and Copyright Disputes

Cherry Zhang of Pacific Epoch wrote:
"Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba is in a trademark war with Beijing-based software company Beijing Zhengpu Technology to register the "Alibaba" name in China, reports Sohu. Alibaba originally applied for the trademark from China's State Administration of Industry & Commerce (SAIC) on January 14, 2002, while Zhengpu applied for the name for its subsidiary in 1999, according to the report. Due to objections submitted to the SAIC by the two companies or third-parties, both Alibaba and Zhengpu have experienced procedural delays and have been unable to register the trademark."
Source Pacific Epoch.

Alibaba had also a domain name dispute with Zhengpu, back in 2002. In fact it was China's first Chinese-language domain name dispute. Li Heng wrote about it for People's Daily here.

"On 9 August 2002, the High People's Court of Beijing Municipality rendered its final judgement in a suit by the owner of the domain names ""and "", Beijing Zhengpu Science Development Co., Ltd. (Zhengpu). The court ruled in favor of the defendants, the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) and Alibaba (China) Network Technology Co. Ltd. (Alibaba, the owner of the domain name "" and one of China's first Internet companies)." Read page 3 of TransAsia Lawyers' PRC Telecoms, Media & Technology Law Newsletter of October 2, 2002, here (pdf).

This March Alibaba was sued by 11 music companies for copyright infringement via Yahoo China which it operates. Read about the Alibaba case here.

Zhang Haitao sheds light on why Alibaba had to indemnify the music companies, while in the seemingly similar Baidu case (Baidu versus music companies) Baidu was pardoned. The difference was that in the Baidu case the plaintiff did not send a notice of warning to Baidu that it linked to sites that infringe copyrights, therefore it was relased from civil liabilities. Zhang writes: "In the Alibaba Case, however, the plaintiff sent a warning to the defendant, which resulted in the removal of some of the links to the disputed music but not all of these links were removed. Obviously, the defendant shall be liable for its failure to remove all of the links that the plaintiff required." Read Zhang's article 'China's Internet Search Engines and the Struggle for Copyright Enforcement'in King & Wood IP Bulletin of September 2007, here.

Read IP Dragon's posting about Baidu and in 2006 called ' Mirroring's Copyright Infringements here.

1 comment:

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