Improved copyright infringement practices

Copyright infringement practices

Following Copyright Law amendments that took effect in 2021, Chinese courts have actively developed an array of solutions to tackle the ever-evolving field of infringement claims among cutting-edge technologies and new industrial types. These solutions include granting preliminary injunctions, awarding damages in high amounts, and advanced technologies in enforcement and trials.

Preliminary injunction. In Yuewen v Shenma (2022), the Hainan Free Trade Port Intellectual Property Court (the fourth Chinese IP court established in late 2020) granted a preliminary injunction ordering the defendant to delete, block and disconnect links to the alleged infringing novels.

This represented the first preliminary injunction granted by a Chinese court involving an online literature infringement case.

High amount of damages. In NetEase v Shenzhen Miniwan (2021), the Guangdong High People’s Court recognised consecutive images of sandbox games as audiovisual works and affirmed that the imitation of sandbox game rules amounted to acts of unfair competition.

Accordingly, the court ordered the defendant to cease the infringing activities and pay RMB50 million (USD7.3 million) compensation to the plaintiff, including economic damages and reasonable legal expenses.

Non-fungible token (NFT) infringement. In April 2022, China’s first court decision on NFT copyright infringement was handed down. In Shenzhen Qice Diechu Culture Creation v Hangzhou Yuanyuzhou Technology (2022), the Hangzhou Internet Court explored the nature and characteristics of the NFT, the transaction relating to NFT digital works and the NFT trading platform.

The court also clarified the scope of duty of care and legal responsibilities of operators of NFT transaction platforms. Being liable for copyright infringement, the defendant was ordered to pay damages to the plaintiff and cease its infringing conduct by removing the original blockchain links to the infringing NFT works and delivering the same to an inaccessible address.

Business Law Digest is compiled with the assistance of Baker McKenzie. Readers should not act on this information without seeking professional legal advice. You can contact Baker McKenzie by e-mailing Howard Wu (Shanghai) at

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