Archive for January, 2007

2006 top ten scandals of ICT industry

2006 has gone but the scandals are left.

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Supreme Court sets new guidelines against unfair competition

The Supreme Court released a long-awaited judicial interpretations against unfair competition. Before the revision of the Law against Unfair Competition, the judicial guidelines will play an important role to update the Chinese rules regarding passing-off and trade secret protection. The guidelines cover a couple of important issues, such as reverse engineering and comparative advertising.

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Visual property in dispute again

In recent year, a couple of cases were brought to the court regarding stealing the visual property (such as weapons, helmets) generated from the visual games or created in the visual communities. It is difficult to draw a line between the so-called visual property and the other intangible property, but misappropriation of the visual property is hardly an intellectual property infringement.

The most popular instant message system “QQ” (whose logo is two cute penguins) is suing a large online auction site “Tao Bao” (looking for your fortune) for infringing copyright by allowing the users to sell QQ numbers and Q currency on its platform. Meanwhile, Tao Bao brought a non-infringement suit in another court against QQ. QQ (previously called OICQ) was developed initially as the Chinese version of the ICQ.

Visual crimes are drawing people’s attention.

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When 4G is approaching, why 3G?

The telecom standard for the third-generation has always been a highly controversial. After the MII determines to adopt the Chinese-enterprise developed TD-sCDMA standard, instead of the other two foreign-controlled standards, the scholars criticize the decision for 3G is as useless as the skill to kill the dragons that do not actually exist. The telecom monopoly has always been able to capitalize on its monopoly physical network. A new 3-G network will repeat the history. In order to stimulate competition, telecom industry should be as open as the computer industry. Instead of maintaining the telecom monopoly by issuing a few 3G licenses, the government should encourage and support the bottom-up Internet based wireless broadband network, which is the direction of 4G.

A fix-line operator–Netcom–has joined the debate. A wifi-city model may emerge.

Six cities have joined the new wireless initiative using WiMax technologies. But competition regulation, license issuance and frequency allocation are plaguing the development.

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Dannon is driving the Chinese brands out of the market

It’s more a strategy to diminish the potential competitor than a normal business takeover. Dannon is suspected by Chinese business for intentionally eradicating the Chinese brands after its dismissal of 40% of the workers who used to work for Lebaishi, a falling well-known mark since its merge with Dannon.

It’s noted in other merge cases, such as Little Nurse, Supor, etc, that the Chinese brands are either frozen or vanished from the market once controlled by the international corporate giants.;;

Another story is going on. Dannon is now attempting to purchase the whole Wahaha group to prevent those Wahaha enterprises that are using the trademark but outside non-joint venture from using the trademark. After Dannon filed complaint against the Chinese CEO of Wahaha at Stockholm Arbitration Institute and sued the CEO’s daughter at California Court, the CEO resigned and blamed Dannon for oppressing and insulting him.;

Other actions may be waiting for Dannon. For instance, a shareholder of another leading milk producer “Bright” is going to sue Dannon for violation of security regulations by purchasing competing companies and damaging the interests of shareholders.

The dispute now looks like a soap opera. Wahaha has filed a complaint against Dannon at Hangzhou Arbitration Commission for termination of the trademark assignment agreement with Dannon. The complaint has been accepted. This is the third legal action around this dispute, apart from Dannon’s complaint at Stockholm and at US.

Another similar case is Johnson’s purchase of Dabao.

As a Chinese saying reveals, an intelligent will listen from both sides. Please see the comments from overseas.

The soap opera is going on. Wahaha announced that the someone misappropriate the name of the Joint Venture with Dannon to sue the State Trademark Office for not transferring the trademark. A Beijing court has accepted the complaint made in the name of the joint venture.

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