China January 27 2021
NavInfo Co.,Ltd. (NavInfo), a leading Chinese provider of electronic maps and related technology, discovered that several Baidu companies - Beijing Baidu Netcom Science and Technology Co.,Ltd. (Baidu Netcom), Baidu Online Network Technology (Beijing) Co.,Ltd. (Baidu online company) and Baidu Cloud Computing Technology (Beijing) Co.,Ltd. (Baidu cloud computing company) - were continuing to provide the Navinfo e-maps to the public via Baidu map, Baidu Carlife and Baidu navigation, even though a licence agreement between the parties had expired in 2017. NavInfo commenced an action for copyright infringement and unfair competition in the Beijing Intellectual Property Court.
The Court held that: (1), the electronic maps met the Copyright Law originality requirement and were capable of copyright protection; (2) the Baidu companies use of the maps without permission infringed Navinfo’s copyright; and (3) because the alleged unfair competition involved the same behaviour as the copyright infringement, it was not necessary to consider the unfair competition claim.
The Court ordered the Defendants to cease the infringement immediately and held them jointly liable to compensate NavInfo for economic loss and reasonable expenses, in the sum of CNY 65,426,597.5 (approx. US$10,000,000).