Tsolmon Shar
Recent IP cases filed under the Chinese courts have shown that China is taking progressive measurements regarding the infringements of Intellectual Property Rights.

Recently, MAN Nutzfahrzeuge AG was compensated US$3 million based on the fact that Chinese company allegedly appropriated their IPR by copying the design of its Starliner bus.

Following on from the Starliner bus case, on 20 August 2009 a Chinese court sentenced four people to prison and imposed fines of $1.6 million against them for various counts of software copyright infringement. Hong Lei and Xianzhong, the founders of Chengdu Gongruan Networking Technology, were accused of operating the website which provided online downloads of pirated Windows XP software. The Business Software Alliance Group, which represents a group of technology firms including Microsoft, Intel and Adobe, first filed a complaint with the National Copyright Administration of China and the Ministry of Public Security about software named Tomato Garden.

On the flip side, not all IP related disputes which were brought to the court¡¯s attention was ruled in favor of international parties. One such example whereby Chinese companies have won over their international peers was on 16 November 2009, where a Chinese court ruled against Microsoft on the grounds of an allegation of IPR infringement of a Beijing-based software company, Zhongyi Electronic, in its use of two Chinese fonts. The court decided that Microsoft¡¯s use of those fonts in Windows 98, Windows 2000, Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 went beyond the original agreement between the two companies. As a result Microsoft was ordered to stop selling those operating systems in China.

In the future, disputes involving IPR infringement are likely to increase in China.

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