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Jan 16, 2018 (Newsletter Issue 1/18)
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Beijing IP Court Decides on First Ever GUI Design Infringement Case

On 25th Dec., Beijing IP court has made a decision on the first ever Graphic User Interface (GUI) design infringement case in China. To the disappointments of many, it has proven to be a temporarily significant blow to the protection of GUI design patents.

As partial design is not allowed in China, GUI design has to be filed together with a product, e.g. as "A Computer with GUI" in this case. However, the accused infringer's product is a software. Unfortunately, the court decided that "computer" and software are different classes of products, hence there was no infringement.

The decision would mean that for thousands of granted GUI design patents in China, their scope of protection could be limited by their hardware carrier (e.g. a computer or a mobile phone). However, it's possible that the appeal decision will overturn this case. Especially, partial design is due to be allowed in China in the next amendment.

This means that GUI designs will be protected independently in the future, it's only a matter of time.

For further information, please read the article of our Gold Country Index Partner Chofn Intellectual Property here

Source: Chofn Intellectual Property, Beijing, China