After filing 8 patent infringement lawsuits with the Beijing Intellectual Property Court and claiming RMB 80 million, Sogou filed another 9 patent infringement lawsuits on November 23, accusing Baidu IME of infringing its patent rights and filed 1.8 100 million yuan compensation request. For a time, the topic of patent rights protection once again swept all walks of life. The sanitary ware industry is a hard-hit area for plagiarism and imitation. Infringement cases have been constantly emerging, but companies have repeatedly encountered difficulties in protecting their rights, which has become a major pain point in the development of the industry.
Frequent infringements in the bathroom industry
The sanitary ware industry has always been the hardest hit area for manufacturing and selling counterfeit products. In mid-August, Zhongyu Sanitary Ware seized more than 10,000 counterfeit showers and faucets in Nan’an, involving more than 900,000 counterfeit products, which dealt a heavy blow to counterfeiters in the industry, but these are just the tip of the iceberg of counterfeiting and infringement in the sanitary ware industry. According to the person in charge of a sanitary ware company, the newly developed products of the company dare to launch the market after completing the patent application. In order to achieve product differentiation and avoid product infringements, a sanitary ware company has worked hard on product materials and introduced African wood to make bathroom cabinets, increasing the cost of product manufacturing and reducing the risk of product infringement.
However, products have been infringed and counterfeited, and now sanitary ware companies, especially small and medium-sized enterprises, have no intention of defending their rights. It is understood that when companies defend their rights and fight counterfeiting, litigation is not only time-consuming, but also costly and expensive. Many small and medium-sized enterprises turn a blind eye to infringements. In the sanitary ware industry, it is difficult to combat counterfeiting and infringement. Not only does it involve a wide range and a large number, but the infringements of many companies are hidden and difficult to completely eradicate.
What is the difficulty in protecting the rights of sanitary enterprises
First, there is a lack of an effective supervision system. Regarding infringements, there is generally no sense of shameful infringement in the industry, coupled with the lack of public opinion and supervision system in the entire society, and the lack of special notices of infringements, this has also become one of the many factors that make it difficult to protect rights in the industry. A bathroom brand manager said that the company began to attach importance to product design as early as 2000 and invested a lot of money. However, partners and competitors in the sanitary ware industry are weak in protecting intellectual property rights. “We once found that in a Jiangsu store, a small factory copied our products. When we organized a lawsuit, the small workshop had been cancelled, which prevented us from defending our rights.”
Second, forensics are difficult to execute. Rights protection is exciting, but also very helpless. The industry is popular, but progress is slow. Few people in the industry really study design and independent innovation, and they are more willing to cut corners. The process of discovering the infringing company is difficult. The infringing company directly copied and copied the product, and the publicity pictures were screenshots from the website, which made it very difficult to obtain evidence in rights protection. Some infringed companies had no choice but to settle out of court. In addition to common problems such as difficulty in obtaining evidence, the difficulty in enforcement after the judgment also makes many companies feel helpless. In addition, legal procedures and lack of legal knowledge have also become one of the factors that make it difficult to safeguard rights in the industry.
In addition to relying on the regulation and guidance of the legal system, the protection of intellectual property rights in the sanitary ware industry should also play the role of the market and the government to promote the diversification of social governance. Strengthen publicity and education to create a good competitive environment. In addition to expanding their own brands and enhancing their awareness of rights protection, the government also needs to provide corresponding support to give enterprises the necessary tilt in government procurement.