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Polycom vs. XYLink Copyright Infringement Litigation Concerning Video Conferencing Software

Modifytime:2021-06-30

Case Summary:

Case number: (2017) Jing 73 Min Chu No. 1249

Plaintiff: Polycom, Inc.

Defendants: Beijing Xiaoyuzaijia Science and Technology Co., Ltd.

                    Beijing XYLink Science and Technology Co., Ltd.

                    Beijing Danbo Brothers Computer Technology Co., Ltd.

Cause of action: dispute over copyright infringement concerning computer software

Key point: rules of infringement determination for computer software in the field of videoconferencing  

The plaintiff, Polycom, Inc., discovered in 2015 that the copyright of its video conferencing software was infringed by the companies concerned, and then communicated with Unitalen and planned to file a lawsuit to protect its rights. The Unitalen team conducted a thorough investigation and pushed forward the work with authorization given by Polycom. The case was placed on file in the Beijing Intellectual Property Court in July 2017. After more than ten hearings and talks, the court opened a court session and made the first-instance judgment in July 2020. The defendants were not satisfied with the judgment and appealed to the Supreme People's Court. After the second-instance interrogation by the Supreme People's Court in December 2020, the defendants withdrew the appeal. The Supreme People's Court ruled that the withdrawal of the appeal was allowed in January 2021, and thus the first-instance judgment came into force. This case lasted for nearly 6 years, and the legal proceedings alone lasted for nearly 4 years. Our client Polycom finally won the case and successfully protected its legitimate rights.

Abbreviature of adjudication:

1.In the case where the source code and the object code submitted by the plaintiff reflected inconsistent work scopes and the completion time for the source code could not be determined, the object code for which the completion time can be determined or the source code that is identical to the above object code and actually enters the object code after being compiled should serve as the basis of the plaintiff's work in the determination of substantial similarity.

2.In the case where the defendants refused to submit or failed to accurately submit the source code of the alleged infringing computer software, the presumption that the software of the plaintiff and the software of the defendants are substantially similar should usually be made based on a precondition, that is, the plaintiff can prove that the object codes of the two are identical or similar, or the object code of the alleged infringing computer software includes specific content of the computer software claimed by the plaintiff, or the two are identical or substantially similar in terms of software results or the like.

3.The proportion of substantially similar parts does not affect the determination of nature of the behavior but is merely a consideration for the subsequent determination of infringement severity.

Significance:

The parties in this case are all well-known enterprises in the field of video conferencing, and multiple software works of the right holder and multiple alleged infringing software of the defendants were involved. Although the proportion of substantially similar parts in the works of both parties was low, the determination of the existence of infringement was not affected. The court determined the amount of compensation in accordance with the statutory upper limit on the basis of comprehensive consideration of the evidence in the case. The analysis of relevant issues in the judgment of this case can provide experience for the trial of such difficult and complex cases, and this case was selected as one of the top ten typical science and technology innovation cases of Beijing Intellectual Property Court on the 21st World Intellectual Property Day.

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