top of page
  • CN-KnowHow IP Group

Beijing IP Court releases 10 typical cases of infringement of trade secrets #6

On November 30th, 2023, the Beijing Intellectual Property Court held a press conference to release the ten typical cases of infringement of trade secrets. These cases are significant in clarifying the judicial thinking and rules for handling trade secret infringement cases, enhancing awareness of self-protection and compliance for businesses, and fostering a favorable atmosphere in society that respects and protects trade secrets. We will provide a complete translation of the case details and analysis text released by the Beijing Intellectual Property Court as follows:


Case 7: Infringement of Student ID Trade Secret Dispute Case


Case Overview

 

Wang, a former employee of a certain technology limited company (hereinafter referred to as Company A), was responsible for online teaching of the "Yuanfudao" product at Company A. After leaving the company, Wang joined a certain information technology company (Beijing) limited (hereinafter referred to as Company B) and, in violation of confidentiality obligations, used Company A's student ID to create a QQ group for the promotion of Youdao premium courses. Another company, a certain computer systems limited company (hereinafter referred to as Company C), and Company B were both aware that Wang was using Company A's student ID but still used this information for the promotion of Youdao premium courses. These actions constituted a breach of Company A's trade secrets. Therefore, Company A filed a lawsuit in court, requesting an injunction against Wang, Company B, and Company C to cease the disclosure and use of the involved trade secrets, eliminate the impact, and compensate for economic losses.




 

After trial, the first-instance court held that the student ID involved in the case met the statutory requirements for trade secrets, namely, “not known to the public”, “with commercial value”, and “corresponding confidentiality measures been taken”, therefore constituted a trade secret of a certain technology company. Wang, in violation of the agreement with Company A regarding the confidentiality of student information, used the student ID to create a QQ group for promoting Youdao premium courses, thereby infringing on Company A's trade secret. Company C and Company B, despite knowing that Wang was illegally using the student ID, continued to use this information, also infringing on Company A's trade secret. Therefore, the first-instance court ordered Wang to cease the trade secret infringement and pay Company A CNY 1,000,000 in economic losses and CNY 4,000 in reasonable expenses. Company C and Company B were jointly ordered to compensate Company A with CNY 500,000 in economic losses, CNY 4,000 in reasonable expenses, and to eliminate the impact.

 

Wang, Company B, and Company C were dissatisfied with the first-instance judgment and appealed to the Beijing Intellectual Property Court. The second-instance court held that the first-instance court's determination that Company A's student ID constituted a trade secret was correct. However, the first-instance court ordered Wang, Company B, and Company C to bear separate infringement liabilities which was incorrect in the application of law. Therefore, the second-instance court revoked the first-instance judgment and ordered Wang, Company B, and Company C to jointly compensate Company A with CNY 500,000 in economic losses, CNY 4,000 in reasonable expenses, and to eliminate the impact.

 

Key Points of the Judgment

 

The student ID in question met the requirements for constituting a trade secret and indeed constituted a trade secret of Company A. Considering that Company B and Company C had a mutual agreement with Wang to jointly use Company A's student ID to create a QQ group for promoting Youdao premium courses, and both Company B and Company C contributed to the damage to Company A's interests by infringing on its trade secret and directly benefited from it, all three of them should bear joint and several liabilities.

Commentaires


bottom of page