Hennessy Awarded Injunction 500,000 Yuan in Paradis Bottle Copyright Dispute
Recently, Guangdong High People's Court made a final judgment on the dispute between Société Jas Hennessy & Co. and four local defendants, Guangdong Kalaer, Meizhou Zhongfa Brandy, Guangzhou Lishi Brother Trading and a Liquor Wholesale Shop (located in Dali Town, Nanhai District of Foshan) over its Paradis bottle's copyright ownership and held that Hennessy owns the copyright of the Paradis bottle.The brandy products carrying the brand of JOHNNYS BLUE XO SPECIA (the alleged infringing bottles) the four defendants produced and sold infringe Hennessy's reproduction, distribution and information network dissemination rights of the Paradis bottle, ordering the four defendants to cease infringement and indemnify Hennessy RMB 500,000 yuan in damages.
Hennessy was established in France on November 1, 1923, whose brands include Hennessy V.S.O.P, Hennessy X. O, Hennessy Paradis and Napoleon. On April 23, 2001, Hennessy filed a design patent application for the Paradis bottle and was granted the patent right. On January 15, 2015, the company registered copyright for the art work of the Paradis bottle in China. Hennessy found that the design of the alleged infringing bottles the four defendants produced and sold were similar to that of the Paradis bottle, having infringed its copyright. The company filed a law suit at Guangzhou IP Court.
Kalaer Company, Brandy Company and Lishi Brother Trading argued that the evidence can neither prove the art work belongs to Hennessy nor its copyright is owned by the company. Second, the alleged infringing bottles are neither identical nor similar to the Paradis bottle. Consequently, there is no infringement.
Guangzhou IP Court held that the overall design of the Paradis bottles embodied personalized expression of the designer in high artistry, creativity and aesthetics and it can be deemed as the art work protected by Chinese Copyright Law. The evidence cannot prove the art work belongs to Hennessy nor the copyright is owned by the company. Accordingly, the trial court eventually denied Hennessy's requests.
The disgruntled French company then brought the case to Guangdong High People's Court. During the trial, Hennessy submitted the copyright ownership statement of the Paradis bottle designer to prove it owned the copyright of the art work. Obviously, Guangdong High gave serious consideration to the evidence, finding the four defendants violating Hennessy's copyright, ordering them to indemnify Hennessy RMB 500,000 yuan in damages.
Source: China IP News