NavInfo Awarded 64.5 Million RMB in Chinese Copyright Infringement Lawsuit Against Baidu
According to a regulatory filing on November 20, 2020 on Juchao Information Network, the statutory information disclosure platform of the Shenzhen Stock Exchange, the Beijing Intellectual Property Court awarded NavInfo Co., Ltd. (北京四维图新科技股份有限公司) 64.5 million RMB (~$9.8 million USD) in a copyright infringement lawsuit involving maps used by the defendants Beijing Baidu Netcom Technology Co., Ltd., Baidu Online Network Technology (Beijing) Co., Ltd., and Baidu Cloud Computing Technology (Beijing) Co., Ltd.
According to the filing, NavInfo licensed the defendants in 2013 to use copyrighted electronic maps in their products and defendants paid the license fees. However, in 2017 the contract expired but the defendants continued to use the electronic maps without authorization. Accordingly, NavInfo filed suit for copyright infringement and unfair competition requesting an injunction and damages of 100 million RMB.
The court held that the electronic maps involved in the case constituted a graphic work under the Copyright Law, and the defendants’ software “Baidu Map” (百度地图), “Baidu Carlife,” “Baidu Navigation” (百度导航) and other software used the electronic maps substantially similar to the plaintiff’s electronic maps without authorization, thus infringing the copyrights of the plaintiff NavInfo.
In addition to damages, the Court award an injunction and required the defendants to publish a public apology. The case number is （2017）京73民初 1914. The filing is available here: 四维图新：关于公司诉讼的进展公告. No word yet on whether the defendants will appeal.