Explore the Boundary of Legal Protection of Intellectual Property with Sense of Justice and Creativity

By Jiang Yubin, China IP,[Comprehensive Reports]

 

In January 2020, Lusheng Law Firm Intellectual Property Service Team won the award of "Outstanding IP Service Teams in China". This is the fifth consecutive year that it has been awarded. As a law firm specializing in professional services in the field of intellectual property rights, since its establishment in 2006, Lusheng has been committed to expanding its international horizons and using innovative thinking to lead a new model of legal services to provide customers with excellent one-stop intellectual property solutions. From January 2018 to September 2019, the cumulative number of lawsuits in Lusheng exceeded 1,500. In 2019, the number of typical cases selected by courts above the provincial level reached seven, and the winning rate of civil and criminal litigation cases was as high as 96%. Behind this series of leading figures and excellent results are great effort of 103 team members of Lusheng Law Firm who are not afraid of difficulties, forging ahead, closely and efficiently collaborate internal and external, and customer orientation.

 
Continuous making efforts in intellectual property fields including patent, copyright, trademark, trade secrets and anti-unfair competition, and courageous to expand in emerging industries such as the Internet, 5G, big data, and autonomous driving, Lusheng has gained excellent reputation both in China and overseas in recent years, which was attributed to the successful representation of many frontier cases with significant impact. China IP Magazine exclusively interviewed Wang Shan, the head of the litigation business of Lusheng Law Firm in Shanghai, and Yu Yisi, the director of the Shanghai branch, to understand the innovative breakthroughs and service tenet behind its outstanding record.
 
Boundary exploration-the winning logic behind the reputation
 
In recent years, the success rate of civil and criminal cases represented by Lusheng has been increasing year by year, reached 96% in 2019. Even if it competes headon with industry players, this is definitely a remarkable achievement. Wang Shan integrated three internal and external factors to explain to reporters the specific reasons for the high winning rate:
 
First of all, Lusheng has a highly professional and stably performing litigation team. When dealing with difficult cases such as civil and criminal intellectual property rights, it upholds the concept of continuously exploring the boundaries of legal protection.
 
Secondly, facing with escalating complex infringement challenges, high-quality clients recognize and give Lusheng lawyer team a valuable opportunity to fully display their professional skills. "As the situation of infringement continues to evolve, clients’ awareness of rights protection continues to increase. Attorneys are required to have comprehensive capabilities to dig out evidence, shed light on the law, reason things out through the law, and understand the entire industry. It is precisely this extreme environment with escalating challenges and increasing difficulty that stimulates and enabled us to continuously improve ourselves and realize the great potential of our clients' highest interests under the framework of the rule of law." Wang Shan said.
 
Thirdly, at the level of judicial practice, whether from the perspective of lawyers, right holders or courts, all parties have gathered and blessed, and promoted the protection of intellectual property rights with a continuously complete case trial theory and practice system. Yu Yisi added that the success rate is certainly important for maintaining the reputation of the law firm’s brand, but maintaining a high success rate is not the primary goal of Lusheng when providing legal services. "Many cases need to combine basic facts to discuss the winning rate, especially in the current situation of multiple intellectual property management and infringement rights protection, and the difficulty is escalating. Customers are more and more willing to challenge difficult cases, so the winning rate is not the most important element when appointing a lawyer at a law firm by this time.” When talking about whether Lusheng is confident to continue to maintain a high winning rate, Yu Yisi expressed optimism, “With the gradual accumulation of litigation experience and the significant enhancement of pre-judgment ability, we are full of confidence. This is the basic prerequisite for ensuring a high winning rate." Wang Shan emphasized: "The current winning rate of Lusheng is not low. I consider that in the future, Lusheng's winning rate will continue to remain high. But at the same time, our competitors are also moving forward. Therefore, it is acceptable for the winning rate to fluctuate within a reasonable range. Most importantly, it is still our own enthusiasm for exploring legal boundaries."
 
Successful cases have been reported by the media one after another, laying a solid foundation for Lusheng to continuously enrich the talent pool, and also let the echelon-style talent training enter a positive cycle. "Lusheng has two talent introduction mechanisms. The first is the annual campus recruitment activities. We look at the comprehensive capabilities of the new people, including but not limited to law background, overseas experience, etc.. We will provide assistance to newcomers at different levels. The opportunity to communicate directly will strengthen their communication and expression skills.” Wang Shan said, since more than 90% of Lusheng’s business comes from international customers, communication has become one of the focus of the investigation of the overall quality of newcomers." The second is to introduce existing talents with relatively mature business capabilities. Lusheng encourages them to continue to explore in the original technical field, and share their experience with the entire team through monthly group meetings and other forms to achieve resource exchange." Wang Shan believes, "Growth" is the key word of Lusheng’s lawyers. The corporate culture of continuous innovation and courage to explore puts lawyers in a state of being "armed" at all times, and fundamentally upgrades their professional skills and work philosophy, in order to keep up with the development of the times and clients’ needs.
 
Determined to innovate--the golden rule for the first breakthrough
 
Lusheng has always been committed to leading a new model of legal services with innovative thinking, and promoting a series of classic cases praised by courts at all levels and authoritative intellectual property institutions. Among the more than ten typical cases represented by Lusheng in the previous year, many were awarded the "Typical Cases of Prosecutors’ Intellectual Property Protection in 2019", "Top Ten Cases of the National Copyright Administration's 'Jianwang 2019' Action", and QBPC (China Association of Enterprises with Foreign Investment Quality Brand Protection Committee) “Top Ten Criminal Intellectual Property Protection Cases for 2019-2020” and other well-known breakthrough cases in the industry. Yu Yisi detailed to the China IP reporter the basic information and significance of the seven typical annual cases selected by the courts at or above the provincial level represented by Lusheng.
 
In judicial practice, intellectual property rights holders have difficulties in filing criminal private prosecutions, and few have succeeded in defending their rights. Yu Yisi stated in the interview that the criminal private prosecution of a Canadian toy company against a company in Shenzhen represented by Lusheng was the first successful conviction of intellectual property criminal private prosecution in the country, which played a beneficial referencing effect in exploring and improving the intellectual property private prosecution system. "This case analyzes and applies the identification of the 'same trademark' in the elements of the crime of counterfeited registered trademarks, which has reference significance for similar cases. At the same time, due to its significance as the first case, it has been selected as one of the ''Top Ten Foreign Intellectual Property Rights in Guangdong Province in 2019'', ''Top Ten Cases of Shenzhen Intellectual Property Rights in 2019'', ''Lingnan Intellectual Property Litigation Excellent Cases in 2019'', etc. This is an affirmation and commendation for Lusheng's practice of courageous to innovation, not afraid of difficulties, and spirit of cooperation."
 
The successful representation of many groundbreaking first cases reflects the professional strength and enthusiasm of Lusheng to participate in new intellectual property cases in the new era and new business conditions. It also means that it is steadily achieving full-field competitiveness in addition to traditional business fields. Regarding the other typical cases of Lusheng selected by courts at or above the provincial level in 2019, Yu Yisi said, "Whether it is a crime of illegally manufacturing a registered trademark, the representative of the victim requested the prosecutors to file a protest, partially revoking the first instance judgment; in an cartoon image copyright infringement case, under the relatively complicated infringements modality, by analyzing the respective responsibilities of different infringers in joint infringement and organizing various evidences, they finally obtained a winning judgment; and in a patent infringement case, creatively argued that the display of product pictures in the photo albums of e-commerce stores is an act of offering for sale; or in the case of information network dissemination of pirated electronic publications known as the “first case of administrative punishment for infringement of online interactive teaching”, Lusheng cooperated with relevant administrative agencies, in the context of the Internet economy, conducted rapid crackdown on copyright infringement--these cases are of groundbreaking significance and will provide lessons for reference for future trials of similar cases."
 
On April 16, the subject "New Balance sued NEW BARLUN and received ten million of compensation" was posted on Weibo's trending topic, with more than 200 million page views. And behind this much-anticipated intellectual property case is the hard work of the Lusheng’s lawyers work day and night. "The New Balance v. NEW BARLUN case is one of the most impressive and most touched cases recently. The first-instance judgment of the court was posted on the trending topics on the same day, which was unexpected and we were extremely excited. Intellectual property cases have never received such widespread attention and heated discussion by the public, indicated that the verdict is the outcome people want.” Yu Yisi said, “Lusheng aspires to representing more intellectual property protection cases and hopes to play a role in the development of China’s intellectual property protection, even if only a little bit."
 
Wang Shan said frankly that when choosing to enter the legal profession and the field of intellectual property, the "sense of justice" is the value judgment that a qualified legal person should have, so as to drive individuals or lead a team to actively explore the boundaries of legal protection." The New Balance case reflects the public's high recognition of the value of similar cases to a certain extent, and also reflects the social value we exert as intellectual property lawyers. It was exciting and highly motivated us." Being highly professional, independent thinking, breaking the inherent model, fully communicate and cooperate, in addition of the empowerment of a sense of justice and mission, made Lusheng’s lawyers deeply trusted by clients. "'Sense of justice' is also the primary consideration for Lusheng to select talents. Even under a relatively relaxed and flat management model, our team still maintains a high level of cohesion and work efficiency, thanks to the mutual recognition and common pursuit of members. At the same time, the division of labor is clear with mutual cooperation, and gathered all the advantages to provide customers with the best solution.
 
Outstanding strength -- not to be afraid of difficulties
 
Lusheng, who has been continuously rated as "Outstanding Intellectual Property Service Team", has been active in China and even the international intellectual property field in recent years. This is inseparable from the shaping and blessing of the brand influence of the law firm by the classic cases of the year. From the past business areas focusing on the protection of trademarks and designs, to the current patent protection and infringement responses to different industries, Lusheng has extended its tentacles to a broader intellectual property legal service world. Lusheng has accumulated decades of experience in serving international and multinational companies, and has formed the core competitiveness of "internationalization of vision and localization of business", and is committed to providing “one-stop" legal services to customers with professionalism in all life cycles of corporate intellectual property protection and management.
 
Lusheng is not blindly involved in the overall situation, but always emphasizes the continuous deep cultivation in specific fields. "Lusheng has rich experience in intellectual property services in traditional fields such as FMCG, footwear, luxury goods and daily chemicals, but we clearly recognize the general trend of business changes in recent years, and actively welcome customers in emerging fields such as the Internet," Wang Shan pointed out, "It's not Lusheng's style to be sharp and rash, but years of accumulation and accumulation of energy have allowed us to enjoy a high-quality reputation in the industry. At the same time, it also attracts customers from various industries and realizes full-field expansion in a smooth manner." But even if it enters a new industry, Lusheng has consistently adhered to the concept of deep digging and expansion, embracing changes and making in-depth refinement. It is understood that Lusheng's customer industry coverage has expanded to the Internet, automobiles, games, big data, artificial intelligence and other fields.
 
Facing with new trends in the era of Internet+, 5G, and big data, Lusheng uses technological innovation to improve its intellectual property service capabilities and litigation efficiency. According to reports, in addition to the use of professional databases such as iCourt and Wolters Kluwer, Lusheng also designed the CIELA data management and evidence tracking system according to its own case handling needs, which greatly reduced the duplication of legal provisions, case search, and evidence management, which has greatly improved the efficiency of lawyers. “At present, most databases have case search functions, but CIELA also has analysis functions. It can customize one-stop solutions according to customer needs. In terms of case jurisdiction, domestic intellectual property policies and judicial protection, it have stronger reference value." Wang Shan introduced.
 
In 2020, the development of intellectual property in various countries will be profoundly affected by factors such as the global Covid-19 epidemic and changes in the political and economic environment. Yu Yisi frankly said that Lusheng has also encountered challenges: "In terms of being in line with international standards, it benefits from the current Internet and high technology. With rapid development, our communication with overseas companies and related institutions is not hindered. The main challenges are the international economic downturn caused by the epidemic and the reduction of customer budgets.” In response to the changes in the number of cases of overseas companies, she believes that we must rationally treat the fluctuations: "China's epidemic prevention and control has achieved staged victory, the domestic economic recovery has been gratifying, and the Chinese market has always been valued by multinational brands. We must believe that the challenges and difficulties are temporary." Wang Shan is also optimistic about the long-term development of China's intellectual property protection: "As more and more classic cases are paid attention to by domestic and foreign media, China’s intellectual property protection is gaining international reputation. Although we feel the budgetary pressure of our clients, in the long term, the general environment of international clients encountering intellectual property issues in China and actively seeking for solutions will not change."
 
"International vision" is a word repeatedly mentioned in the interview. According to reports, most of the key lawyers of Lusheng have doctoral and master degrees from Law Schools in the UK, Germany, the United States and other places. Some have practiced in well-known overseas law firms or intellectual property agencies. This have laid a solid foundation for Lusheng to provide high-quality legal services to global clients. Wang Shan pointed out that Lusheng’s successful experience in serving international customers has enabled Lusheng to better cope with the intellectual property protection issues of domestic enterprises: “We have noticed the original intention and specific requirements of domestic customers’ intellectual property protection, but in fact they do not have much difference with those of overseas customers. More and more domestic companies are actively seeking overseas market expansion, and the indepth cooperation between Lusheng and intellectual property service organizations around the world will provide more opportunities for Chinese companies to "going out" and international intellectual property distribution." Yu Yisi concluded that the reasons why domestic customers choose Lusheng, or the advantages of Lusheng are: rich experience in the global strategic layout of intellectual property rights, a solid overseas strategic cooperation network, and language advantages in communicating with overseas institutions.
 
Having personally experienced and witnessed the continuous development of China's intellectual property protection, Lusheng has personally experienced the gradual increase in corporate intellectual property protection and risk prevention and control awareness in many legal practices. Yu Yisi vividly likened the layout of intellectual property rights to the establishment of a "fence enclosure" for enterprises, and litigation, as an important way to protect rights, helps to make up for the defensive loopholes exposed when the "fence" is expanded. "When providing customers with comprehensive solutions, Lusheng usually organically integrates the layout of intellectual property rights and litigation strategies, and achieves the best results through the in-depth cooperation between the litigation team, the trademark application team, and the patent application team."
 
In the face of such popular areas as the intellectual property rights of enterprises along the “Belt and Road” and the risk of intellectual property litigation for IPOs on the Science and Technology Innovation Board, Lusheng is committed to making breakthroughs. Wang Shan emphasized that Lusheng will face up to the challenges of the times and seize development opportunities: "We have provided targeted advice to listed companies on the Science and Technology Innovation Board among our partners. The in-depth cooperation helps customers anticipate legal risks and enhance brand value in specific markets. Lusheng will grow with customers with highlevel and international business capabilities.

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