The cases include financial compensation following a win for Spin Master in a patent lawsuit against a Chinese company, as well as the first criminal judgment obtained for its popular PAW Patrol cartoon series.
The cases further represent a crackdown on counterfeit toy products, which don't meet safety certification standards and could endanger children. The strong stances taken will have a lasting effect on the enforcement of IP rights in the region.
Spin Master also successfully protected its patent for its Bakugan toys in a patent infringement lawsuit against a major local imitator. The infringer's 'Monster Hunter' toys closely mirrored the Bakugan series and, despite the infringer's attempts to delay the process of litigation over several years, Spin Master obtained a favorable final civil judgment.
Spin Master was awarded CNY 15.5 million (approx. $2.4 million) in damages, in a decision that demonstrated the Chinese Supreme People's Court is willing to take strong action, serving as a warning for local IP infringers that the rights of multinationals, whether toy producers or manufacturers of other products, will be upheld in China.
Spin Master also successfully sought criminal action against counterfeiters across China, who had produced fake, unsafe toy merchandise for children in the region, selling them under the guise of being part of Spin Master's PAW Patrol line.
Several local counterfeiters were raided by police, resulting in product seizures and detention of suspects. Two individuals were sentenced to imprisonment and received monetary penalties. Prosecutions against other infringers are still undergoing.
"These wins strengthen our confidence in China's IP protection environment and judicial regime," says Chris Harrs, general counsel and corporate secretary, Spin Master. "Spin Master will continue exploring routes, including legal action, to protection our IP rights as well as consumers' interests."
Consumers may purchase the PAW Patrol series and other toys developed by Spin Master through authorized distribution channels in China, including Toys "R" Us and Spin Master official online flagship stores in Tmall and other platforms.
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