Fangda advises NavInfo on winning the highest damages award for copyright infringement cases in China to date

Leading Chinese law firm Fangda Partners advised NavInfo Co. Ltd., a market-leading Chinese navigation software and map company, on its successful copyright infringement claim against three Baidu companies found to be using “substantially similar software” without permission. The Beijing Intellectual Property Court awarded NavInfo RMB64.5 million (US$9.8 million) in damages, the highest damages award for copyright infringement cases in China to date.

NavInfo brought the case against Beijing Baidu Netcome Technology Co., Ltd., Baidu Online Network Technology (Beijing) Co., Ltd., and Baidu Cloud Computing Technology (Beijing) Co., Ltd.

The court held that the electronic maps developed and owned by NavInfo constituted a graphic work under the Copyright Law. The defendants’ software—“Baidu Map,” “Baidu Carlife,” “Baidu Navigation,” and other software using electronic maps—was substantially similar to, and used without authorization, NavInfo’s electronic maps, thus infringing NavInfo’s copyright.

In addition to awarding damages, the court granted an injunction enjoining the Baidu companies from infringement and ordered the defendants to issue a public apology.

Founded in 2002, NavInfo is the market leader in navigation maps, navigation software development, dynamic traffic information, location big data, and customized connected vehicle services for both passengers and commercial vehicles.

Partner Alexandra Yang commented: “We are pleased to have been entrusted by our client to help enforcing this high-profile, complex copyright infringement case, which successfully serves to protect the core IP rights of our client, and solidify the social consensus of protecting the core IP rights of electronic maps.”

The Fangda team was led by partner Alexandra (Pu) Yang.