Unitalen Helped Tencent Win the First Instance in the Case Involving “WeChat Red Pocket” Design Works and “WeChat Emoticons”

August 21, 2019

Case Summary

Because of the Chinese red pocket interface and emoticons used in a chat application called "Chui Niu", it is suspected of plagiarizing “WeChat red pocket" and "WeChat expression", Tencent, the owner of “WeChat” application, sued the developer and operator of “Chui Niu” in Beijing, pleading the court to order the other party to stop the infringement and compensate for the economic losses.


The alleged "Chui Niu" application adopted the sending page, loading page, chat bubble, and details viewing page that imitate the plaintiff’s "WeChat red pocket" interfaces, throughout the process of sending and receiving electronic red pocket. In addition, the "Chui Niu" application provides chat emoticons highly alike to the six "WeChat emoticons" that Tencent enjoys the prior copyright, and it uses the "chat, address book, discovery, me" icons that are highly alike to those in “WeChat”. Icon. Tencent believes that the defendant has infringed on the copyright of the "WeChat red pocket" interfaces and the "WeChat emoticon" art works, and the defendant, as a similar product and service provider, uses the decoration similar to the "WeChat red pocket" in the alleged application, taking advantage of the plaintiff's design and marketing achievement to gain the illegitimate interests, it has violated the principle of good faith and constituted unfair competition. Entrusted, Unitalen Attorneys at Law worked with Tencent for the litigation strategy, evidence collection, and trial preparation, and helped the client win the victory at this stage.


Court Ruling


The Beijing Internet Court issued a public verdict on July 19. The court found that the defendant’s alleged acts have infringed on Tencent’s copyright over the WeChat emoticons and WeChat red pocket pages and constituted unfair competition for Tencent.


To this end, the court ordered the defendant to stop the acts related to the alleged infringement and issue a statement on its official website for 30 consecutive days to eliminate the negative impact on Tencent, and compensate for Tencent's economic losses and reasonable expenses for a total of RMB 905,440.


The Importance of Significance


Wining this case in the first instance trial, has provided foundation for Tencent to secure its “WeChat emoticons” and “WeChat Red Pocket” IP rights. In addition, it provides valuable reference for the similar IP right protection in the related market.