In September 2023, the Supreme People's Court delivered a final judgment in a landmark case concerning trademark infringement and unfair competition, GEN Law team represented PanPan Company against Sichuan Xin PanPan Company, Gu Yang Door Factory, and Mr. Zhou, awarding 100 million RMB in total as damages, including 4 times the illicit profits as punitive damages. Furthermore, it recognized the intellectual labor of the attorneys and granted ¥650,000 in reasonable expenses. Damages granted in this case is unprecedented and among the highest damages ever granted to foreign-owned brands.

GEN Law team is led by Steve Zhao, Pei Lyu, and Menghang Jiao. Their skilled litigation and persistence over 5 years led to this significant victory for PanPan's intellectual property rights. The case reiterates China's commitment to strongly protecting trademarks and sends a warning to potential infringers.

Case Background

PanPan, a renowned security door brand with over 30 years of history, has been recognized as a well-known trademark by the SAIC (State Administration for Industry and Commerce back then) in 1999, and has maintained this status ever since.

In 2016, Mr. Zhou purchased a registered trademark Xin PanPan (Xin shares the pronunciation as “new” in Chinese) and opened Xin PanPan company to manufacture security doors, locks, etc., claiming to be the “new” and “premium” PanPan.

In 2018, PanPan Company filed a lawsuit in Jiangsu High People's Court, seeking an order for the defendants to cease all infringements and unfair competition actions and to bear ¥95 million in damages for trademark infringement, ¥5 million for unfair competition, as well as reasonable expenses of 650,000 RMB. 

Court Rulings

In first instance, Jiangsu High People's Court acknowledged the infringements and unfair competition and applied quadruple punitive damages, ordering the defendants to bear a total of ¥100 million in damages. Furthermore, the Jiangsu High People's Court acknowledged that Pan Pan had invested significant effort into investigating and collecting evidence for the litigation. The legal team also contributed a substantial amount of intellectual labor, providing valuable and professional support for the trial. As a result, the court determined that ¥650,000 was a fair and reasonable amount to cover expenses.

In second instance, the Supreme People's Court held that:

1. The “PanPan” series of trademarks had been registered and used in China for over 20 years, had a significant scale of operation and product coverage, and had obtained at least 157 awards and honors, attaining well-known status.

2. The Xin Panpan Company utilizes the "Xin Panpan" logo, and some of its products incorporate the "Xin" character in a modified or abbreviated form, emphasizing the use of the "Panpan" character or simply utilizing phrases like "PanPan Security Door" or "Panpan Phase Three." This indicates a clear intent to capitalize on the popularity of Panpan Company's trademark involved in the case, thereby infringing on Panpan Company's exclusive rights to the series of trademarks involved in the case, including well-known trademark rights.

3. Gu Yang Door Factory and the Xin Panpan Company, which operate within the same industry as Panpan Company, have been utilizing the "Xin Panpan" business name and its abbreviation, as well as a panda mascot image that bears a striking resemblance to PanPan. This appears to be a deliberate effort to capitalize on PanPan company's reputation and influence and has the potential to create confusion among customers. According to the Anti-Unfair Competition Law, these actions constitute unfair competition and may mislead consumers into believing that their products are associated with PanPan’s.

4. Xin Panpan Company and others participate in false advertising practices involving misleading commercials about the relationship between Panpan Company and Xin Panpan Company, the history of the Xin Panpan brand, and commercial defamation.

5. In terms of damage compensation calculation, Panpan Company has made diligent efforts to provide evidence for the calculation of damage compensation. Considering Xin Panpan Company and others clearly stated in the first instance that their financial management is chaotic and there are no standardized annual financial reports available, they failed to provide accurate information and bear the legal consequences of failing to provide evidence.

6. The Supreme Court ultimately determined the calculation basis for the trademark infringement compensation in this case to be 27.075 million yuan based on the evidence and claims of Panpan Company. The court considered multiple factors, including industry competition, malicious trademark acquisition, repeated infringement, intentional factors, broad scope of infringement, and high profits. As a result, the court confirmed the application of 4 times punitive damages and supported the request for 95 million yuan in trademark infringement damages and 5 million yuan in unfair competition damages. Additionally, the court ordered all parties to bear the reasonable expenses of 650,000 yuan incurred by Panpan Company.

Case Highlights

This case is intricate, involving multiple trademark infringements and unfair competition actions. Both trial courts conducted detailed analysis and determination of the relevant facts during the proceedings, serving as precious references for subsequent similar cases.

Regarding the application of punitive damages, the court made a detailed discussion on determining the multiple of compensation, considering the intentional infringement factors, such as: (1) Zhou had business dealings with Panpan Company as early as 2007, knowing well the fame and influence of the "Panpan" name and related trademarks, yet still established Xin Panpan Company in September 2016, actively sought to acquire the "Xin Panpan" trademark, and authorized its use to Xin Panpan Company, which then contracted Gu Yang Door Factory to produce security doors and other metal door and window products, engaging in business identical to Panpan Company's. (2) "Xin Panpan" phonetically resembles "New Panpan," showing intent to leverage the renown of Panpan Company and its related trademarks. (3) Zhou directed Xin Panpan Company to continue using the disputed infringement mark even after the “Xin Panpan” trademark was declared invalid. (4) After the temporary name change of the WeChat official account, it was changed back to “Sichuan Xin Panpan Company Limited,” clearly demonstrating intent to infringe on the series of trademarks involved by Panpan Company.

Additionally, the case has the following highlights, serving as references for similar cases:

1. Application of Proof of Obstructive: Given that Panpan Company had exercised due diligence to provide evidence, and Xin Panpan Company, due to mismanagement and neglect in providing evidence, the compensation basis was determined in accordance with the claims and evidence provided by Panpan Company.

2. Acknowledgment of well-known trademark of "Panpan" within civil judicial proceedings.

3. Explicit Recognition of the Value of the agent ad litem's work and support for a relatively higher amount of reasonable expenses.

4. The actual controllers of the company as well as the individual trademark owners, were made co-defendants and successfully pursued their liability for joint infringement.

Encouraged by the judgment of this case, GEN Law team deeply appreciates the level of the Chinese courts and judges in case handling and their resolution to protect intellectual property rights. We also hope this case can serve as a beneficial reference for rights holders encountering similar infringement activities when forming their rights protection strategies.

Steve Zhao


Practice Areas:IP Litigation, Commercial Litigation and Arbitration, Compliance, Government Affairs

T:010-6521 5999

Mr. Steve Zhao is a partner at the Beijing office of GEN Law Firm. Mr. Zhao is a top IP litigator in China with 18 years of experience. His expertise covers major and complex disputes involving trademark, copyright, unfair competition and data protection, IP-related commercial arbitration and litigation, compliance investigation and governmental relation affairs.

Mr. Zhao has handled many influential cases which have been selected as typical cases by courts and administrative authorities. NBA live broadcasting protection case was selected as “2020 Deal of the Year” by China Business Law Journal. In 2019, NBA vs. Mengka was selected as Top 10 IP Cases by Guangdong High Court and Top 10 Cases by QBPC. In 2014, Ferrero 3D trademark protection case was selected as Top 12 Model Cases by the formal State AIC. In 2012, BMW vs. Centry Baochi was selected as Best 8 model cases by Supreme Court. Among others, Micheal Jordan vs. Fujian Qiaodan, “National Liquor Moutai”, “Xiaoguan Tea” cases are also very influential cases in Chinese IP society.

Mr. Zhao also has rich negotiation experience. Recently, he reached several settlements agreements with favorable conditions, including an unfair competition lawsuit with a total amount of 240 million yuan, a software development contract dispute with a total amount of 210 million yuan, and a trademark infringement and unfair competition lawsuit with a total amount of 90 million yuan.

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Pei Lyu


Practice Areas:Intellectual property, Unfair Competition Disputes, Cybersecurity and Data Protection, Antitrust Compliance Counseling

T:010-6521 5999

Ms. Pei LYU's practice areas cover major intellectual property (IP) and unfair competition disputes and non-contentious matters, cybersecurity and data protection, antitrust compliance counseling, etc.

In-depth exposure and hands-on experience in various aspects of IP work equips her with comprehensive strategic thinking and sharpness in handling the most challenging disputes. She actively explores emerging IP issues relating to new technologies such as generative AI and AIGC.

Ms. LYU is the key litigator and strategist in various landmark cases. She represented ARRI in an unfair competition case and secured protection as unique trade dress for its distinctive color combination, which has been selected as one of 2020-2021 QBPC Annual Top Ten Cases. She represented Chr. Hansen to successfully defend distinctiveness of BB-12/LGG probiotic trademarks,  which is selected as one of the 50 Typical Cases by the Supreme People's Court in 2023. Ms. LYU continues to provide effective strategies and secure good results for clients on the most cutting-edge and complex legal issues, including helping clients obtain well-known trademark recognition and high punitive damages.

Ms. LYU also has extensive experience on IP strategy and licensing, data security, and antitrust compliance issues. She has led the team to develop and implement comprehensive strategies for HUGO BOSS, Edrington Group/The Macallan, Chr. Hansen and various other esteemed brands, and has assisted companies in establishing internal compliance framework.

Ms. LYU is admitted to both the Chinese bar and the State Bar of New York and has received CIPP-E certification from International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP).

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Menghang Jiao

Senior Attorney

Practice Areas:Intellectual property, Trade Secret, Unfair Competition Disputes,

Mr. JIAO is experienced in handling highly adversarial and complex cases. He specializes in copyright, trademark, trade secret, anti-unfair competition litigation, related criminal and administrative actions, and policy advocacy, among other IP matters. Mr. Jiao has led teams to serve clients in the software, internet, real estate, construction, FMCG, entertainment, sports, and high-tech industries.

With rich practical experience in almost all aspects of IP matters, Mr. Jiao has established himself as a skilled litigator capable of providing comprehensive solutions in the most challenging cases. His cases have been recognized by the Jiangsu Provincial High People's Court and Beijing Intellectual Property Court as typical cases, and by QBPC as annual cases. In the criminal cases, Mr. Jiao has successfully detected and tried criminal cases on behalf of enterprises, safeguarding their legitimate rights and interests by combating the entire chain of crimes. He further pursues the civil liability of suspects through negotiation and litigation, securing high economic compensation for the enterprises. In the administrative cases, Mr. Jiao has successfully handled high-profile cases supervised by the State Administration for Market Regulation, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, and provincial Administration for Market Regulation.