Huawei’s mobile open platform HiAI was preemptively registered and fell into several years’ trademark battle

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China IP Today—————————————

A recent judgment published by the Beijing Intellectual Property Court showed that because the mobile computing architecture HiAI on its core chip was preemptively registered by the partner, Huawei sued the China National Intellectual Property Administration in the court and lost the first instance after failing to achieve the expected result of trademark invalidation .

HiAI is Huawei’s AI capability open platform for smart terminals. As a mobile computing architecture that was once innovatively designed on the Kirin 970 chip, the system has been upgraded to HiAI 3.0 to support multi-terminal sharing of AI computing power. According to information from China Trademark Network, HiAI, as the ninth category of commodity trademarks, is currently still in the hands of Liangfengtai (Shanghai) Information Technology Co., Ltd.

On September 2, 2017, at the International Consumer Electronics Show held in Berlin, Germany, Huawei officially released the world's first mobile artificial intelligence chip Kirin 970.

According to previous reports by the Paper, the biggest feature of the Kirin 970 chip is the establishment of a special AI hardware processing unit NPU (Neural Network) to process massive AI data. This Huawei's core chip uses the HiAI mobile computing architecture, and the AI performance density is significantly better than that of the CPU and GPU.

In September of the same year, Huawei also demonstrated the artificial intelligence features of its HiAI to the media.

Public information shows that following the launch of the HiAI mobile open platform in 2017, in 2018, with the strong AI computing power of Kirin 980, Huawei launched HiAI Eco 2.0 to improve development and integration efficiency; in November 2019, Huawei released HUAWEI HiAI 3.0.

The “trademark infringement case” involved this time was because when Huawei wanted to apply for the HiAI trademark, it found that its partners had already been “one step ahead”.

According to the public information of China Trademark Network, on September 25, 2017, Liangfengtai (Shanghai) Information Technology Co., Ltd. submitted an application for HiAI category 9 trademark registration through an agency, and on September 14, 2018, Liangfengtai's application obtained a registration announcement and successfully owned HiAI Category 9 trademark rights.

On November 10, 2017, Huawei applied to the Trademark Office of the CNIPA to register the HiAI trademark for the 9th category of goods and services through its agency, which was rejected in July 2018.

In other words, Liangfengtai’s application was 46 days earlier than Huawei’s trademark application, which largely determined its advantage.

After discovering that the HiAI trademark was "squashed" by Liangfengtai, Huawei filed a complaint with the CNIPA.

Huawei believes that Liangfengtais behavior is prohibited by Article 32 of the Trademark Law (2014), which uses improper means to preemptively register trademarks that others have already used and have certain influence.

However, from the perspective of Liangfengtai, its application for registration of the disputed trademark is entirely from good intention: Hi, which means "Hello" in English, and AI is the abbreviation of Artificial Intelligence in English. Hi and AI are not contrived vocabularies, and both have positive meanings. It is highly possible that colleagues in the same industry can think of it. The plaintiff should not be given special treatment due to the plaintiffs huge size and market influence. Otherwise, it will inevitably violate free market competition.

The CNIPA made a ruling on April 1, 2020: it does not support Huawei's claim on Liangfengtai. However, it is believed that Liangfengtai's registration of the HiAI trademark on seven categories of goods such as smart glasses (data processing) based on other relationships other than the agency or representative relationship should or know the trademark of others, which constitutes the trademark law of 2014. Circumstances referred to in the second paragraph of Article 15. Therefore, it was ruled that the disputed trademark was declared invalid on the above-mentioned goods and maintained on the remaining goods.

Therefore, from this ruling, the HiAI trademark registered by Liangfengtai is invalid in seven items including smart glasses and data processing equipment, but it is legal in 3D glasses, head-mounted virtual reality devices, and portable multimedia players.

Source: China IP Today