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Universal Pictures Open Day and IPR Protection Sharing Meeting

Create Time:2021-09-27

On September 15, member representatives of the Quality Brands Protection Committee of China Association of Enterprises with Foreign Investment (QBPC) visited Universal Pictures' office in Beijing, and attended the Intellectual Property Protection Sharing Meeting. The legal team of Universal Pictures introduced the company’s business development in China and shared their knowledge and experience on IPR protection in the film industry.

John Bourne, Vice President of Legal at Universal Pictures, delivered the opening speech. He welcomed the member representatives present at the meeting and expressed his gratitude to the QBPC for its efforts and long-term support. He said that the grand opening of Universal Beijing Resort was momentous to the company. Universal Pictures attached great importance to its brand and IP protection. While the licensed products were entering this huge and exciting market, the brand protection work had to be brought to the next level. He spoke highly of the work of QBPC in protecting local and international brands. He hoped that the new destination would bring new opportunities to meet and collaborate with other QBPC members.

Michael Ding, Chairman of QBPC, thanked Universal Pictures for their invitation. He said that QBPC members possessed rich experience and expertise in IPR protection, and through the platform of QBPC, members could exchange ideas and have in-depth discussion on how legal work could provide added value to the company's business activities. He expected the representatives to actively participate in the meeting, interact with each other and take back experience and skills valuable for their respective companies. 

Yao Yao, Senior Legal Counsel at Universal Pictures, introduced Universal’s business model in China and the daily work of the legal department. Starting with the images used to build the theme park, Yao Yao listed their main IP rights under the Universal brand and explained the preparation work needed to bring Universal movies, the origin of their IP rights, into China market. Featuring a comparison between "legal counsel of a film company in the eyes of others" and " legal counsel of a film company in reality”, Yao Yao effectively shared her ideas in a pleasant and relaxing way, which, increased members' understanding of legal work in the film industry.

Lawyer Zhang Hongkai’s speech was focused on movie business related IP thoughts. The booming of the pan-entertainment industry in China increased the importance of the legal department in supporting business activities. Hongkai shared his thoughts on what made an ideal IP worker from the legal perspective, and how to leverage trademarks, copyrights, and merchandising rights under the Anti Unfair Competition Law to protect IPRs of film industry. He also expounded his views on the clearance issue by walking the audience through a classic case and made in-depth analysis on making proper use of ideas, materials, and scene settings in the movie to ensure smooth publishing.

In the Q&A session, the speakers and attendees discussed further on protecting film related IPRs with different methods, whether an unreleased film was qualified as trade secret, potential risks of film title translation, and infringements by short video clips. The sharing meeting was followed by a unique movie-screening session arranged by the Universal Pictures and the Open Day event came to a successful conclusion.