The owners of ‘Peppa Pig’, Entertainment One and Astley Baker Davies, have succeeded in the recent copyright infringement claim in China. 

Entertainment One and Astley Baker Davies became aware of an unauthorised Peppa Pig toy being sold in China and promptly sought to prevent such use via its infringement action. Although the Court agreed that the owners had proved copyright ownership, and that the infringer had taken advantage of Peppa Pig’s popularity, it also held that they did not provide sufficient evidence proving specific monetary losses. Accordingly, the infringer was ordered to pay back relatively minimal costs (RMB 30,000) and (crucially) cease selling the toy.

As copyright is an automatic right, in territories which are party to the Berne Convention, it can often be forgotten. However, this case is a good reminder that copyright is an important IP right, particularly in first to file territories such as China. Given the importance of copyright, ensuring that the copyright does in fact belong to you or your company is vital. It is also worth noting that copyright, whilst automatic, may also be registrable in some territories. Indeed, it is a registrable right in China.