Việt Nam animation studio wins lawsuit against owner of "Peppa Pig" (UK) in a Russian court

September, 08/2022 - 08:49

Sconnect, a Vietnamese animation studio, has just won a lawsuit regarding intellectual property rights against British enterprise Entertainment One UK Limited (EO) in a court in Moscow, Russia.

Vietnamese cartoon Wolfoo has had 2,700 episodes and reached 30 billion views globally. — VNS File Photo

HÀ NỘI — Sconnect, a Vietnamese animation studio, has just won a lawsuit regarding intellectual property rights against British enterprise Entertainment One UK Limited (EO) in a court in Moscow, Russia.

EO filed a lawsuit against Sconnect Việt Nam (Sconnect) alleging that the Wolfoo cartoon characters, owned by Sconnect, plagiarised its Peppa Pig characters. 

During the proceedings in Russia, the representative of Sconnect Việt Nam presented legal evidence and documents proving the intellectual property rights to the Wolfoo characters and cartoon.

In July, after an independent assessment, Russian art and literature experts concluded that the Wolfoo character set was not a remake of the Peppa Pig character set.

Immediately after the conclusion by Russian experts, the EO side withdrew all claims and this was accepted by the court to withdraw the lawsuit.

According to a ruling on July 7, the court said Sconnect's Wolfoo characters did not have any intellectual property infringement against EO's Peppa Pig characters.

After winning the case, Sconnect filed a countersuit against EO to claim compensation for damages caused by EO.

Peppa Pig is a set of cartoon characters about a family of pigs, with 450 episodes.

It was released in 2008 and shown on television in some European countries and the UK.

Wolfoo is a character set and animated series of content about a little wolf and his family and friends released in 2018.

With the number of videos produced so far, about 2,700 episodes have been translated into 17 languages. and published on YouTube, television and social networking platforms in many countries.

EO is the owner of the cartoon character Peppa Pig, while Sconnect is the owner of the cartoon character Wolfoo.

The legal battle for intellectual property rights to children's cartoon characters with billions of views is taking a new turn.

Sconnect Việt Nam filed a lawsuit at the People's Court of Hà Nội, suing two businesses based in London (UK) namely Entertainment One UK Limited and Astley Baker Davies Limited for illegal use of trademarks and images of Wolfoo cartoon characters.

In the petition and documents sent to the People's Court of Hà Nội, Sconnect accused EO of illegally using the Wolfoo trademark in Peppa Pig videos, and asked the court to consider the ruling forcing EO to stop the trademark infringement and publicly apologised to Sconnect on three international newspapers.

Previously, Sconnect filed a lawsuit to the Việt Nam National Competition Commission to complain about unfair competition practices of EO (violating clauses 3 and 4, Article 45 of the Law on Competition) at the end of March.

Specifically, EO sent untrue information that damaged the reputation and honour of Sconnect and the Wolfoo cartoon character set.

At the same time, EO also used many tricks to disrupt and suspend Sconnect's business in the digital environment, causing significant economic damage to Sconnect. It is calculated that EO's behaviour caused Sconnect to lose up to US$300,000.

Lawyer Phan Văn Anh, representing Sconnect, said that Sconnect would continue to file an EO lawsuit with the Hà Nội People's Court for the act of impersonating the Wolfoo cartoon owner and using technical measures to prevent illegal intellectual property rights in September. — VNS

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