MAY 14 I YAMAHA I LEGAL
Yamaha Protects Intellectual Property in Historic Ruling
On April 19, a settlement was reached in Yamaha’s lawsuit against Deli Electronics, a Chinese manufacturer of electronic musical instruments, and three other companies in the Beijing Second Intermediate People’s Court. Yamaha originally brought the lawsuit against the companies in November 2006, alleging they had infringed upon copyrights on accompaniment-style data created by Yamaha.
The court’s judgment was the first in the world to recognize that “style data is intellectual property that is subject to protection under copyright laws” and that “unauthorized copying of such style data is an infringement of copyrights.”
The four defendants in the lawsuit copied, without authorization from Yamaha, the style data contained in Yamaha’s PSR-640 portable keyboard, which Yamaha began manufacturing in 1999. They incorporated the style data in their MEDELI-brand electronic musical instruments and then manufactured or sold these instruments in China. A statement issued by Yamaha said the company believes this judgment is an epoch-making legal development.