Announcement of Successful Legal Action for Infringement of Copyright against Chinese Manufacturer of Electronic Music Instruments

Yamaha Corporation (hereinafter "Yamaha") is pleased to announce that our legal action against Medeli Electronics Co., Ltd (得理電子有限公司, hereinafter "Medeli" or "Defendant" *1) at the court in Hong Kong for infringement of copyright in Yamaha's music data for automatic accompaniment (hereinafter "Style Data" *2) is successfully drawn to a conclusion as follows.

1. Summary of the Action

In March 2020, Yamaha commenced the legal proceedings against Medeli in the High Court of Hong Kong for copyright infringement, alleging that Defendant copied, without Yamaha's authorization, multiple numbers of Yamaha's Style Data (which had been preset in 46 models of Yamaha's portable keyboards and digital pianos) and installed them into Defendant's electronic musical instruments, manufacturing and selling the same under the MEDELI brand. Whilst the Court granted the judgment in favor of Yamaha in January 2022, now that the Defendant has paid to Yamaha USD850,000 for damages and legal costs, the proceeding is drawn to a conclusion.

2. Highlights of the Judgment

  • to cease any use of Yamaha's Style Data without authorization and destroy any remaining copies
  • to cease offering, recall and destroy the products to which the Style Data is installed
  • to pay damages and Yamaha's legal costs

In 2006, Yamaha brought legal proceedings for copyright infringement against four (4) companies including two (2) of Defendant's group companies, and the court of the People's Republic of China awarded the judgment in favor of Yamaha. In addition to that, the Defendant this time admitted its infringement of copyright in Yamaha's Style Data and paid the damages (including Yamaha's legal costs) amounting to USD850,000, the fact of which indicates the value of Style Data that serves as one of the important functions of musical instruments. We appreciate that the successful protection of Style Data as copyright works has profound significance for the deterrence of similar infringement matters.

Yamaha positions intellectual property as an important management resource. Yamaha is resolute to confront any infringing actions and takes every measure to protect our intellectual property.

  • *1 About Medeli, the Defendant
    Medeli is a manufacturer of electronic musical instruments headquartered in Hong Kong, engaging in development, manufacturing and sales of electronic musical instruments.
  • *2 "Style Data" and Automatic Accompaniment Function
    Automatic Accompaniment Function is a function that, just by the user striking and holding a chord, the electronic musical instrument plays the accompaniment parts automatically. Yamaha calls the data of music patterns in various genres, such as pop, jazz, latin and dance music, "Style Data".
    We believe that the high quality of Style Data appeals to customers and it is one of the reasons to be chosen by customers. Therefore, Yamaha continuously strives for creating and developing Style Data, by means of sophisticated skills and creativity, and by significant investments.
  • The content of the press release is accurate as of the date of publication, but please note that it may be subject to change following publication.
  • Product names, company names, etc. in this document are trademarks or registered trademarks of this company and other companies.