Cengage Settles Intellectual Property Lawsuit against 31abc Kid English
Cengage Protects VIPKid’s Contractual Exclusive Online Right to OUR WORLD Title
BEIJING, China, August 15, 2019 – Cengage Learning Inc. (“Cengage”), an education and technology company, has settled an intellectual property rights lawsuit in Shanghai Yangpu District Court against Shanghai Haoxing Network Technology Co., Ltd.（”SHNT”）, operating as 31abc Kid English. SHNT published a statement on People’s Court Daily on August 7, 2019 as following:
Our company, Shanghai Haoxing Network Technology Co., Ltd., operating as 31abc Kid English, declares and promises that from 31 July 2019, it will immediately stop using the framework of “National Geographic: Our World” family suites of Cengage Learning Inc., and immediately stop reproducing, modifying, adapting, playing and using in any form Cengage Learning Inc.’s (National Geographic Society’s included) copyrighted e-courseware of “National Geographic: Our World” family suites including videos, pictures and audios etc. in online English courses registered in the domain name “31abc.com” and/or “teacher.31abc.com” (any other sites now known or which shall become known), and immediately stop reproducing and uploading the above e-courseware to information network for downloading by its users.
Our company, Shanghai Haoxing Network Technology Co., Ltd., operating as 31abc Kid English, declares and promises that from 31 July ,2019, it will immediately stop using the trademarks” the National Geographic logo inclusive of the yellow border ” and “National Geographic” on our websites registered in the domain name “31abc.com” and/or “teacher.31abc.com” (any other sites now known or which shall become known) (including but not limited to the old and the current version, and the version for teacher recruitment, etc.); and stop using “美国国家地理(the Chinese translation of National Geographic)”, “National Geographic” and “Our World”, “圣智学习（the Chinese translation of Cengage Learning）“ in the promotion of our online course on our website, Wechat account and Weibo account during our customer service, or in any other marketing, sales or commercial context.
Due to the misunderstanding of intellectual property, we have infringed the IP right of Cengage Learning Inc. Through efforts and under the mediation of the court, both parties have reached an agreement. We sincerely apologize for any adverse effects that 31abc Kid English has caused through its unlawful use of “Our World” and trademarks” the National Geographic logo inclusive of the yellow border ” and “National Geographic” in its business, marketing and promotion which have possibly misled the public and caused unnecessary losses to Cengage Learning Company as well as any misunderstanding or inconvenience caused to our users due to the above improper action.
Cengage takes the protection of its Intellectual Property rights very seriously and will defend its intellectual property against all infringing behaviors according to law. In order to ensure a positive customer experience, Cengage hereby reminds Chinese consumers to use original books, products and services provided by Cengage’s cooperative partners.
Cengage further clarifies: VIPKid and Cengage have entered into a partnership agreement whereby Cengage has contractually granted VIPkid exclusive online rights for Our World, 1st edition (“Our World”) in the People’s Republic of China (excluding Taiwan, Hong Kong SAR and Macau SAR) (the “Territory”). Under its SayABC brand, VIPKid has launched a successful online English course deploying the National Geographic Learning brand and Our World educational content. Cengage is committed to support VIPKid and all of its Chinese partners and to protect VIPKid’s contractual exclusive online rights to Our World in the Territory.
About Cengage Learning
Cengage is the education and technology company built for learners. As the largest US-based provider of teaching and learning materials for higher education, we offer valuable options at affordable price points. Our industry-leading initiatives include Cengage Unlimited, the first-of-its-kind all-access digital subscription service. We embrace innovation to create learning experiences that build confidence and momentum toward the future students want. Headquartered in Boston, Cengage also serves K-12, library and workforce training markets around the world. Visit us at www.cengage.com or find us on Facebook or Twitter.
About National Geographic Learning
National Geographic Learning, a part of Cengage, develops programs for learning English that bring the world to the classroom and the classroom to life. Its print and digital materials incorporate the compelling content and photography of National Geographic and TED Talks to make learning English meaningful and motivating.
VIPKid is a global education technology company that connects children with the world’s best teachers for real-time online English immersion learning. Founded in 2013, VIPKid has become China’s market-leading online education startup, attracting investment from Tencent, Coatue Management, Sequoia Capital, Yunfeng Capital among others. The VIPKid platform currently connects over 600,000 paying students with over 70,000 teachers based in the US and Canada. VIPKid envisions a global classroom that empowers students and teachers through personalized learning, connects cultures across the world and ignites a passion for lifelong learning.