Firm wins IPR lawsuit against Schneider

Updated: 2007-09-29 22:06

WENZHOU, Zhejiang -- A Chinese low-voltage product company won a patent infringement lawsuit against French Schneider Electric and its Chinese sales agent on Saturday, which involves 330 million yuan in compensation.

A court in east China's Zhejiang Province ordered that Schneider, a major electric equipment maker, and its authorized distributor Leqing Branch of Star Electric Equipment Co. Ltd. in Zhejiang, stop selling five models of products that are based on the technology owned by Chint Group, China's leading manufacturer of low-voltage electric apparatus.

In addition, Schneider should pay 334.8 million yuan (US$43 milion) in ten days to compensate China's economic losses due to the unauthorized production and sales of the apparatus, according to the verdict handed down by Wenzhou Intermediate People's court on Saturday afternoon.

Court investigations show that Schneider earned 883.6 million yuan (US$117 million) by selling the five models of apparatus, which fell in the protected scope of Chint's patent right, from August 2004 to July 2006 and made a profit of 334.8 million yuan.

Before the court ruling, the State Intellectual Property Office had refuted Schneider's application of invalidating the disputed technology, which is "a crucial step for Chint that confirms the legal foundation of the case," said Xu Zhiwu, Chint's legal representative.

The amount of compensation is believed to be the highest in China concerning intellectual property disputes.

Schneider Electric had no immediate comment.

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