Typical cases of IP courts of Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou

Updated : 2015-10-09

The Supreme People’s Court introduced the IP courts of Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou at a press conference on Sept 9 in Beijing, where the chief judges of those courts outlined the courts’ operations and plans.

At the conference, the SPC also released reports of a group of 14 typical cases decided by the three IP courts.

The cases are as follows:

Case No 1: Dispute on medical equipment invention patent right between enterprise and individual

1. Background

Xiangyu Medical Equipment Co Ltd, an Anyang-based medical equipment manufacturer in Henan province, applied for invalidation of Cui Xuewei's patent of a moxibustion instrument, patent number 94119284.9. The Patent Reexamination Board sustained the administrative board’s decision to support the patent’s validity. The company refused to accept that decision and brought administrative appeal proceedings to the Beijing Intellectual Property Court.

2. Ruling

The Beijing IP Court determined that the scope for protection of patent rights in this case was clear. The invention’s instruction manual indicated that the patent was creative and complied with the Patent Law of the People’s Republic of China and its implementing regulations. Furthermore, an amendment to the patent application document made by the patent holder was within the scopes of the original manual and the patent claim document. Consequently, the court upheld the administrative decision.

Neither of the parties filed an appeal and the decision has come into effect.

3. Significance

Moxibustion treatment, a therapy in traditional Chinese medicine, was combined with electromagnetic technology in the patent, with functions of automatic warming and temperature control. Since the patent applies to many practical applications in the treatment field, it has been of wide concern to users of traditional Chinese medical equipment.

This case illustrates many factors in an application for invalidation of a patent: whether the scope of patent protection is clear, whether the claim can be supported by the description, whether the amendment of patent application documents is or is not beyond the scope of the original specification and the claim, and whether the patent rights are creative. In this case, the judgment was in favor of the inventor.

Case No. 2: Dispute on energy-saving invention patent right between a Beijing company and a Zhengzhou enterprise

1. Background

Beijing Hailin Energy Technology Company applied for invalidation of Zhengzhou-based Chunquan Energy-saving Co Ltd’s patent, an invention patent of an identification method and device for multi-gear speed motors based on the technology of voltage mutual inductance, patent number 200810231195.5.

The Patent Reexamination Board declared that all the patent rights involved in the case were invalid. Chunquan Company refused to accept the decision and brought administrative proceedings to the Beijing Intellectual Property Court.

2. Ruling

The Beijing IP Court heard the case and ruled that all the claimed patent rights were creative and the Patent Reexamination Board’s judgment was in error, so the court overturned the previous decision and ordered the board to correct it.

Neither of the parties has filed an appeal and the decision has come into effect.

3. Significance

This case involves an invention patent concerning complicated technical issues in electronics. The court reviewed the relevant technologies carefully and, following the Three-Step method for identifying patent creativity, overturned the Patent Reexamination Board‘s decision.

The decision in this case protects an inventor’s legitimate legal interests.

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