Chinese enterprise wins patent lawsuits launched by US companies

By Zhang Huan (People's Daily Online) Updated : 2017-09-05

A Chinese company that develops self-balancing scooters recently won two patent infringement lawsuits launched by U.S. companies in half a month, Economic Daily reported on Sept. 4.

It was ruled that Hangzhou Chic Intelligent Technology Co., Ltd. did not infringe the two companies’patent rights in the Section 337 investigation.

Insiders disclosed that the Chinese company was not named as defendant at first, while it volunteered to respond to the lawsuit to safeguard its rights and those of other Chinese companies involved in the industry.

Finnegan, the American intellectual property law firm that represented the Chinese company, respond to the lawsuit launched by Razor and Ninebot, who applied for the general exclusion order from the United States International Trade Commission (USITC).

The scope of a general exclusion order may cover all the infringing products regardless of their origins, importers, and retailers.

Yin Qingyu, a lawyer from the law firm, revealed that the Chinese company has more than 200 patents and patent applications in the world, and this helped it fight the lawsuit.

Legal supervisor of the Chinese company Li Lu noted that if the USITC issued the limited exclusion order against all Chinese enterprises or those related to the case, or even a general exclusion order, it would have been a huge blow to many small and medium-sized enterprises in China.

It takes lots of time, money, and energy for an enterprise to respond to a Section 337 investigation launched by a U.S. company so many enterprises faced with such lawsuits usually give up their right to fight back, the lawyer stated.

However, insiders pointed out that an enterprise that refuses to respond to a lawsuit will be regarded as absence, and USITC, under the accuser’s request, can adopt measures against respondents, including either a limited or general exclusion order or an injunction.

Therefore, experts remind that even though an enterprise is not named as a defendant in a lawsuit, it can still choose to take part in the investigation as an interested party to protect its own rights.

There were more than 1,000 companies selling self-balancing scooters by the end of 2015, with an estimated market value of several billion U.S. dollars. More than ten lawsuits related to the scooters were filed from 2015 to 2016 by the USITC and district courts.