Patent invalidation system reform to make 10-year cases a thing of the past

By Wang Yadong and Lu Lei, Run Ming Law Office

As the number of patent dispute cases increases, issues such as revolving-door lawsuits and abuse of invalidation procedure by suspected infringers have drawn attention across all sectors of society. Gradually, a cry for reform of the patent invalidation system has arisen. The Ericsson patent infringement case in which the authors had a hand is a typical case in this regard.

Wang Yadong Executive Partner Run Ming Law Office
Wang Yadong
Executive Partner
Run Ming Law Office

In 2000, a certain company and two individuals (the plaintiffs) took Ericsson China and Beijing Ericsson (collectively, Ericsson) to court on the grounds that a certain Ericsson mobile phone model infringed their patent. At the time, they instituted legal actions against Motorola and Alcatel based on the same patent. These cases were widely reported in the media and drew broad attention as cases where Chinese patent holders accused multinational corporations of infringement and sought massive damages.

In 2012, after nearly 12 years, the Beijing Municipal Higher People’s Court rendered its judgment in the first instance dismissing all of the plaintiffs’ claims. The Plaintiffs subsequently appealed to the Supreme People’s Court, then followed with an application to withdraw the suit. Ultimately, in 2013, the Supreme People’s Court rendered a ruling permitting the plaintiffs to withdraw their suit. After 12 years, Ericsson had finally been proven the winner and the case concluded.

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Wang Yadong is the executive partner and Lu Lei is a partner at Run Ming Law Office.

(Run Ming Law Office)

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