SIPC’s First Application of Act Preservation during Litigation According to the New Judicial Interpretations

On the afternoon of April 15, 2019, the plaintiff in an invention patent infringement dispute being heard by SIPC rushed to the court and requested the court to order that the respondent (the defendant in the case) immediately stop exhibiting two “Foldable boxes” at a booth of the N1 Pavilion of the Asian Fresh Distribution Exhibition held at the Shanghai New International Expo Center from April 15 to 17. Upon receipt of the application, the presiding judge of the case immediately organized a hearing and called the respondent’s legal representative. And the respondent confirmed that the products on display include the alleged infringing products in the case. The invention patent in question remains valid so far; the respondent has not applied for invalidity of the patent right involved, and the case in question has been heard, so the applicant’s claim has a certain factual basis and legal basis. Also, the exhibition will be more time-sensitive and have a greater impact. If the respondent’s behavior constitutes infringement, then the applicant’s intellectual property rights are being infringed, with an ever-increasing scope. In addition, the guarantee provided by the applicant exceeds the damage caused by act preservation to the respondent, and implementing act preservation during litigation won’t harm the public interest. Accordingly, SIPC made a ruling on act preservation in accordance with the law on the same day. On the morning of April 16, the presiding judge and the judge’s assistant went to the exhibition to serve the ruling of act preservation, and informed both parties of their rights and obligations. The respondent voluntarily fulfilled his obligation to ruling and took the two alleged infringing products on display off the shelf, and the applicant affirmed that. The case is the first patent infringement case that SIPC ruled act preservation during litigation. It is also the first act preservation ruling since the Provisions of the Supreme People’s Court on Several Issues concerning the Application of Law in Examining Cases Involving Act Preservation in Intellectual Property Disputes took into effect on January 1, 2019. According to the Provisions, the situation can be seen as “urgent” as the applicant’s intellectual property rights are being or are about to be infringed on time-sensitive occasions such as the trade exhibition. In this case, act preservation is decided based on the Provisions, which protects the legitimate rights and interests of the patent owner, and does not expand the scope nor adversely affect the normal holding of the exhibition. Promoting the construction of a legal business environment, it has achieved better legal and social effects.

 

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