[Shanghai Science and Technology Daily] How should Sci-tech Workers Promote Science and Provide Consultation WhenMore and More New Technologies Appear in IP Cases

April 25, 2019, Shanghai Science and Technology Daily: A1

(By: Geng Ting) On April 24, at Shanghai Science Hall, Shanghai Intellectual Property Court (SIPC) and Shanghai Association for Science and Technology (SAST)jointly held a symposium on the trial of intellectual property cases involving scientific and technological innovation and the protection of intellectual property rights of sci-tech enterprises and sci-tech workers. At the symposium, SIPC briefed on the trial of patent cases and computer software copyright cases and released the typical cases in 2017 and 2018. More than 20 people from multinational tech giants and private tech companies in Shanghai, as well as the sci-tech workers from scientific research institutes also shared their opinions.

Ma Xingfa, Party Secretary and Vice President of SAST, said that we should leverage the resources and experts of SAST to carry out technical consultation and intellectual property appraisal, to serve the sci-tech workers and scientific and technological innovation. President Chen Yajuan, Vice President Li Shulan and Adjudgment Committee member Chen Huizhen of SIPC, and Li Hongming, Vice President of SAST, also attended the symposium.

Increasing content of new technologies in patent cases

According to the White Paper issued by SIPC, the court accepted 1,074 patent cases in 2017 and 2018, up 6% from 2015 and 2016. Among them, 882 cases, or 82%, concern the infringement of patent rights.

Statistics show that the patent cases in Shanghai present a marked rise in disputes over service inventions. From 2015 to 2016, SIPC accepted 57 disputes service inventions. From 2017 to 2018, that number reached 87, an increase of 53%. The cases are mainly caused by disputes over patent ownership or reward/remuneration between the employee and the employer. For example, in the case of Micro Port vs. Newmed over the right to apply for patent for invention,Yu was head of MicroPort’s Frontline Technology Department before he joined Newmed. He, together with Wang and Qin, who are also former employees of MicroPort, applied for the patent of a “heart valve transport device.” MicroPort claimed that the patent involved was a service invention. The court held thatYu has very strong R&D capability in this field, and it had been less than one year since Wang left MicroPort, so the invention had a strong correlation with his former job. After reasonable consideration of the contribution of the employee-inventors to the R&D of the invention, the court decided that both companies are entitled to apply for patent for invention involved in the case.

The increasing number of cases concerning new technologies such as communication technology, gene detection, biomedicine, 3D printing, mobile phone chips and industrial design software is another feature of Shanghai’s patent cases.

For example, the patent case of Siemens vs. Meizu concerns the standard and essential patents for communication technology; the patent case of Madison vs. Guilin Pharma concerns medical patents; the patent case of Silead Inc. vs. Goodix concerns the patent for biometric sensors...

In terms of computer software copyright, SIPC accepted 702 cases in 2017 and 2018, an increase of 13.04% over 2015 and 2016. Among them, the cases over contract disputes account for 81.74%, up nearly 30% from the previous two years. The growth is mainly made up by the disputes over computer development contracts. At the same time, the amount of subject matter involved in computer software copyright cases has risen sharply, with an average of RMB 1.46 million in 2017 and 2018, an increase of 70.76% over the previous two years. The largest amount of subject matter reached RMB 99.9 million.

Ms. Chen Yajuan said that SIPC will always focus on the effectiveness of trial, and ensure the leading role of the judiciary in protecting intellectual property rights through fair and efficient trial and in-depth publicity of intellectual property rights protection, thereby creating a legal environment which is conducive to scientific and technological innovation, and helping more sci-tech enterprises and workers gain a stronger sense of accomplishment.

Attracting more scientists and technicians

Mr. Ma Xingfa said that under the background of the construction of Shanghai Science and Technology Innovation Center, the protection of intellectual property rights is particularly important. It is the basic approach to stimulate scientific and technological innovation, and the fundamental guarantee for the motive force of scientific and technological innovation. SAST has always regarded intellectual property rights as an important part to serve the scientific and technological innovation center and the sci-tech workers, and it has been working proactively in that regard. Leveraging the wide range of disciplines covered by SAST’s 200 member associations and the gathering of technical experts, Shanghai Science and Technology Consulting Service Center, SAST’s affiliate, has completed more than 500 tasks entrusted by the public prosecution and the judiciary, covering patents, trademarks, copyrights, etc., and has been highly recognized by government departments and industries.

He pointed out that SAST should deepen its cooperation with Shanghai Intellectual Property Court, give full play to its unique advantages in terms of expert channels, human resources, technology platforms and international networks, and strive to create a scientific and technological intellectual property service brand that matches the international science and technology innovation center.

“More than a decade ago, I was recommended by SAST to participate in the technical appraisal regarding intellectual property rights.” said Cheng Xiaoming, an expert of the Institute of Judicial Appraisal of Intellectual Property, Shanghai Scientific and Technological Consulting Service Center and associate professor of the School of Mechanical and Dynamic Engineering of Shanghai Jiaotong University. He said that as the intellectual property cases contain the most scientific and technological elements, they need more “intellectual” support. At present, Shanghai has formed a technical fact-finding mechanism containing four aspects: technical investigation, technical consultation, expert jury and technical appraisal.

According to the White Paper, from 2017 to 2018, technical investigators completed technical consultation, preservation, investigation and appeared in court for more than 200 times. They have done a great job in assisting the judges with technical disputes. For example, in the patent case brought by Canon Inc., the technical investigator gave his opinion on whether the infringed product falls in the scope of patent protection, which helped the judges find out the infringement facts. Neither the plaintiff nor the defendant appealed after the judgment. Expert jurors participated in the trial of 121 patent cases. When hearing the cases involving specialized areas such as machinery and biomedicine, expert jurors used their technical expertise to accurately identify the technical facts of the patents involved.

“Science and technology are changing with each passing day, and new technologies are emerging in endlessly. I think we should fully mobilize the resources of SAST, approach young scientists and technicians in different fields and encourage them to join the judicial team on intellectual property rights,” said Cheng Xiaoming.“As a technical expert, we should not only make professional technical judgments, but also help the judges understand the new technologies better.”

 

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