On August 1, 2017, the CNIPA decided on the examination of invalidation request No. 32984, upholding the validity of the patent. Dissatisfied with the result, the invalidation petitioner filed an administrative lawsuit. The Beijing Intellectual Property Court made the first instance judgment: revoke the accused decision made by the CNPIA and order a reexamination on the request for invalidation of the patent involved. On behalf of the client, Sanyou refused to accept the first instance judgment and filed an appeal. The Supreme People's Court revoked the first instance judgment and upheld the patent.
In this case, the Supreme People's Court confirmed the legal principle of "consideration of invention conception in the identification of distinguished technical features". Specifically, when determining the distinguishing technical features of the claimed invention in contrast to the closest prior art, it is necessary to identify the technical difference between the invention and the closest prior art based on the inventive concept. If the inventive concept lies in the combination of the corresponding technical means, and the prior art neither directly nor implicitly discloses the teaching of this combination, nor does it disclose the technical effects that this combination can produce, then the combination of the technical means protected by the invention shall be treated as a whole in identifying distinguishing technical features, and it is not appropriate to use a single technical means as the reason in determining distinguishing technical features.
This case was selected by the Supreme People's Court as a typical case in 2020, for its strong guidance in the judgment of creativity in similar cases.