Recently, the Intellectual Property Tribunal of the SPC concluded a dispute over infringement of a utility model patent.

In this case, the first-instance court held that the defendants did not constitute patent infringement and ruled to reject the patentee's litigation claims. Then the patentee filed an appeal before the SPC. After trial, the SPC changed the first-instance judgment and ordered the defendants (hereinafter “appellees”) to stop infringement, and fully supported the patentee’s claim for damages of CNY 2.5 million by using the business performance publicly declared by the appellees as the basis for the calculation of compensation, which effectively safeguarded the legitimate rights and interests of the patentee.

In the second instance, the patentee submitted evidence to prove that the appellees had jointly carried out the act of manufacturing, selling, and offering for sale the sued infringing products, for example, the appellee declared that their cumulative construction area had reached more than 2 million square meters (the technology used in the construction fell within the scope of the patentee's utility model patent), and the appellees had publicized and displayed relevant construction cases through brochures and their official website, and they publicized and displayed relevant construction projects through posting Moments on WeChat on February 24, 2019.

Based on the above facts, the patentee claimed that the average amount of the sued infringing product used in each square meter was about 5 pieces, the unit price of the patented product was CNY3.57, CNY3.27, and a reasonable profit margin, etc., so the amount of infringement damages was CNY2.5 million. The appellees argued that the declaration of 2 million square meters was exaggerated advertising, the relevant construction cases were actually their partners’ cases, and the relevant projects did not use the sued infringing product. However, the appellees did not submit valid counter-evidence to prove their actual construction volume, nor did they submit the anchor bolt they actually used, so their claims were not tenable.

Taking into account various factors, such as the appellees’ business scale, the long duration, wide scope and obvious malice of the appellees’ infringement, the lawyer fees and notary fees and other reasonable costs incurred by the patentee for safeguarding its rights, the SPC fully supported the patentee's claim for damages of CNY 2.5 million (including a reasonable fee of CNY 24,000 for safeguarding its rights) according to law.

The SPC’s judgment in this case, by showing that small patents can also gain high compensation, highlights the judicial orientation of people's courts toward strengthening the protection of intellectual property rights and increasing the intensity of damages, and effectively guides market entities to follow the principle of good faith and respect others’ innovative achievements in business activities.

See the following link for the original text about the case: