The Supreme People's Court issued the "Top 10 IPR cases, 10 innovative cases and 50 typical cases concerning IPR protection in 2014" on April 20, 2014. Two cases represented by CCPIT Patent and Trademark Law Office were included in the "10 Innovative Cases". The case Apple Inc. v. the Patent Reexamination Board (i.e. the PRB) (Beijing High People's Court (2014) High Court (IP) Final No.2815) on the rejection of a design patent application represented by CCPIT Patent and Trademark Law Office was included in the 10 Innovative Cases in 2014 and the re-trial case concerning the trademark Reg. No. 3060409 "??? (ZF in Chinese)", with ZF LENKSYSTEME GMBH (ZF GMBH) vs. Trademark Review and Adjudication Board (TRAB) and Huichang Electrical Machinery Co., Ltd (Huichang Company) (Supreme Court (2014) Administration Retrial No.2) was elected as one of the 50 Typical Cases in 2014.
Apple Inc. v. the PRB concerns whether GUI is patentable for a design patent. The Beijing High Court held that although the Guidelines For Patent Examination stipulates that the graph shown after the product is electrified shall not be granted a design patent, whether the design concerned is a patentable subject matter shall be examined according to Article 2 of the Patent Law, instead of according to the Patent Examination Guidelines. In applying a design patent for GUI, the applicant shall appropriately clarify which parts can be shown only after being electrified in the drawings, photos or descriptions. The Court finally held that, a GUI, when combined with a physical object, is patentable for a design patent.
In the re-trial case ZF GMBH v. the TRAB and Huichang Company, the Supreme People's Court made an express interpretation to the term "the interested party" and made a judgment in favor of ZF GMBH.