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Li Zhigang v. Changan Ford Automobile Co., Ltd. (Dispute over utility model infringement)
date: 2017-12-22

Background

    In June 2017, Li Zhigang applied to the Supreme People's Court for the retrial of the dispute over the utility model infringement with the Respondents, Beijing Futong Gaosheng Automobile Sales Service Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as Futong Gaosheng) and Changan Ford Automobile Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as Changan Ford). We were entrusted to represent Changan Ford in this retrial.

Process

    The key focus of this case was whether the technical solution of the disputed infringing product fell within the scope of protection of Claim 1. As to this, our attorney analyzed and studied the relevant evidence with great care and defended from a professional perspective. Finally, our defenses were supported by the Supreme People's Court.

Result

    The Supreme People's Court made the civil ruling ((2017) Zui Gao Fa Min Shen No. 2249), rejecting the retrial request filed by Li Zhigang and affirming the former judgment. This marked the end of this ten-year patent infringement lawsuit.

Comment                                                                                                                                 

    In this case, our attorneys not only fought for their opinions on the key problems, but also explained the specific technical solution from a professional perspective. They made full use of the fact that existing evidence concerning the same subject distinguished the disputed technical solution and the disputed patent, laying a good foundation for identifying the facts. Furthermore, our attorneys argued that the doctrine of equivalents related to the equivalent of technical features not the overall technical solution, strongly explaining that Li Zhigang had confused the technical solution and technical features.

Significance and effect

    It can be seen from this case that undoubtedly, appropriately and reasonably applying judicial authentication, the doctrine of equivalents and the identification of the functional restrictive technology will greatly increase the success rate of this type of case.

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