CPA's Two Winning Patent Administrative Cases Selected as Exemplary IPR Cases of 2014
 

Recently, Summary of the Annual Report on Intellectual Property Rights Cases of the Supreme People's Court of China (SPC) for 2014 was published. The summary outlined 50 issues concerning application of law as concluded from 35 selected exemplary IPR cases closed at SPC during the year. China Patent Agent (H.K.) Ltd. (CPA) is glad to report that two of our winning cases were among the selected cases.
 
Both of the cases concerned patent administrative litigation we successfully represented our foreign clients before the court. In one of the cases we were entrusted by a leading multinational specialty chemicals company against the Patent Reexamination Board (PRB), which had requested a retrial by SPC following its reexamination decision regarding a patent application of the client being revoked by the courts of first and second instance.  According to the conclusion of the case in the summary, despite the fact that the scope of examination under the substantive defect of obviousness in the stages of preliminary examination, substantive examination, and reexamination and invalidation may differ, the obvious substantive defect in the preliminary examination should be applicable to substantive examination as well as reexamination and invalidation. That is, the adjudication of SPC emphasised the importance of procedural justice, allowing no extension of the interpretation of one substantive defect to cover another.
 
The other selected case of our firm concerned a patent reexamination case filed by a domestic telecommunications equipment company against our client, a major global connectivity and sensor company, and the PRB. SPC's conclusion of the case read that in determining whether a distinctive technical feature of a patent in suit corresponds to a technical feature of the prior art, and hence whether it belongs to prior art disclosure, the court should take into account the role of the technical features in their respective technical solutions. 
 
The application of law issues outlined in the summary reveal the reasoning and adjudication of certain important IPR cases by SPC. They have general guiding value and are particular useful in helping us understand how the court deals with difficult, complex IPR cases.