Apple, Xiaomi face patent law suits, Mitsubishi and 3M sign patent licensing agreement and more patent news

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In this week’s Patent News – U.S based InterDigital files two patent infringement suits against Xiaomi in India; Apple to pay $506 million by way of damages to Optis Wireless Technology; Apple Inc. faces patent infringement law suit in China; General Electronics files complaint against Siemens Gamesa with USITC; Kingston signs licensing agreement with Wi-LAN’s subsidiaries; Mitsubishi signs patent licensing agreement with 3M; USPTO Federal Register issues notice on Setting and Adjusting Patent Fees during Fiscal Year 2020; Amazon announces expansion of Project Zero in seven new countries; Chinese Premier signs decree to strengthen IPR protection in the country.

PATENT INFRINGEMENT / DISPUTE UPDATES

U.S based InterDigital files two patent infringement suits against Xiaomi in India

US based InterDigital, Inc. has filed two patent infringement lawsuits against Xiaomi, In India. The two lawsuits, filed in the High Court of Delhi, involve eight Indian patents, namely – Patent No. 262910; Patent No. 295912; Patent No. 298719; Patent No. 313036; Patent No. 320182; Patent Nos. 242248 and 299448; Patent No. 308108. InterDigital is seeking an injunction as well as punitive and compensatory damages from Xiaomi.

Apple to pay $506 million by way of damages to Optis Wireless Technology

The Federal Jury of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas has awarded $506.2 million in patent royalties to Optis Wireless Technology in connection with a patent infringement lawsuit. The lawsuit, filed against Apple Inc., involved seven patents related to 4G LTE technology. As per reports, Optis Wireless had previously made efforts to enter into a licensing agreement with the tech giant. The company had even offered a global licensing agreement for using the SEP related to the LTE technology.  However, all negotiations remained ineffective.

Apple Inc. faces patent infringement law suit in China

A Chinese company by the name of Shanghai Zhizhen Intelligent Network Technology Co., Ltd has filed a lawsuit against Apple Inc. for patent infringement at the Shanghai High People’s Court. Shanghai Zhizhen, most commonly known as Xiaoi Robot, has accused the tech giant of infringing its Chinese Patent No. ZL200410053749.9

After Shanghai Zhizhen’s patent was granted in 2009, the company instituted a lawsuit for patent infringement against Apple Computer Trading (Shanghai) Co., Ltd. with the Shanghai No. 1 Intermediate People’s Court. Apple in turn filed an application to invalidate the patent with the Patent Reexamination Board of the State Intellectual Property Office. On 28th June 2020, Supreme People’s Court confirmed the validity of the patent.

The current suit, filed on 3rd August, 2020 comes in furtherance to the above legal battle. Shanghai Zhizhen is now seeking 10 billion RMB as an award for damages and an injunction.

General Electronics files complaint against Siemens Gamesa with USITC

As per a recent statement by General Electronics Co., the company has filed a patent infringement suit against Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy Inc., Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy A/S, headquartered in Denmark and Gamesa Electric SAU, based in Spain. GE has asked the United States International Trade Commission (USITC) to investigate the U.S market for variable speed wind turbine generators and other components sold by Siemens Gamesa. According to GE, Siemens Gamesa’s wind turbines infringe its low-voltage-ride-through and zero-voltage-ride-through technologies that are patented by the company. GE said that “the protection of intellectual property rights is the foundation for driving both innovation and investment in high technology industries…GE believes strongly in the merits of the case and will continue to protect its technology in the U.S.”

PATENT LICENSING NEWS UPDATES

Kingston signs licensing agreement with Wi-LAN’s subsidiaries

Kingston Technology Corporation, an American computer technology company, recently signed a patent licensing agreement with Wi-LAN’s subsidiaries, namely – Polaris Innovations Limited; North Star Innovations, Inc. and SecureWave Storage Solutions, Inc., bringing an end to the previously filed lawsuit. Kingston has reportedly obtained a license to the patents owned by the subsidiaries, the exact terms of the deal remain undisclosed.

Mitsubishi signs patent licensing agreement with 3M

Mitsubishi Paper Mills Ltd. recently signed a patent licensing agreement with 3M and 3M Innovative Properties Co. The licensing agreement is with regard to 3M’s “Metal Mesh Technology,” which is mainly used in touch sensors but has a wide range of applicability.

INTERNATIONAL PATENT NEWS UPDATES

USPTO Federal Register issues notice on Setting and Adjusting Patent Fees during Fiscal Year 2020

On 3rd August 2020, the USPTO Federal Register issued a notice Setting and Adjusting Patent Fees during Fiscal Year 2020. As per the official USPTO public notice, the document – “Final Rule” contains information regarding the setting and adjusting of patent fees as presented in the Table of Patent Fee (see link below). The changes set in this table includes three general types of patent fee adjustments, namely – Across-the-board adjustment to patent fees; Other adjustments to existing fees; New fees and Discontinued fees. The changes stated in the notice will be effective from 2nd October 2020 onwards, except for the amendment to § 1.16(u), which will be effective from 1st January 2022.

You may click here to access the complete document and here to download the Table of Patent Fee Adjustments 

Highlights of the Final Rule: Setting and Adjusting Patent Fees during Fiscal Year 2020

  • Maintenance fee surcharge (Large entity): increased from $160 to $500 
  • Request for expedited examination of a design application (Large entity):increased from $900 to $1,600
  • Utility issue fee (Large entity):increased from $1,000 to $1,200
  • Reissue issue fee (Large entity): increased from $1,000 to $1,200
  • 5-year Maintenance Fee (Large entity): – increased from $1,600 to $2,000 
  • 5-year Maintenance Fee(Large entity):   increased from $3,600 to $3,760 
  • 5-year Maintenance Fee(Large entity): increased from $7,400 to $7,700

You may click here to access the USPTO public notice.

Amazon announces expansion of Project Zero in seven new countries

E-commerce giant, Amazon Inc., has announced the expansion of Project Zero in seven new countries, namely –  Australia, Brazil, Turkey, Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, UAE and Singapore. Amazon’s Project Zero was launched for the first time in 2019 as an effort to effectively control counterfeit goods that are sold on the platform by identifying, blocking and removing counterfeits. The project primarily ensures that Amazon’s customers only have access to authentic goods. Project Zero was launched in India in November, last year. It is now available in 17 countries.

You may click here for more information on Project Zero.

Chinese Premier signs decree to strengthen IPR protection in the country

Li Keqiang, Premier of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China, recently signed a decree to amend the Provisions on Reference of Suspected Criminal Cases by Administrative Law-enforcement Organs and insert a new paragraph to Article 3 of the provision. The amendment consists of procedures that is to be followed by the Administrative Law Enforcement departments to refer all “suspected criminal cases on IPR” to the Criminal Justice Authorities.

Authored and compiled by Vibha Amarnath


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