IWNCOMM Co., Ltd of China(IWNCOMM) recently sued Sony Mobile Communication (China) Company (Sony) that 35 sets of mobile phones produced and sold by Sony infringed its invention patent rights in the field of telecommunication, and claimed a damage of 33.36 million yuan. The Beijing IP Court has opened a court session for the case on Feb. 25th.
The agent of IWNCOMM, Xu Yonghao said that the litigation covers “safe access of movable terminal in radio local area network an secrete data communication method in radio link”(ZL02139508.X) (hereinafter referred to as “involved patent”), which was granted to IWNCOMM in 2005. The technology has become China’s national standard in wireless communication since 2003, and has been widely used by chip producers, network operators and terminal device makers.
The plaintiff IWNCOMM claimed that Sony needs to verify the WAPI function of its L39h (Xperia Z1) and other 34 different sets of mobile phones in the process of research, testing and checking up ,which concerns involved patent and consists direct infringement of IWNCOMM’s invention patent right. Besides, Sony’s selling of the involved mobile phones which infringing the plaintiff’s patent right was suspected to constitute joint tort behaviour that help others implement technology solution. IWNCOMM requested the court to order Sony to cease using involved patent and stop manufacturing and selling infringing products immediately, and compensate the economic loss and reasonable expense for more than 33.36 million yuan in all.
The defendant denied the charges claimed by IWNCOMM. The agent of Sony, Li Zhanke argued that the chips in Sony’s handsets realize the WAPI function were from suppliers. The chips are special products of involved patent, and fair use of such chips bought by Sony would not constitute patent infringement. Even though Sony used the implicated patent, the infringement were also invalid, because the patents were absorbed to national compulsory certification.
As the case involves some complex technique problem, both the plaintiff and defendant were allowed to let their expert assessors to be questioned by technique judges. Both the parties confirmed that the WAPI function of four out of thirty-five types of mobile phones was the same in the Claim 1, Claim 2, Claim 5 and Claim 6 of the implicated patent.
At press time, the case is still in trial. CIP News will follow the development of the case right along.
(by Zhu Wenming)