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August 2017
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Foshan Shunde Lantian Co. v. Zhuhai Kohler Co. & Shanghai Zitao Trading Co. Utility Model Patent Infringement Case

In March 2017, Foshan Shunde Lantian Industrial Co., LTD. (hereinafter“plaintiff”) brought an action against Zhuhai Kohler Hutch Products Co., LTD. and Shanghai Zitao Trading Company Co., LTD. (hereinafter “the two defendants”) at Guangzhou IP Court, claiming 500,000 RMB in damages, on the ground that the identical drainage switches the two defendants produced infringe the plaintiff’s utility model patent right, which the plaintiff applied and granted in 2007.

Chang Tsi & Partners represented the defendant in this case. Our lawyer Ms. Xu Ruihong led her team in a rigorous manner, gathering and organizing abundant evidence and formulating a practical strategy for the case. Over the course of the trial, Chang Tsi’s team successfully argued our case, and not only persuaded the court to accept our claims, but also persuaded the judge to ask the plaintiff to withdraw the suit. We saved Kohler from an economic loss of 500,00RMB, effectively defending and maintaining its interests.

In the process of the general civil procedure trial, the result of the judgment is usually agreed upon after the adjournment of the collegial chamber. A highlight of this case is that we successfully persuaded the judge to accept our claim, and secured a rare win where the judge requests the plaintiff to withdraw the lawsuit. Ms. Xu combined years of litigation experience with deep understanding of the laws and regulations to attack the plaintiff’s arguments.

In former litigations, we represented large foreign enterprises, and advocated for the rights and interests as plaintiff. However, this is a contrasting case in which Kohler, a famous bathroom ware enterprise, acted as the defendant, causing the industry to pay close attention. This case reflects that with the gradual improvement of Chinese judicial system and legislation, it is entirely possible for big international enterprises to become defendants in China. This warrants the advice to strengthen your protection and consciousness of intellectual property rights, rely on both spear and shield, promote intellectual property rights to a corporate strategic level, take advantage of professional law firms, and to build up your enterprise’s intellectual property defenses.