EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

01.30.18

China’s Patent Policy Likely to Drive Out Foreign Companies and Maybe That’s Just the Intention

Posted in Asia, Patents at 5:15 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

From manufacturing powerhouse to litigation hub; what would that cause to investment though?

Pudong skyline
Pudong, a district of Shanghai, China

Summary: While corporate media focuses on trade war (e.g. US almost banning Huawei-branded phones) there’s a broader picture which includes patent aspects (Huawei and other Chinese giants use patents for sanctions)

AS we noted in our last post, it’s becoming a liability for firms to operate (e.g. sell) in China, manufacture in China, or be based in China because it makes them susceptible to more patent lawsuits. Korean, Japanese, European and American firms might learn this sooner or later.

As IAM put it yesterday, “Shenzhen will play host to one of the first patent-related domestic court clashes between Chinese mobile device manufacturers following Coolpad’s launch of a suit against Xiaomi…”

IAM loves it, as its funding sources are litigators and even trolls. But what does that mean for the rest of us, who are neither litigators nor trolls?

IAM covered this latest twist in the Coolpad case (mentioned here last week), alluding to news from late on Friday:

Chinese smartphone maker Coolpad announced late Friday night that it has sued larger rival Xiaomi for infringing three Chinese invention patents. The cases will play out in the city where Coolpad is headquartered, at the Shenzhen Intermediate People’s Court. Notably, it will be one of the first major patent clashes between major players in China’s smartphone sector to play out in domestic courts.

In a voluntary disclosure filed with the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong, Coolpad said that six separate cases have been accepted by the Shenzhen Intermediate People’s Court. The plaintiff is a subsidiary of the group called Yulong Computer Telecommunication Scientific.

Korean companies like Samsung are also being legally harassed in China by patent giants and trolls. It’s not the sort of environment it used to be; it’s a lot more hostile. There are even embargoes being imposed by the state (to protect state-connected firms like Huawei).

What adds to/fans the flames of this litigation atmosphere is the poor patent scope. SIPO has gone further and further out of its way to expand the scope of patents. Last week we wrote about the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) ruling in favour of GUI patents [1, 2] (incidentally against a Korean company, LG, which we’ve just mentioned), but this lunacy which is patents on GUIs has gone wild in China. Yesterday Managing IP published this article about that:

At the end of December 2017, Beijing IP Court decided the first GUI (graphical user interface) patent infringement case in China. This case is a battle between two anti-virus software giants: the plaintiff Qihoo 360 currently is the largest cyber security company in China; and the defendant Jiangmin is a pioneer anti-virus software provider in the PC era. Beijing IP Court rendered a decision in favour of Jiangmin.

There’s also a slightly older article about that. To quote:

China’s first lawsuit for infringement of graphical user interface (GUI) design has been recently concluded by the Beijing IP Court. This case has attracted much public attention, as GUI designs have become protectable in China by so-called design patents only as of 1 May 2014, and despite a large number of GUI design patents being granted since then, their enforceability remained untested until the present case. The judgment issued on 25 December 2017 now results in heated discussion and leaves, in particular, software developers counting on strong GUI design protection very disappointed.

GUI patents are so broad and vague that it’s pretty incredible they even get granted. They’re not inventions. Combine that with China’s litigation rates (soaring nowadays) and it looks ever more daunting to enter the Chinese market. Maybe, in a sense, this is what Xi’s CPC intended; maybe it just wants to drive out foreign companies in order to promote local brands like Huawei (government-connected). Censorship has long been one pretext for banning foreign firms from operating in China, so why not patents? It makes it look a lot more rational than nativism/nationalism.

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

What Else is New


  1. The 'Linux' Foundation is Acting Like a Microsoft ISV Now, Commitment to Linux and FOSS Deteriorates Even Further

    The Linux Foundation has just announced a new Microsoft-funded initiative that's pushing GitHub and CLAs (passing copyrights on code to corporations)



  2. Links 18/7/2019: OPNsense 19.7, Krita 4.2.3 and KDevelop 5.3.3 Released

    Links for the day



  3. Index: G 2/19 (Enlarged Board of Appeal, EPO)

    G 2/19 (Enlarged Board of Appeal, EPO)



  4. EPO Looney Tunes – Part 4: G 2/19 - Faites Vos Jeux…

    "Josefsson needs to bring in the “desired result” for his political masters in the Administrative Council if he wants to be in with a chance of reappointment."



  5. Media Not Interested in G 2/19, Which Demonstrates Patent Justice is Nowadays Impossible at the EPO

    The EPO spreads patent injustices to other countries and courts; the media is miraculously enough not interested, almost as though there's a coordinated blackout



  6. Librethreat Database Updated

    Database which keeps track of variants of attack vectors on Free/libre software now includes two more forms of threat



  7. A Look Back (and Forward) at Friendly Programming

    Historical perspective on computer languages and how to do better



  8. Red Hat's Freedom Reduced to Just Online Partner Enablement Network (OPEN) and Microsoft as a Close Partner; Canonical's Ubuntu Just an 'App' for Windows?

    Free software is being snapped up by proprietary software giants and patent bullies that treat it as little more than an 'add-on' for their proprietary offerings



  9. Linux Foundation Apparently Celebrates Sysadmin Day With a Microsoft Windows Site!

    The Linux Foundation shows ‘love’ to actual GNU/Linux (the real thing) by apparently rejecting it and badmouthing it



  10. EPO Looney Tunes – Part 3: The Legal Line-up for G 2/19

    The deck appears to have already been stacked for G 2/19, a decision on EPO judges' exile to Haar (veiled disciplinary action/collective punishment by those whom the judges are supposed to 'oversee')



  11. Links 17/7/2019: VirtualBox 6.0.10 and Mageia 7.1 Releases, Mint Betas

    Links for the day



  12. Links 16/7/2019: Btrfs Gets 'Cleaned Up', Clonezilla Live 2.6.2-15

    Links for the day



  13. EPO Looney Tunes - Part 2: The “Difficult Legacy” and Its Dark Historical Shadow

    Assuming that he was informed, then it seems fair to say that Battistell’s little “joke” at the expense of the Boards was in very bad taste



  14. EPO Noise Machine Turned On as Haar Hearing Kicks Off, Patrick Corcoran Defamed Again

    The EPO does not want people to hear about Haar; it just wants people to hear about how wonderful the EPO is and there are some who have just decided to slander Patrick Corcoran again



  15. Microsoft is 'Doing Kamikaze' (神風) on Linux

    An analogy for what the Linux (only in name!) Foundation and Microsoft mean to Linux — or by extension to GNU/Linux and Free software whose largest repository Microsoft took control of



  16. The 'New' Linux.com Sometimes Feels Like a Microsoft Promotion Site

    Anything that the ‘Linux’ Foundation touches seems to turn into its proprietors’ agenda; one of those proprietors is Microsoft, which has a "Jihad" against Linux



  17. IBM is a Threat to the Internet, Not Just to Software Development (Due to Software Patents Aggression)

    IBM continues its aggression against technology — a fact that’s even more distressing now that IBM calls the shots at Red Hat



  18. EPO Looney Tunes - Part 1: Is D-Day Approaching for Battistelli’s “Difficult Legacy”?

    European patent justice isn’t working within the premises of EPOnia; a bunch of ‘show trials’ may in fact turn out to be just that — a show



  19. Links 16/7/2019: LXD 3.15, Q4OS 3.8 and D9VK 0.13f

    Links for the day



  20. Links 15/7/2019: Vulkan 1.1.115 and Facebook Openwashing

    Links for the day



  21. Microsoft Office 360 Banned

    OpenDocument Format (ODF, a real standard everyone can implement) and Free/libre software should be taught in schools; it's not supposed to be just a matter of privacy



  22. Microsoft, in Its Own Words...

    Sociopathy, incompetence and intolerance of the rule of law, as demonstrated by Microsoft's top managers



  23. Microsoft's WSL is Designed to Weaken GNU/Linux (on the Desktop/Laptop) and Strengthen Vista 10

    What Microsoft does to GNU/Linux on the desktop (and/or laptop) bears much resemblance to what Microsoft did to Java a couple of decades ago



  24. Links 14/7/2019: Linux 5.2.1, Unreal Engine 4.23 Preview, Linux Mint 19.2 Beta

    Links for the day



  25. 25,500 Blog Posts and Pages

    With our thirteenth anniversary just a few months away we're at a pace of about 2,000 posts per year



  26. With WSL Microsoft is Doing to GNU/Linux What It Did to Netscape

    Embrace, extend, extinguish. Some things never really change even if they become an old and repetitive accusation.



  27. Allowing Bad Guests to Become the Hosts

    Why the so-called 'Linux Foundation', a nonprofit that acts more like a PAC controlled by proprietary software companies and people who don't even use Linux, is increasingly becoming a Linux-hostile front group



  28. Honesty and Collaboration Make Free Software Stronger, Microsoft is Inherently a Misfit

    In spite of all the lies Microsoft and its Web sites spew out on a daily basis, nothing has really changed and Microsoft is still attacking Software Freedom (mostly from the inside nowadays, helped by FUD proxies such as WhiteSource and Snyk)



  29. Patent Certainty Waning, But That's Still OK for Patent Trolls

    Patent maximalism remains a threat to everyone but patent lawyers (and patent office chiefs who measure their own performance only by the number of patents granted); best served are the patent trolls who extrajudicially attack already-impoverished parties behind closed doors



  30. GitHub is Microsoft's Proprietary Software and Centralised (Monopoly) Platform, But When Canonical's Account There Gets Compromised Suddenly It's Ubuntu's Fault?

    Typical media distortions and signs that Microsoft already uses GitHub for censorship of Free/Open Source software that does not fit Microsoft's interests


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts