Unitalen Successfully Helped Sogou Won the First-instance in Determining Non-infringement for an Input Method Software Patent

March 13, 2019

In the recent first-instance judgment issued by the Beijing Intellectual Property Court concerning the patent infringement case initiated by Beijing Sogou, who is represented by Unitalen, it’s found that the plaintiff Beijing Sogou had developed and provided the Sogou input method software without infringing the ZL 200510055346.2 invention patent of the defendant Beijing Jiugong Hunyin Chenglie Technology Co. Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as “Beijing Jiugong”), which is entitled as "a numeric input of Chinese pinyin and phonetic multi-word continuous input method on the keypad".



Case Summary


The plaintiff in this case, Sogou company, received the “Patent Authorization Communication Letter” from Beijing Jiugong company, stating that the Sogou mobile phone input method software provided at the Android and iOS app stores had infringed their patent involved, requiring Sogou to immediately withdraw the relevant products. Upon receipt of this, Sogou responded clearly that the relevant products had not infringed the patent right involved and asked Beijing Jiugong to withdraw the communication letter and instead seek a more reasonable means to resolve it. However, Beijing Jiugong neither withdrew the notice of infringement nor filed a patent infringement lawsuit after Sogou’s reply, which made the related products of Sogou Company stuck in an uncertain state of “patent infringement or not”. Entrusted by Sogou, Unitalen filed a lawsuit before the Beijing Intellectual Property Court so as to confirm the non-infringement.



The Court’s Ruling


The Beijing Intellectual Property Court held that there was a substantive dispute between the two parties on the infringement. The defendant did not withdraw the warning and failed to file a lawsuit in the court, which led to the uncertain legal state of whether the input method involved had infringed the patent rights involved. Therefore, it’s in compliance with the law for the plaintiff to file a lawsuit confirming that their acts did not infringe the patent rights involved. Meanwhile, the Beijing Intellectual Property Court combined all kinds of evidences and the on-site inspection and comparison in the review to finally conclude that the plaintiff's input method involved did not infringe the rights of the defendant's patents involved in the case.