Recently, Sohu, represented by Unitalen, received the No. 38834 Invalidation Decision from the Patent Reexamination Board of CNIPA, which agreed to the opinions of Unitalen and held that the No. ZL 201110091092.5 patent for invention were all invalid.
Thus far, the patent dispute involving the entire mobile communication, Internet and financial industries, with a total value of several billion yuan, has come to an end. Unitalen team successfully represented Sohu and safeguarded the legitimate rights and interests of the parties concerned.
The patent involved is “a telephone or mobile phone that can be connected to a computer”, base on which, the patentee Wang Guoqi claimed to be the “the world’s first person for the telephones/mobile phones that can send Chinese characters and image information”. The patent involved is a divisional application based on its parent application (application date: July 12, 1996) and proposes a technical concept of realizing the transmission of Chinese character information from one telephone to another (or mobile telephone). It was applied for in 1996 and granted in 2015. During the period, it went through a series of complicated review processes including rejection and review before it was granted. The patentee repeatedly initiated patent infringement charges against Xiaomi, China Mobile, China Unicom and other companies in the Fuzhou Intermediate People's Court. In response, some defendants, also filed the request for invalidation of the patent involved with the Patent Reexamination Board of CNIPA (formerly known as SIPO). As of in 2018, Wang Guoqi was involved in the patent infringement administrative disputes with more than 30 companies including China Mobile, China Unicom, China Telecom, Sohu, Apple, Huawei, Xiaomi, Hammer, Agricultural Bank of China, and Bank of Communications for the total value amounted to billions of yuan. In order to improve efficiency, the Parent Reexamination Board combined the eight invalidation requests involved to make joint decisions.
The Court’s Ruling
Unitalen used a group of the closest German-and-Japanese combined prior arts, with overall combination strategy and sufficient reasons for invalidation, it stands out among hundreds of evidences submitted in the eight invalidation requests. The Patent Reexamination Board made the judgement based on the evidences submitted by Unitalen and held that the patent involved was not inventive, thus it’s declared as invalid.