Unitalen Client Cleveron Won a Patent Invalidation Administrative Litigation with Application of High Degree of Probability in Using YouTube Video as Prior Art Evidence

February 25, 2021


Cleveron is committed to creating robot-based package terminals and developing "last mile" click-and-collect service solutions for retail and logistics. Cleveron launched the PackRobot automatic package terminal at the 2015 Postal Expo. PackRobot uses an innovative 3D lifting system to pick up and deliver the target package to a dynamically configured fixed delivery slot. This new technology can handle three times as many pacakges per cubic meter. Cleveron released the exhibition video of the product on the Youtube website on September 16, 2015, and released a detailed introduction of the product on the Youtube website on June 14, 2016. Cleveron is also cooperating with American manufacturer Bell & Howell to deploy its package terminal in North America.

However, a Chinese company applied for a patent in China using using the PackRobot automatic package terminal technology and got granted.Therefore, Cleveron filedtherequest for invalidation of the patent involved. In support of the claims, Cleveron submitted a large amount of public evidence of the prior use of the technology, including YouTube videos, of which the process was notarized in Hong Kong for authenticity. However, the China National IP Administration (CNIPA) determined in its invalidation decision that: "YouTube is a video exchange site, and the content of the video is unverified... and whether the video was uploaded at the time of the publication of the technology is unverified...". In response to the invalid decision, Cleveron entrusted our law firm to file an administrative lawsuit at the Beijing IP Court of first instance.

Court Ruling:

The Beijing IP Court had recently issued the ruling of the first instance, which supportsall of our client’sclaims and ruled to revoke the decision made by theCNIPA Patent Office,a new decision shall be re-issued by CNIPA in due course.


In patent invalidation and the subsequent patent administrative litigation, the “high degree of probability” shall be applicable to the standard for the proof of prior art. When judging public evidence on the Internet, the court shall consider the evidences submitted by all parties, and make judgments based on the authenticity, publicity and probative power of the public evidence on the Internet perthe standard of high degree of probability.

As for the video evidence collected on the YouTube website, if a complete notarization and certification procedure has been performed, and the fact that the video has been disclosed before the filing date of the patent involvedis with high degree of probability, and if the patentee can only make a claimthat it’s possible for the video being modified without providing convincing counter-evidence, it should be determined that the YouTube video can be used as prior art evidence.