The Supreme Court Specified the Judgment Standard of "Full Disclosure" of the Patent Description -- Unitalen Finally Won the Final Judgment of the "Juice Machine" Patent Administrative Litigation on Behalf of the Customer

March 24, 2022

Case brief:

On behalf of the client, Unitalen filed a request for invalidation to the CNIPA for the Chinese patent for utility model entitled "Press Barrel Assembly of Juice Machine" in December 2018. The reasons for invalidation include: the disclosure of the Description of the patent involved is insufficient, the claims are not supported by the Description, and the claims do not possess novelty or involve an inventive step. After oral hearing, the CNIPA made an examination decision on the request for invalidation in June 2019, which determined that: for those skilled in the art, the technical solutions of the present patent are vague, unable to be implemented and realized. Therefore, the technical solutions defined in the claims of the patent involved are not fully disclosed in the Description, which does not comply with the provision of Article 26, Para.3 of the Chinese Patent Law.

The patentee filed an administrative litigation to the Beijing Intellectual Property Court in September 2019 in response to the above examination decision on the request for invalidation. In the interpretation of "full disclosure" of the patent Description, the patentee put forward a completely different observations from the patent invalidation procedure. After the hearing, the Beijing Intellectual Property Court upheld the above examination decision on the request for invalidation in December 2020 and rejected the plaintiff's claim.

The patentee refused to accept the first instance judgment of Beijing Intellectual Property Court, appealed to the Supreme People's Court in early 2021, and put forward different observations in the interpretation of "full disclosure" of the patent Description from the patent invalidation procedure and the litigation procedure of first instance. After trial, the Supreme People's Court made a final judgment in December 2021, rejecting all the appellant's appeals and upholding the original judgment and the sued decision.


Case analysis:

In the patent invalidation procedure, the first instance procedure and the second instance procedure of the administrative litigation in the patent involved, the focus is whether the Description of the present patent fully discloses "the size of the juice outlet hole of the juicer is adjustable".

In the final judgment of the case, the Supreme People's Court further clarified that when judging "full disclosure" of the patent Description, generally speaking, the Description should clearly and completely explain the key improvement points of the patent involved. In the case that the Description does not disclose the specific technical means and does not give clear guidance, based on the common knowledge or the conventional technical means in the art to realize the basic functions of the key improvement points, the key improvement points should be relatively determined as far as possible, and should not be realized in different ways by those skilled in the art through different imagination. In particular, the patentee is not allowed to explain this with different expressions in different procedures to expand the protection scope of the claims.