In late 2020 and early 2021, approximately 20 patent infringement lawsuits and administrative actions were filed in China against Netgear and Arlo. The Chinese plaintiffs seek damages and injunctions against the manufacture and export of several of the companies’ most popular products, including routers, switches, doorbells, and home security products.
These lawsuits were filed by at least six different Chinese companies across several Chinese jurisdictions, including IP Courts, Intermediate Courts, and administrative agencies. Netgear disclosed a small number of the lawsuits in its quarterly report in October 2020, but its upcoming quarterly report will likely include the additional cases.
At least four Plaintiffs in those lawsuits appear to be operating companies in China, at least one of which seems to be a State-Owned Enterprise (i.e., owned at least partially by the Chinese government). One of the companies, Beijing Tianxing Ebel Information Consulting Co., Ltd., appears to be affiliated with “Beijing Star,” a subsidiary of Reignwood Group, a Chinese conglomerate with diverse business interests as Red Bull energy drinks, helicopter fleets, and worldwide resorts.
The reason that multiple Chinese companies are attacking Silicon Valley networking powerhouses is unclear. Whether it is political or just smart strategy (both companies appear to do a significant portion of their manufacturing in China, putting their supply chains at risk), it may be an indication of things to come. To the extent that there is coordination between the companies, this would be a first for patent litigation by Chinese companies against foreign companies in China.
The six Chinese companies and the 17 case numbers are below.
Dunjun Technology Co., Ltd.
Gao Ping Yao Yi Trade & Commerce Co., Ltd.,
Shenzhen YuanYu Investment Co., Ltd.,
Shandong Chengzi Medical TechnologyCo., Ltd.,
Yunwen Impression Advertisement Co., Ltd
Beijing Tianxing Ebel Information Consulting Co., Ltd.
Beijing IP Court-（2020）京73民初878号
Beijing IP Court-（2020）京73民初877号
Beijing IP Court-（2020）京73民初1038号
Beijing IP Court-（2020）京73民初936号
Beijing IP Court-（2020）京73民初934号
Beijing IP Court-（2020）京73民初960号
Beijing IP Court-（2020）京73民初961号
Beijing IP Court-（2020）京73民初1231号
Beijing IP Court-（2020）京73民初1232号
Beijing IP Court-（2021）京73民初179号
Jinan Intermediary Court- (2021) 鲁01民初76号
Jinan Intermediary Court- (2021) 鲁01民初87号
Jinan Intermediary Court- (2021) 鲁01民初183号
Jinan Intermediary Court- (2021) 鲁01民初185号
Jinan Intermediary Court- (2021) 鲁01民初839号
Jinan Intermediary Court- (2021) 鲁01民初840号
Shanghai IP Court- (2020) 沪64民初691
Welcome to the China Patent Blog by Erick Robinson. Erick Robinson's China Patent Blog discusses China's patent system and China's surprisingly effective procedures for enforcing patents. China is leading the world in growth in many areas. Patents are among them. So come along with Erick Robinson while he provides a map to the complicated and mysterious world of patents and patent litigation in China.
Erick Robinson is an experienced American trial lawyer and U.S. patent attorney formerly based in Beijing and now based in Texas. He is a Patent Litigation Partner and Co-Chair of the Intellectual Property Practice at Spencer Fane LLP, where he manages patent litigation, licensing, and prosecution in China and the US.
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