Law360: 5 Tips In The Art Of Patent War In China

Washington, DC – May 29, 2014 – Lei Mei was quoted in a May 29, 2014 Law360 article “5 Tips In The Art Of Patent War In China.” Regarding discovery, Mr. Mei commented that “[m]any winnable cases were lost because plaintiffs were unable to present admissible evidence,” so “Plaintiffs must develop a comprehensive discovery strategy. For example, it is not uncommon that plaintiffs hire undercover private investigators to gather relevant information and evidence from defendants.”

Mr. Mei also noted that while retaining experienced local counsel is important in the U.S., it is essential for pursuing a successful patent case in China: “Chinese courts are less transparent, and parties may have ex parte communication with judges, so local counsel plays a critical role in China.” Mr. Mei further explained the importance of choosing a favorable venue, observing that local protectionism is widespread in China, and defendants rarely lose patent infringement suits in their home courts, and that some of the largest patent damages awards have come from courts in regions where plaintiffs, not defendants, have a large presence. For example, the Wenzhou Intermediate People’s Court in Zhejiang province handed Wenzhou-based Chint Group Corp. $48.5 million in September 2007, finding that a Chinese unit of France-based Schneider Electric SA violated a Chinese patent covering a miniature circuit breaker. The parties ended up resolved the matter for about $23 million during an appeal.