China's Supreme People's Court recognises transnational patent settlement involving Gowling WLG client

29 February 2024

The Intellectual Property Tribunal of the Supreme People's Court in China has recognised a patent dispute in which Gowling WLG acted among the "Top Ten Influential Cases" of the year. The People's Court identified the case, and the resulting settlement, as establishing a high watermark with respect to how Chinese and foreign entities resolve disputes.

The two lawsuits filed by the firm's client, a leading British technology company, alleged that a Chinese technology company had infringed upon its invention patent, titled "Handheld Cleaning Equipment," through the production, sale, and offering for sale of several cordless vacuum cleaner products.

Following an appeal by both parties, the People's Court uncovered that the two parties had a storied history of intellectual property disputes. In an effort to foster dialogue and ease tensions, a platform was established to address the broader conflicts between the parties. After a period of extensive negotiation, the parties ultimately reached a settlement, which included the resolution of more than 20 IP disputes worldwide.

In its citation, the Supreme People's Court described the case as exemplifying how "Eastern experience" can effectively resolve transnational disputes, while showcasing how the Court's proactive "treating the disease before it occurs" approach can result in mutually beneficial outcomes.

Daniela Shaw, a principal associate in Gowling WLG's Guangzhou office, led a global team responsible for helping facilitate the landmark settlement. Evelyn Zhang, a paralegal who works alongside Daniela in Guangzhou, and Andrew Maggs, senior counsel, patent litigation in the firm's London office, were also instrumental in the dispute's resolution.

"We are thrilled to have played a role in this settlement – a true testament of our firm's ability to bridge both cultural and regulatory divides for our clients," said Daniela. "This case not only demonstrates the effectiveness of alternative dispute resolution methods but also highlights the commitment of China's judiciary to finding creative, efficient and market-oriented solutions to cross-border disputes."

About Gowling WLG's Intellectual Property Group

Gowling WLG is a full-service firm comprising 1,500 professionals with strength across all areas of business law and litigation. With leading IP practices in Canada, China, the UAE, the UK and Europe, and – via our exclusive association with JurisAsia LLC – Singapore, and a network of trusted agents worldwide, we help IP owners overcome complex obstacles and optimize new opportunities – wherever business takes them. Learn more about Gowling WLG's IP Group.

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