The first joint trial for administrative patent confirmation and adjudication was launched in the Shanghai (Pudong) Intellectual Property Center. Such joint trials are designed to avoid the problem of bifurcated hearing of validty and infringement issues required by the PRC Patent Law.
In the joint trial, the CNIPA first heard the patent invalidation case and the Shanghai Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) later heard the patent infringement dispute involving the same patent. Panels of both sides participated in the court hearings. In the court hearings, both panels discussed the main points of design of the design patent involved, differences between the patent and the existing design, and the size of the design space in order to establish a clearer understanding.
For the patent invalidation case, the CNIPA held that the “rowing machine” patent right was valid and that the “suitcase” patent right was invalid. For the patent infringement dispute, after further clarification of the legal status and protection scope of the patent right, the SIPO held that there was no infringement.