THE WHAT? Procter & Gamble has been exonerated by the Shanghai IP Court after a complaint of patent infringement was bought against the US FMCG giant, according to a report published by Iam Media.
THE DETAILS Luo Yunjun and Sea Mild (Shanghai) Technology hold a Chinese patent titled ‘a portable cleaning item and manufacturing method thereof’ and filed a civil suit against the manufacturer of Ariel charging it with infringement for importing and offering for sale a laundry detergent pouch. Procter & Gamble countered with an invalidation petition, submitting that the technology in question predates the filing date of the patent.
THE WHY? The court found for Procter & Gamble that all claims of the patent were invalid, with the US FMCG manufacturer recognised as one of the first to develop such a pouch, far earlier than the patent in question. Iam reports that multinationals are frequently subject to such claims in China; there is no requirement to reimburse legal fees for unsuccessful actions but a recent amendment to patent law should stem the tide of such proceedings in future.