Chinese company claims victory in U.S. patent case at heavy cost

Updated 2017-09-07 09:30:46 Global Times

A Chinese self-balancing vehicle maker that recently won a patent case launched by U.S. competitors told the Global Times on Wednesday that despite the victory, the company had sustained massive losses in business.

Hangzhou Chic Intelligent Technology Co said in a statement that the case cost the company "a huge amount of capital and personnel and seriously lowered the company's ability to invest in research and development and innovation."

The company was accused by U.S. company Razor USA LLC, which also makes self-balancing vehicles, and two other parties of copyright infringement over the technology in the vehicles, which are also known as hoverboards. The companies asked the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) to ban imports of hoverboards from China.

But the USITC on July 28 ruled in favor of the Chinese company, saying the commission did not find a violation of Section 337, under which the commission determines if there was unfair competition for the imports, and subsequently closed the investigation.

Though that's good news for the Chinese company, it's hardly a cause for celebration.

"Innovation is the core competitiveness of Chic, but in the past year, we had to postpone research and development of more products because of a capital shortage. This caused many potential losses for the company," Chic said in the statement sent to the Global Times on Wednesday evening.

Furthermore, the company still faces a separate case on copyright from another U.S. company, a decision on which is due in late October, according to the statement.

Chic's case in the U.S. has become a common situation for many Chinese companies that are seeking to tap into the market but which face legal and other issues, according to media reports.

The company did not disclose specific amount of cost for the lawsuit, but some domestic news outlets had said the lawsuit cost Chic upward of million in legal fees and that the 337 Investigation had become a common pain for Chinese companies.

Chic on Wednesday also offered a suggestion for Chinese companies that face such cases. The company said that as many Chinese companies are expanding overseas, they need to make sure to register properly their copyrights and patents and if they face any unfair treatment, stand up and fight.

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