October 26, 2017, Beijing Intellectual Property Court held public hearing of the administrative litigation case initiated by Gmedia Beijing Co. Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as "Gmedia") against Patent Reexamination Board concerning invalidation of Gmedia's 2-dimensional code patent. Tencent, represented by Unitalen, joined the case as the third party. Unitalen lawyers Fanwen Kong and Lei Liu attended the hearing.
The patent at issue was granted on September 15, 2010 under number ZL 2006 1 0078994.4 (hereinafter referred to as "the patent at issue"). It claims protection of a system overlaying a 2-dimentional code and a visually readable logo by using the error correction function inherent in the 2-dimensional code to achieve the effect of commercial promotion. The following 2-dimensional code with McDonald logo is an example:
Over the recent years, Gmedia had been sending warning letters to many companies alleging their use of the so-called "synthesized 2-dimentional code" has infringed on its patent right, demanding royalty fee and even initiating civil actions against some of these companies. Monalisa Group Co. Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as "Monalisa"), one of those who had received a warning letter, filed a lawsuit against Gmedia before Guangzhou Intellectual Property Court, requesting non-infringement affirmation, and listed Tencent as third party in this case. After study, Tencent believed the patent at issue had been disclosed by the prior art and doesn't possess any novelty and creativity, hence applied for invalidation of the patent on July 14, 2016. After review, the Patent Reexamination Board issued No. 30662 Invalidation Decision on November 28, 2016, holding that claims 1-6 of the patent at issue do not possess inventiveness as compared to Reference Document 3 (US 20090255992 A1, hereinafter referred to as "D3") and combined with common knowledge, thus do not comply with the provisions of Article 22 (3) of the Patent Law. In disagreement, Gmedia started the administrative litigation Patent Reexamination Board with Tencent listed as the third party.
The court judgement is expected to be issued shortly. We will keep our readers posted.
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