After nine years of legal battles, the rights holder of a technology that was infringed upon was ultimately awarded a compensation of 218 million yuan, setting a record for the highest compensation amount in a court ruling related to the same engineering project in an intellectual property rights case.
This “high-value” technology is used in the production of melamine. In China, melamine is a commonly used chemical material in the production of resins, coatings, leather processing tanning agents, and fillers. However, the production of melamine has long been plagued by issues such as short operating cycles, high energy consumption, blockages, and low product quality.
In 2009, Beijing Yejing Technology Co., Ltd. (referred to as “Beijing Yejing”) successfully overcame these technical challenges. Three years later, this technology was leaked by a former employee.
Starting in 2014, Beijing Yejing’s parent company, Sichuan Golden Elephant Sairui Chemical Co., Ltd. (referred to as “Sichuan Golden Elephant”), embarked on a lengthy journey of litigation, similar to most intellectual property disputes. Sichuan Golden Elephant filed five lawsuits, went through three jurisdictional objections, initiated 22 administrative lawsuits for patent invalidation, attended 35 court hearings, and engaged in two patent ownership disputes before finally seeing a turning point.
On December 26, 2022, the Supreme People’s Court issued two judgments in the two cases filed by Sichuan Golden Elephant and Beijing Yejing regarding the infringement of melamine invention patent rights and technology secrets. The court required three companies, including Shandong Hualu Hengsheng Chemical Co., Ltd. (referred to as “Hualu Hengsheng”), to jointly compensate the rights holder with 218 million yuan. On March 31, 2023, this case was selected as a typical case in the 2022 Intellectual Property Court of the Supreme People’s Court.
However, this long journey of litigation and rights protection has not yet reached its final destination.