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Welcome To America ... See You In Court!

Publication Date: 
September 20, 2013
Source: 
China Daily
Author: 
Zhang Qidong

Stanford Law Professor Mark Lemley comments on lawsuits filed against Chinese companies in an article by China Daily's Zhang Qidong. 

ShenZhou, Biology and Technology is a subsidiary of China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp, which manufactures its products, including diet supplement CoQ10, at this plant in Inner Mongolia. Provided to China Daily

Some Chinese companies entering the US market are finding themselves in a place they don't want to be - the courtroom. They can be sued by anyone, from a competitor to a consumer, reports Zhang Qidong from San Francisco.

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An ongoing study conducted by Professor Mark Lemley, director of Stanford Law School, and his student Randy Wu on more than 600 US patent cases involving Chinese litigants, shows that half of the cases are filed against large tech companies. The companies sued the most are Lenova Group, Huawei and ZTE.

According to their study, in patent cases Chinese parties are much more likely to be the alleged infringer than the patentee. The alleged infringer-to-patentee ratio for Mainland Chinese litigants is about 11-to-1, but patent filings by Mainland Chinese companies have increased sharply in the last three years.

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"If you are in the IP industry and you make money, you get sued for IP infringement in the US," said Lemley of Stanford Law School. "I don't think Chinese companies are being singled out, companies from everywhere in the world are being sued."