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Patent infringements and plagiarism are often quoted to represent major problems in China, especially for the manufacturers of branded consumer products. Recently the Harting Technology Group took resolute action against a Chinese company that had copied some of its electrical connector products, despite these being covered by Chinese registered patents. With a particularly strong position in Asian markets, Harting has filed patents in China since the beginning of the nineties, although their actual enforceability has been doubtful to date.
Following in-depth investigations, Harting took recourse to the Shanghai Second Intermediate Court and initiated legal proceedings for damages and an injunction over the patent infringements. After proceedings of only four months the Shanghai court passed a judgment confirming the patent infringement and sentencing the respective manufacturer to discontinue the production and sales of the counterfeit products, as well as imposing the payment of damages.
This court judgment is an important positive signalnot only for Harting, but also for other suppliers of patented technology to China, as it issues a warning to current and future patent infringers. It also demonstrates that properly protected intellectual property will be protected by the Courts in China. Congratulations to Harting for taking such resolute action, and achieving a landmark victory!