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Courts will judge IPRs on merit

By ZHANG ZHOUXIANG | China Daily | Updated: 2020-08-05 08:36

On Monday, Xiaoi, a domestic artificial intelligence company specializing in developing virtual assistants and voice-AI technology, sued Apple in the Shanghai High People's Court for 10 billion yuan ($1.4 billion).

Xiaoi also asked Apple to stop manufacturing, using, selling and importing products that violate its patent rights. The products named in the lawsuit include Siri, Apple's voice assistant technology.

Many media outlets have reported on the case as though it were a new one, but the judicial process started in 2011, when Xiaoi first took Apple to court in Shanghai. Then the National Intellectual Property Administration declared Xiaoi's patent void. But eight years later, the Supreme People's Court ruled that the patent is effective, making Xiaoi sue Apple again.

The matter is now sub-judice. However, for many in the West, when a US company is alleged to have violated intellectual property rights, it is always the victim of judicial bias. But when a Chinese company is accused of violating IPR, it is always the Chinese company stealing technology.

The case shows that Chinese enterprises now have greater awareness about intellectual property rights protection.

It is an equally important development for Apple and other overseas enterprises that do business in China, as it underlines the Chinese judiciary's determination to protect their rights. Any enterprise that feels its IPR is being violated can now sue the accused in a Chinese court of law and expect a fair trial. That should encourage more high-tech enterprises from abroad to do business in China.

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