Lawsuits Filed Against Apple and the Patent Bureau in China
We thought that the battle between Apple and Meizu was over after the blow Apple struck about a month ago, but… we were wrong. A Shanghai based company, Luoen Network Information, is actually suing Apple and the Chinese Patent Bureau on the basis that Apple’s iPhone design patents are invalid.
Apple apparently filed a patent with the Patent Bureau which covered three different product aspects of the iPhone. According to Chinese law, patents are only valid when they are for a whole specific product. This clearly would have invalidated Apple’s patent to begin with.
When the Patent Bureau realized that Apple had not specified a single product for the patent they changed the Patent themselves to specify the iPhone in general. Under Chinese law, acting for another organization in this process (as the Patent Bureau did) is illegal and both organizations are liable.
The three aspects of the iPhone’s design that Apple had attempted to patent were the rectangular shape and rounded edges, the vertical display, and the round button below the display. Luoen claims Apple’s design patent is far too broad to be considered valid and that it is in fact meant to hurt other companies.
The company also claims that other manufacturers such as LG and HTC had already released devices with those design aspects before the iPhone, also making the patent invalid.
The Court has yet to make it’s final decision. Should the patent be found invalid, the forced shutdown of Meizu’s M8 production could be repealed. Fingers crossed!