London – VMI Holland BV (VMI) has won a “significant lawsuit” in its ongoing intellectual property dispute with Safe-Run Intelligent Equipment Shares Ltd Co. (Safe-Run), VMI announced in a press release issued 12 Feb.
In April, 2019, Epe, The Netherlands-based VMI filed a lawsuit claiming that Safe-Run had abused the IP and the legal system in China at the Suzhou Intermediate People’s Court in Jiangsu Province.
In its latest release, VMI said the court had ruled that “Safe-Run knowingly filed and obtained patents on technology which was already developed by VMI and others and then maliciously used these patents in the legal fight against VMI.”
According to information supplied by VMI, the Chinese court ruling – issued on 22 Dec 2020, referenced (2019) Su 05 Zhichu No.251 – included a compensation award of RMB1 million (around €128,000) to the Dutch machinery maker.
“This verdict reinforces our faith in the Chinese legal system,” said Harm Voortman, president & CEO of VMI in the release. “We await the outcome of the other ongoing lawsuits with great confidence.”
In a statement issued in response to VMI's latest release, Safe-Run said that there had been more than 30 IP infringement lawsuits between the parties in China since 2016.
“Most of the lawsuits are currently undergoing 2nd instance proceedings,” stated Safe-Run, adding that it had obtained “favorable 1st instance judgments or rulings in most of the lawsuits.”
The Chinese company added that the “significant lawsuit” cited by VMI referred to the first instance judgment of a malicious IP lawsuit dispute between the parties.
Safe-Run said it had lodged an appeal against this first instance judgment so that the court decision had not become effective and could not be used to determine malicious intent.
VMI, it alleged, “intentionally choose one favorable non-effective judgment among a number of pending lawsuits between the parties to conduct propaganda, which has seriously damaged Safe-Run’s commercial reputation.”