Chinese Court Enforces Bridgestone Patent Infringement Ruling
On February 27 Bridgestone publicly released details of a recent patent infringement case in China. A Beijing court has ruled in favour of Bridgestone Corporation in a patent infringement case against Chaoyang Long March Tyre Co., Ltd, the Liaoning Province based manufacturer of the Long March brand of truck tyres.
After it came to Bridgestone’s attention that the design of certain Long March truck and bus radials may infringe the tyre major’s patented intellectual property, the company commenced legal action against Long March in December 2006. The Beijing No. 2 Intermediate People’s Court presided over the proceedings, and upon deliberation, ruled in favour of Bridgestone in March 2007. Long March Tyre was ordered to stop manufacturing and selling the infringing products, and to pay damages to Bridgestone. As Long March Tyre did not file an appeal, the ruling became effective.
As Long March Tyre did not fulfil the court’s obligation within the agreed timeframe, in June 2007 Bridgestone asked the court to enforce its ruling. The enforce bureau of People’s Court in the Longcheng District of Chaoyang City, Liaoning Province, was entrusted to carry out this responsibility and concluded enforcement proceedings in December 2007. As a result, Long March Tyre stopped manufacturing and selling the infringing products, and paid damages to Bridgestone. Bridgestone reports that it is “extremely grateful” to the bureau for its “prompt and effective action.”
In announcing this victory, Bridgestone adds that the company will continue to protect the technology and designs it acquires through its own research and development as intellectual property. In order for customers to use Bridgestone products with peace of mind, the company states it will continue to implement intellectual property management, and to rigorously pursue measures, including legal action and other appropriate responses, against all acts of imitation.
Chaoyang Long March Tyre was one of the first Chinese manufacturers to produce all-steel radial truck tyres, an achievement made possible with technological assistance from Dunlop UK. The company has an annual production capacity in excess of 800,000 units, and exports to more than 40 countries, with North and South America its principal markets.