Another patent infringement suit win for Bridgestone in China
It isn’t just idle words when Bridgestone says it “takes seriously any unauthorised use or infringement of its patents, trademarks or any other intellectual property.” A fortnight after reporting that a Chinese court ruled in its favour in a patent infringement lawsuit against Guangzhou South China Tire & Rubber Co., Ltd. and Wanli Tire Co., Ltd. (Wanli Tire), the tyre maker shares it has received a favourable ruling from the Intermediate People’s Court in Qingdao. The ruling relates to its design patent infringement lawsuit against Chinese firm Shengtai Group and its subsidiary, Shandong Shengshi Tai Lai Rubber Technology Co., Ltd. (both referred to here as ‘Shengtai’).
In March 2018, Bridgestone filed a lawsuit claiming that tyre manufacturing and sales activities conducted by Shengtai used the patented Bridgestone Blizzak VRX studless winter car tyre tread pattern, and that these activities were therefore in violation of its patent rights. In July 2019, Shengtai was ordered to cease activities, dispose of the dedicated moulds, and pay Bridgestone damages in the amount of 800,000 Chinese yuan (£91,800).
In April 2019, Bridgestone won another lawsuit against Shengtai Group, claiming violations of the design patent for the tread pattern of Bridgestone’s ST3000 truck tyres.
Shengshi Tailai claims an annual production capacity of 12 million car and light truck tyres. Its portfolio includes the Three-A, Rapid, Aoteli and Yatone brands; the tyre maker says 85 per cent of its production is exported to Europe and other regions.