In three decisions made on 13 and 14 December 2022, the IP Tribunal of the Supreme People’s Court of China found in favour of VMI and against Safe-Run in litigation related to patent ownership disputes. VMI considers these decisions a victory “for all innovators everywhere.”
VMI Holland says it “strongly welcomes” the decisions made by the Higher People’s Court of Jiangsu Province in its favour in two final judgements, delivered on 3 November 2021. The court has not only refused Safe-Run’s application to set aside the first instance judgements that a lower court made against the company; it has also maintained the damages for Safe-Run’s continued infringement of one of VMI’s patents in China.
Leading tyre building machinery manufacturer VMI Holland B.V. has issued a firm rebuke to Safe-Run Intelligent Equipment Co., Ltd after the latter issued a press release on 31 July claiming victory in the companies’ ongoing legal dispute. Contrary to Safe-Run’s view, VMI said the Jiangsu High People’s Court of China’s ruling represented “a major defeat for Safe-Run and almost total vindication of VMI’s position.” VMI first announced it had won “a significant lawsuit” against Safe-Run relating to its intellectual property in February 2021. Subsequently, the Netherlands-based firm said the appeal court finalised its judgement that Safe-Run were infringing on VMI’s two key patents relating to tyre building machines. Safe-Run was ordered to stop infringements immediately and pay VMI damages totalling RMB 2.46 million (around 320,000 euros). VMI notes that these payments are “very high [compared] to the average damage awards of around RMB 100,000 in similar cases in China.” Safe-Run’s statement is not currently available.
Netherlands-based manufacturer of machinery for the tyre and retreading industries, VMI Holland B.V. (VMI), reports having won a “significant lawsuit” in its ongoing legal dispute with Safe-Run Intelligent Equipment Shares Ltd. Co. (Safe-Run). VMI comments that the case in question relates to infringement of intellectual property and patent hijacking, adding that the lawsuit it recently won confirms “the malicious intent of Safe-Run.”
China’s Safe-Run Group will supply smart factory equipment to the plant Linglong Tire is setting up in Serbia. The company says it won the contract to fit out the Linglong plant in Zrenjanin, a project valued at more than RMB 700 million (£79.2 million), after beating Finnish, South Korean, Japanese and other rivals in a tender process.
Safe-Run has announced that it has made “significant progress” in the patent invalidation and patent litigation process against VMI Holland B.V. Safe-Run explained that the Patent Reexamination Board of State Intellectual Property Office declared that the VMI’s invention patent “Assembly for and Method of Making a Tyre Component” is “entirely invalid”. According to the company, the patent declared invalid is deemed to have “not existed from the very beginning”. In addition, the court has dismissed VMI’s litigation action against Safe-Run for this patent infringement. For its part, VMI stated that it made progress in the same series of cases and that it would appeal a number of adverse verdicts.
China’s Patent Re-examination Board has upheld important patents relating to tyre building technology developed by VMI. Commenting on the board’s decision, VMI Group chief executive officer Harm Voortman said “this decision further strengthens our position in the legal dispute with Safe-Run and reaffirms our confidence in the Chinese legal system.”
Netherlands-based leading tyre manufacturing machinery maker VMI reports that it has won its first patent invalidation case against Chinese firm Safe-Run. As part of ongoing legal action commenced by VMI against Safe-Run, VMI filed for invalidation of a number of Safe-Run patents. Recently, the Chinese Patent Review Board has ruled in this case and invalidated the first Safe-Run patent in its entirety as the patent “was based on prior art”.