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A well-known lighter factory in Taizhou and a plastic products Co., Ltd. in Yuyao, which specializes in lighter manufacturing and processing, can be described as "old enemies".
The two companies had a long history of grievances over design patent infringement disputes. Another incident happened last year and they went to court with each other.
Yesterday, Beilun Court concluded the case.
In June last year, 2 million lighters exported by Taizhou Lighter Factory were reported by Yuyao Plastics Company as infringing on other people's design patent rights and were detained by the customs. The detention was lifted after 10 days.
As a result, the goods were delayed by nearly a month from the original plan before they were shipped for export.
The Taizhou factory said that they not only spent various expenses for this, but also had to compromise with foreign investors because of the delay in delivery and sold it at a discount of 60% of the contract price, resulting in heavy losses.
Because the other party was suspected of maliciously applying for customs seizure of goods, Taizhou factory took Yuyao's plastic factory to court. The other party was asked to stop the infringement, apologize and compensate for various losses totaling nearly 600000 yuan.
The Yuyao factory replied that the plaintiffs had infringed their design patents, so it was reasonable to suspect them to infringe again this time, and there was no subjective malice in applying for customs seizure. Moreover, after discovering that there is no infringement, it will apply for release immediately.
The Beilun Court held that while applying for customs intellectual property protection measures and safeguarding intellectual property rights, enterprises should also fulfill their duty of prudence, ascertain specific facts, and should not maliciously retaliate against competitors on the grounds of safeguarding their own intellectual property rights and cause losses to others.
The defendant, without a definite basis, determined that the goods involved in the case were infringing products and applied for customs seizure, resulting in the delay of the plaintiff's export of goods, and should compensate for the extra expenses incurred. However, because the plaintiff failed to provide sufficient evidence of the loss, the court finally only supported the loss amount of more than 20000 yuan.
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