Sany Heavy Industry also encountered cross-border intellectual property disputes. A few days ago, according to media reports, the United States Federal Circuit Court of Appeal filed a case appealed by Sany Heavy Industry Co., Ltd. (hereafter referred to as Sany Heavy Industry) and made a favorable move for the appellee to lift the United States Manitowoc equipment. The company’s decision upholds the decision of the United States’ International Trade Commission (ITC) on April 16 last year for Sany’s violation of Manitowoc’s trade secrets.
In fact, this Sany Heavy Industry dispute in the United States also led to the industry common problem in the "going out" process of China's construction machinery industry enterprises - how intellectual property rights for the company "to sea" escort. According to Yi Xiaogang, the chief engineer of Sany Heavy Industry, the construction of the construction machinery is “out of the sea” and the patent layout is the key, while overseas rights protection is more of a skill.
Discord causes market competition
The disputes encountered by Sany Heavy Industry will be traced back to 2013. In June of that year, Manitowoc filed an application with ITC, claiming that Sany was suspected of infringing on its trade secrets, and that Sany's crawler crane product was suspected of infringing on the two patents it owned, and ITC started Sany Heavy Industries' "337 investigation" program. Since then, the two sides have conducted multiple rounds of competition between China and the United States and have won each other. The recent decision of the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals for the United States is the latest result of the "twinning war" between the two sides.
However, as soon as the verdict was announced, industry experts pointed out that the reason why Manitowoc's single-mindedness with Sany Heavy Industry for intellectual property issues has been repeated for many times was rooted in the market competition between the two parties. As early as 2007, Sany Heavy Industries set up a subsidiary company for the production of crawler cranes in the United States. By 2013, the North American market share of its related products was close to 15%. At this key node, Manitowoc has resorted to the "killer" of the "337 investigation." From a data point of view, Manitowoc's sales in the second quarter of this year have rarely experienced an 4% drop from the same period of last year, and Sany Heavy Industry’s quarterly sales in recent years. It is rising again and again. Its rapid expansion in the United States has indeed changed the original market competition pattern.
Coincidentally, China's other privately-owned construction machinery company, Jiangsu Shenxi Construction Machinery Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as Shenxi Company), also encountered similar obstacles to Sany Heavy Industry during the “going out” process. Gu Weiwei, head of the administrative department of Shenxi Company, stated that Shenxi Company has experienced two years of cross-border patent disputes. Both of these disputes occurred when the Shenxi Company went to the countries where the companies involved had participated in the exhibition and were preparing to enter the company. In the national market, the same industry company with the largest market share in the host country complained to the court for allegedly infringing the design.
“Taking the experience of the United States in 2008 as an example, two of the world's largest manufacturers of aerial work machines also sued Shenxi. If they did not complain, the other party would burn the 'war' to the world and we would face endless international Disputes, responding, it will cost a lot of costs, the international lawsuit is difficult to win.” Gu Weiwei said that in repeated weighing, Shenxi company gradually realized that the lawsuit is related to the future of the company and even all related domestic engineering machinery companies Therefore, a number of engineers were sent back and forth between China and the US dozens of times, collecting more than 1,900 pages of original records of corporate research and development, and finally found a breakthrough in the key points of the case concerning the appearance of the product involved in the product. After spending nearly 800 days and spending more than US$1.8 million in litigation fees, the U.S. Nevada District Court finally rejected the Plaintiff’s claim for Shenxi Company and Shenxi Company won the case.
Breakdown still needs patent layout
Actually, not only Sany Heavy Industry and Shenxi Company, but also the China Construction Machinery Corporation that has been “outgoing” in recent years, whether Zoomlion, Xugong Group, Shanhe Intelligence, or Southern Roads, have experienced more or less There are hidden concerns about intellectual property disputes. How to solve the "going out" predicament has become a problem for practitioners.
"To compete in the international market, we must understand and abide by the rules of the international market. The technology is not enough, and the globalization of enterprises should be the globalization of the distribution of intellectual property," said Fu Ling, chief engineer of Zoomlion. As of the end of last year, Zoomlion has submitted 8,377 domestic and foreign patent applications, including 3,275 patents for inventions. The "high input" and "widespread layout" of intellectual property rights on the one hand has enabled Zoomlion to have unique characteristics in the use of intellectual property in international M&A activities. On the other hand, it also helps companies to "stand alone" when the construction machinery industry encounters a low tide. .
Relevant experts pointed out that compared with foreign large multinational corporations, China’s construction machinery companies still lack the layout and application of core patents in key technologies such as hydraulic systems and core components. To achieve overseas breakthroughs, a large number of sophisticated patents are the basis for protection. Only by constructing a shield of intellectual property can we effectively resist the storm in the process of going to sea.