Kangxin’s client, Unilin, was founded in the 1960s and is a leader in the global flooring industry. It has developed advanced technology in the industry and is famous for its Quick-Step floors. Unilin offers more than the Quick-Step alone, also manufacturing products such as roof panels, insulation panels, and furniture panels. Kangxin recently successfully represented Unilin in an important invalidation case in China.
The invalidation case here concerns Unilin’s patent CN 101023230, it is the Chinese counterpart of Unilin’s international family of click patents, which protects Unilin’s current generation of “angling in” click technology. The technology is important for Unilin and has been licensed to and widely used by its growing international licensing base. The said patent was requested for invalidation with CNIPA on July 8, 2020, by a third party claiming that all the claims lack novelty and inventiveness. The text of request for invalidation was 1150 pages, in which eight foreign or domestic patent documents together with two textbooks were cited and combined in several ways.
In the process of handling this case, our Kangxin team thoroughly and carefully analyzed the technical solution of the said patent and those disclosed in the cited documents, and clearly distinguished the innovative key technical features of the said patent, that is, the technical differences between the patent and the cited documents. The Kangxin team submitted clarification and analysis on the innovative key technical features of the said patent and strongly argued that the cited documents provided no teaching on such features at all. Moreover, the Kangxin team listed in detail the beneficial technical effects of the said patent over the prior art.
On March 24, 2021, CNIPA issued the Decision of Invalidation in 13 pages, which maintained the validity of Unilin’s CN 101023230 patent.
The success of this invalidation case protects Unilin and strengthens Unilin’s IP protection in China. Unilin viewed this decision by CNIPA as a testament to its continued dedication to further innovate the flooring industry and to spread its patented innovations through licensing programs.