Intellectual property and patent protection has become increasingly critical to companies doing business in China, where IP theft is a big problem.
On May 25 of this year, Toray Industries Inc. (Tokyo) filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Ningbo Solatron Technology Co. Ltd. in Shenzhen Intermediate People’s Court. Toray is claiming infringement of its Chinese patent on Lumirror polyester film and is seeking an injunction barring sales and production of white film relating to LCD backlight reflectors and collection of damages for past infringement.
Toray’s patent covers polyester films that have features of stiffness, surface shape and cushion properties. The polyester films for reflectors that Toray produces—the “Lumirror” E6D8 series, for example—are based on patented technologies, including the Chinese patent, and are widely used in edge backlight type LCDs all over the world, according to Toray’s information.
To further protect its IP in China, on Aug. 23, 2017, Toray announced that it filed an additional patent infringement lawsuit against Ningbo. The new lawsuit accuses Ningbo of making products using Toray’s white film in its LCD backlight reflectors, and also seeks an injunction barring sales and production of the accused products and collection of damages for past infringement in China.
The patent covers specific heat shrinkage properties of white polyester films and the wider use of white polyester films in LCD backlight reflectors.
Toray is convinced that “materials have the power to fundamentally change the world.” In keeping with this conviction, Toray has invested in research and development and claimed a lot of intellectual property rights.
Toray said that it has worked on business development “for a long time in China” and that the objectives of the lawsuits are to protect important patented inventions necessary for business development under Chinese law, and to promote innovation and fair business growth in the film business. “Toray does and will, if necessary, take appropriate steps globally to protect its intellectual property against infringement in accordance with one of the basic IP policies: ‘rightful enforcement of our own rights,’” said the company.