Sughrue Mion Conducts Patent Trial and Litigation Seminar in China

WASHINGTON, D.C. – A team of trial attorneys from the Litigation Group of Sughrue Mion PLLC, a leading global intellectual property law firm, were invited presenters at the “U.S. IP Litigation Seminar and Patent Trial Demonstration”  held in Hainan Island, China on November 6-8, 2006.  The seminar was co-sponsored by the Chinese State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) and Kangxin Partners, PC. The program highlighted the difficult and unique challenges that Chinese companies face when confronted with patent litigation in U.S. federal courts and before the International Trade Commission (ITC).

“As a firm that has been active in the U.S. and Asia for decades, we’ve seen a trend as Chinese companies become more involved in IP disputes,” John Rabena, a Sughrue Mion partner who led the design of this program, said. “IP battles often get played out with U.S. patents in U.S. district courts and the USITC because of the enormous market the U.S. offers.  Chinese companies are particularly interested because of the increased number of suits against them.”

The seminar included lectures and mock demonstrations of a deposition, a motion to compel electronic discovery, and a Markman Hearing/Summary Judgment Motion, as well as a one-day mock trial.  The mock trial was presented to an American-style jury and presided over by the Honorable Elizabeth LaPorte, a U.S. Magistrate Judge for the Northern District of California. The 150 Chinese in-house counsel, corporate managers, IP lawyers, and government IP officials in attendance, were be able to see exactly how a jury deliberates and the issues that were of paramount concern to them.

The trial itself centered on a mock case where a U.S. plaintiff alleged that a Chinese defendant infringed patented technology for golf club grips. The courtroom was modeled after a U.S. courtroom, and all aspects of the litigation and deliberation were filmed so that participants could see what happens during the trial and in the jury room.

“The ITC continues to be an increasingly popular venue for patent litigation especially for Chinese companies, so we added this element to the seminar,” Mike Dzwonczyk, a Sughrue Mion partner, said. “The seminar was geared to help explain the differences between U.S. and Chinese courts – and the differences between district courts and the ITC – and help attendees develop winning strategies in each of these forums.  And, as a result of this experience, we expect companies will see how to better build their patent portfolios to avoid litigation altogether.”

The Seminar was emceed by Sughrue Partner Joseph Bach.  Other Sughrue trial attorneys that presented at the seminar were Carl Pellegrini and John Scherling, both of whom have extensive trial experience.