Recently, Sogou withdrew the lawsuit against Baidu (the famous internet giant in China) for sky-high 100 million RMB infringement damages, before sentencing of the Shanghai High Court after 3 hearings, and bore all the litigation costs alone. This means that the lawsuit with one of the highest damages claimed in the history of Chinese patent litigation ended with Baidu's full victory.

The case began in October 2015, Sogou sued Baidu on grounds of patent infringement on its input method, involving a total of 17 patents with claims for a total amount of 260 million RMB for damages, among which the claim for the patent "A method and system of inputting art text or graphics into APPs” (Patent No. 200610127154.2, hereinafter referred to as “the Patent at issue”) even reached the "sky-high price" of 100 million RMB.

Facing the sky-high lawsuit filed by Sogou, Baidu filed a patent invalidation request to the Patent Reexamination Board of the State Intellectual Property Office at the end of 2015. As the case involved significant economic interests with great social influence, the Patent Reexamination Board established a collegial group of 5 members and held a public hearing in Beijing in April 2016. Further in October 2016, the decision was made declaring part of the patent at issue invalid. Among the 23 claims of the patent, 17 were declared invalid, including all the independent claims.

"This lawsuit between Sogou and Baidu has been heard for 3 times, it might not be favorable to Sogou if insisted till the judgment and the loss might even be greater in the brand and economic aspects, therefore, the choice of withdrawal is relatively wise." An insider familiar with the case pointed out. As facial text, facial expression input and other functions has long been the basic function of input methods, Baidu’s victory this time is also the victory of all other input methods.

In addition, it is worth noting that apart from the previous hundred million patent invalidated for the most part, among Sogou’s total 17 patents it used to sue Baidu, 11 patents have been declared invalid in total or in part, with invalidated contents involving commonly used functions of input method. Sogou has, therefore, withdrawn the other 6 lawsuits in addition to this hundred million patent case. 

(Adapted from IPRdaily)

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