SHANGHAI—The Shanghai Higher People's Court has rejected SI Group Inc.'s appeal of a lower court decision dismissing SI Group's patent infringement lawsuit against Sino Legend (Zhanggiagang) Chemical Co. Ltd.
Before the Chinese courts and the U.S. International Trade Commission, Schenectady, N.Y.-based SI Group has accused Sino Legend of stealing SI Group's trade secrets for manufacturing certain rubber tackifier resins, then compounding the injury by selling resins in the U.S. market that were manufactured using SI Group's proprietary methods.
The Oct. 12 ruling from the higher Shanghai court upheld the June 17 initial decision of Shanghai No. 2 Intermediate People's Court, which found no factual or legal basis for SI Group's allegations.
In the earlier court action, SI Group said it had wanted to add a defendant. The lower court told the company it would have to withdraw the case to do so, but then forbade SI Group from refiling, SI Group said.
A Sino Legend news release said the higher court admonished SI Group for trying to manipulate the legal proceedings.
"The appellant's (earlier) applications to withdraw the case were not intended to end litigation, but to prolong the case," Sino Legend quoted the court as saying. "The appellant's behavior violates the integrity and credibility of the system."
Sino Legend General Manager Corey Xie said the higher court's decision upheld both the technical strength of Sino Legend's patents and the integrity of the company.
"We've worked extremely hard to build our intellectual property portfolio, and we will continue to aggressively protect it against infringement on a global basis," Xie said.
An SI Group news release said the company disagrees with the higher court's ruling.
"The Shanghai courts have not taken into consideration all of the evidence that led the judge handling the ITC investigation to conclude that SI Group trade secrets are valid and protectable, and have been misappropriated by Sino Legend," SI Group said. It will appeal to the PRC Supreme People's Court in Beijing, it said.
The same day as the lower court ruled in Shanghai, ITC Administrative Law Judge Robert K. Rogers Jr. found that Sino Legend had misappropriated SI Group's trade secret and recommended a 10-year import bad on Sino Legend's rubber resins.
On Sept. 9, the ITC said it would review Rogers' decision. The recent government shutdown slowed the pace of the investigation, both companies said, but they expected a final ruling by the end of November.